CDO Wrap – October 2016

18 October 2016

Some days are better than others, and today is probably one of the best so far in my time as the city’s Chief Digital Officer. Today we officially opened The Capital.

For those of us who have been involved in the process of making this happen, it’s felt like a long time coming. But in reality it’s only taken 13 months from receiving the Lord Mayor’s request to establish a CBD-based startup hub, to finding the perfect building, even-more-perfect partners, fitting out the building, and moving in. I know that in startup land, 13 months feels like a long time … but in building/fit-out/council/collaboration land, it’s an epic turn-around.

The Digital Brisbane team and I have moved in, as have Fishburners, Little Tokyo Two, and their members. The light and airy space is so conducive to creative thinking, fabulous startup sector meet-ups, events, collaboration and, of course, that ever-important serendipity. It really is exciting.

But if today is one of the best days, then this week is by far one of the best weeks.

Yesterday I had the privilege of facilitating Brisbane Innovate on behalf of the Lord Mayor, Councillor Krista Adams and Brisbane City Council. We explored how Brisbane, as a city, has innovated to date (especially when it comes to using IT solutions at a service-delivery level) and we sparked robust conversations about how we innovate more. Over 300 people attended the event, with more than 100 of those participating in roundtable discussions, covering topics as diverse as;

  • Smart traffic management solutions – our accessible, connected city
  • Promoting our city to international students – our new world city
  • Using renewable energy and achieving 100 per cent carbon neutrality for our city – our clean, green city
  • Using tech to increase safety for residents and visitors – our friendly, safe city
  • Making council easier to do business with – our smart, prosperous city
  • Providing information to people on the move, including events, services and facilities – our new world city
  • Brisbane’s position as a smart tourist destination – our vibrant, creative city
  • Improving city planning – our well-designed, subtropical city

From those discussions we have selected three specific problems for which we are now seeking innovative solutions. You can find out more here – this is a great opportunity for you to help us solve some of the city’s biggest challenges. Entrepreneurs and small business owners are particularly encouraged to be involved.

But that’s just this week …

This month we hosted our last Power-Up Small Business Workshop for the year, with the very entertaining Julie Mason providing tips and tricks for using LinkedIn to drive results for small business. We’ve also opened the next round of the Lord Mayor’s Budding Entrepreneurs Program and we’re very much looking forward to the CLICK! Digital Expo on Friday 11 November. Hope to see you there!

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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