They’re asking – can you DiG it?

They’re asking – can you DiG it?

October will see the Hunter region host a three-day conference focusing on innovation and entrepreneurialism.

Created by three local businesspeople, Craig Wilson (Sticky Advertising), Steph Hinds (Growthwise Accountants) and Tracy McKelligott (Eclipse Media, Events and PR), the team were inspired by the SXSW festivals, which showcase and bring together creative people and companies in music, film or interactive technologies.

Called the DiG Festival, the topics and presentations will centre around three themes – design, interactive and green-tech.

This week the Commonwealth Bank were announced as the naming rights festival partner, with organisers saying that the DiG Festival’s potential to become the showpiece for Australia’s transition to a technologically smarter and cleaner economy has been boosted by the inclusion of the banking technological powerhouse of the Commonwealth Bank.

“We are very excited to have such a forward thinking organisation participating in the festival this year,” Steph Hinds said.

“The Commonwealth Bank are an exceptional example of a contemporary and progressive organisation that is assisting in fostering innovation and creativity within Australia.”

The partnership between DiG and the Commonwealth Bank has been the first major announcement regarding DiG’s corporate support.

Within the theme of ‘Adapt or Die’ presenter and topic submissions were invited until the end of June, with the following presenters confirmed for the festival and conference.


  • Jason Sew Hoy of 99 Designs | 5 years of design and disruption
  • Jane Huxley of Pandora | Video killed the radio star…or did it?
  • Catherine Caruana-McManus | Smarter Cities Executive for IBM


  • Laurence Wolf (USA) of Brand Honee |Crowd sourcing creativity
  • Rebecca Caroe (NZ) | Native advertising: will the newspaper industry adapt or die?
  • Zac Zavos of Conversant Media | Online publishing
  • Melissa Hoyer | The future of journalism
  • Ian Lyons | Drones and the maker movement
  • Heather Snodgrass-Brine of Hello Darling | Nailing a startup
  • Nancy Georges the “Retail Miss Fixit”
  • Simon Suter of ReachLocal | Rethinking the consumer buying process
  • Gavin Heaton | Stop Talking at Me, Nobody is Listening: The New Physics of the Consumerverse
  • Roger Pryor | Designing Education Futures
  • Suzanne Chadwick | Employer branding in 2013

“So far our confirmed line-up is extremely impressive and should provide some very thought-provoking and entertaining content over the course of the Festival,” Craig Wilson said.

“We are looking forward to further developing the DiG Festival and Conference and encouraging innovative ideas and technologies to the city of Newcastle.”

With workshops exploring The Innovation Process and Model Retail Strategies, a 3D printing competition, a developer’s Hack Competition, Slingshot Accelerator pitches and many more plans in the workings, the DiG Festival and Conference is shaping up to be a vibrant social and educational opportunity.

  • When | 2-5 October 2013
  • Where | City Hall, Newcastle
  • Cost | $299 (earlybird)
  • Attend | Tickets can be purchased online


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