Hunter Innovation Festival speaker line up announced

Hunter Innovation Festival speaker line up announced

Speakers from innovation and engineering, psychology and manufacturing, technology and city planning will all come together at this year’s Hunter Innovation Festival.

Hunter Innovation Festival Chair, Alex Brennan said the Festival is bringing together a diverse line up of speakers to inspire attendees to think creatively and apply skills and knowledge they have in different ways.

“Innovation isn’t just about creating new things, it’s about applying what you have learned in different ways to achieve different outcomes than you have before,” Alex said.

“We have put together a diverse and engaging line up of speakers that will inspire, challenge, and motivate the crowd to do just that.

The morning session of the Festival will focus on the future of regional innovation, our renewable energy precinct and how our current industry and infrastructure has created a foundation for a prosperous future in the Hunter.

Speakers and panellists include CEO of Beyond Zero Emissions, Heidi Lee; Deputy Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Declan Clausen; CEO of HunterNet, Ivan Waterfield; Managing Director of Ampcontrol, Rod Henderson; and Chief Commercial Officer Port of Newcastle, Simon Byrnes.

Former head of Lonely Planet, Gus Balbontin will speak after lunch on his work with leading global companies such as Google X, Nokia and Amazon during his tenure at Lonely Planet.

The afternoon sessions will feature expert speakers followed by panel discussions with participants from global companies including Microsoft and Atlassian alongside industry, business and government.

Festival organisers have also set a challenge for exhibitors and participants and that’s to embrace the event’s sustainability pledge by reducing the event footprint as much as possible.  

“Sustainability is at the heart of innovation, and it was really important for the festival to not just talk the talk but also walk the walk,” Alex said. 

“Sustainability through innovation is a great tagline but we need to make an impact with our actions. Therefore, we have set the challenge for everyone involved in the festival to support the pledge and reduce their impact as much as possible.

“The great news is this is at the core of what many of our exhibitors and speakers are already doing. They are using innovation to solve big problems.”


IMAGE | Festival Chair, Alex Brennan testing VR technology.

Hunter Innovation Festival

The Hunter Innovation Festival was born from the rib of the Australian Innovation Festival that started in 2002. This festival was built on the foundations of the four Cs – creativity, connections, collaboration, and commercialisation.

For HIF that started in 2007, the same foundations remain fundamental to embracing an innovative culture and it showcases these concepts through the annual event.

It aims is to contribute to fostering even greater connections and opportunities for startups, scaleups, businesses and organisations that realise that innovation is a priority in workplace practices.



Trending Articles

Advertise with us

Affordable and engaging advertising to a business community

Submit an article

Tell your story to the Hunter business community

Does your business need a little help with its marketing?

Marketing strategies

This website uses cookies
We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services.