CDO Wrap: December 2017

13 December 2017

Well… a new look and a re-focused direction wraps up 2017 nicely!

It’s been a huge year for Digital Brisbane… And for me as CDO. We refreshed and launched the city’s digital strategy, with Digital Brisbane 2.0. As regular readers would know, the new strategy takes a broader view of digital transformation, and seeks to empower residents and businesses to work, grow, learn, contribute to and live in our fabulous city. And, as you can see from the new website and our newsletter design, we’ve also “grown up” with our look.

For me, having sat in the role for more than three years, this is so ridiculously exciting – bringing you the best of the best in digital resources, articles, ideas and events in the small business, startup and smart-city space, all through a funky and modern user interface. I hope you like it.

The new-look newsletter also brings you an updated offering from the Digital Brisbane team – one of the initiatives we outlined in Digital Brisbane 2.0 – The Digital Brisbane podcast! This irregular podcast will feature different speakers and experts who work with us during the year. In a quick, fun audio file we’re capturing presentation highlights, business advice from digital experts and special episodes on thought leadership. This month I chatted with Kurt Sanders from The Content Division. Kurt had just presented our Power-Up for Small Business workshop on creating a website and he shares some great tips in the podcast.

As most do when the year comes to an end, I’ve taken the chance to pause and reflect on the year that’s been. We’ve celebrated 12 months at The Capital, the city’s startup space which is currently home to 200 people working on 100 startups. In just 12 months those startups in The Capital have increased their revenues by more than $14 million and created more than 150 new jobs.

Brisbane Innovate, the city’s open innovation platform, has gone from strength to strength, with the new lights for Brisbane City’s Christmas Tree designed through the process, and another 300 people joining us in November for the annual “big deal” Brisbane Innovate event.

We’ve hosted another 11 Power-Up for Small Business workshops, which saw 542 small business owners improve their skills in digital and our CoderDojo program continues to thrive, with over 1000 young people nurturing their love of coding. Another cohort of Budding Entrepreneurs, aged as young as 16, have built their entrepreneurial skills through coaching, mentoring, conferences and even a trade mission to London with Startup Catalyst.

We’ve hosted a range of speakers, from Elon Musk’s ex 2IC Brandon Spikes, to my social entrepreneur crush Ronni Kahn, founder of food recovery business OzHavest. I’ve addressed quite literally thousands of people at various keynotes and presentations, on everything from smart cities, innovation, startups and how Brisbane really is leading the way in this space. And we’ve planted the seeds of so many new projects that you’ll see in 2018 …. it’s been a big year!

A huge shout out to the team who makes this happen: The two Nats – Nat King who’s on maternity leave with her gorgeous second son and Nat Duncan, who has stepped into Nat’s role as Program Manager with grace and ease; Kate Holmes who quite literally ensures everything and everyone is where they need to be, when they need to be there; Dot Martin who has the joy of playing the most complicated game of diary-tetris for our team and looked after all our international visitors and delegations; Mark Lawrence and Penny Massey in our marketing team, who continue to make us look awesome – and in Penny’s case, drove the development of the new website; and Amber Gilmore (now also on maternity leave!), Kylie Sully and Meryn Cooper who make sure we get awesome PR and press coverage. And finally, thank you – for reading, for sharing, for showing up.

I know it’s a bit early to wish you a Merry Christmas but we won’t send another newsletter until 2018. I hope you have a fabulous festive season, and I look forward to seeing you in 2018 as we collectively continue to make Brisbane even more awesome!

Cat Matson

Chief Digital Officer

Digital tech is an enabler, not an end outcome. I am excited by the opportunities digital presents. But digital for digital’s sake is the antithesis of digital transformation.

As Chief Digital Officer for the City of Brisbane, I drive the Digital Brisbane strategy. This includes building the digital capability and capacity of Brisbane’s business community; galvanising and showcasing the city’s start-up ecosystem; and informing the strategy for a smart-connected Brisbane.

I co-host the Social Media for Small Business Podcast with Suzi Dafnis of HerBusiness. Every fortnight or so we interview a new guest about different aspects of social media in the small business context.

I love chairing panel conversations of experts and thought leaders – juicy conversations with different perspectives spark fabulous ideas. I also enjoy delivering keynote presentations to interesting audiences.

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