Brisbane Innovate Summit 2019

October 9, 2019. Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.


Brisbane Innovate is Brisbane’s largest open-innovation event, bringing together businesses and residents to collaboratively solve city-wide challenges. Run as an annual summit, Brisbane Innovate aims to provide a platform that facilitates civic leadership, civic engagement, civic communication and design-thinking.

In 2019, Brisbane Innovate focussed on 3 key challenge areas:

Amplifying small business growth
How might we make Brisbane a city of small businesses powerhouses for ongoing economic growth and job prosperity.

Innovating for effective, sustainable construction
How might we use technology and innovation within the property and construction industry to drive sustainability, efficiencies and cost savings in the supply chain?

Engaging out of town students
How might we make it as easy as possible for regional and international students to connect with and contribute to Brisbane so that they find it easy to live, work and grow.

By focusing on these wicked and complex problems, Brisbane Innovate aims to find the solutions that will ultimately make the Brisbane of tomorrow better than the Brisbane of today.

We invite you to join us for this unique event. Apply Now.

Event at a Glance.

When: Wednesday October 9, 2019
Time: 8am to 12.30pm
Location: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

How the morning ran.

The Brisbane Innovate Summit featured an opening fireside chat, a keynote speech and a large-scale design thinking session.

Bringing together a diverse cross-section of Brisbane’s residents, corporates, businesses, entrepreneurs and academics, the key focus of Brisbane Innovate is to come together to solve some of the city’s stickiest challenges.

Flow of the morning:

  • Introduction and opening fireside chat
    Our MC for the day, Cat Matson, Head of Innovation at Brisbane Marketing opened Brisbane Innovate before moderating a fireside chat with Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner and Deputy Mayor Krista Adams.
  • Keynote address: Embedding breakthrough innovation within our cities
    Matthew Tobin, Co-founder and Managing Director, UAP
    Cities are contentious. They are both the backbone and the backdrop to our lives. Enabling us to thrive, to travel, to grow and to hopefully flourish and enjoy life. Through this session we will further our understanding of how new world cities are innovating, not only within the walls of government, but within communities themselves.
  • Design-thinking workshop
    Following the keynote, all attendees took part in in a mass scale design thinking workshop to collaboratively focus on and identify viable solutions for our 2019 challenges.


Matthew Tobin, Co-founder and Managing Director, UAP

Matthew Tobin is co-Founder and Managing Director of UAP. He and his brother Daniel established the company in 1993, as a studio and workshop in which to collaborate with artists and create artwork for the public realm. These days Matthew oversees all operations of the company, spending his time in the Brisbane, Shanghai and New York studios. Matthew’s primary focus is strategic business growth, and UAP’s engagement with advanced manufacturing techniques and Industry 4.0.

Cat Matson, Head of Innovation and Brisbane’s Chief Digital Officer, Brisbane Marketing

Cat Matson is Brisbane’s Chief Digital Officer and the Head of Innovation for the city’s economic development board, Brisbane Marketing. Her strength and love of the digital sector led her to taking a lead on key innovation projects in Brisbane. From educating children on coding to supporting local budding entrepreneurs, as GM of Innovation she oversees Brisbane Innovate, an annual innovation event guided by design thinking to generate solutions for citywide challenges. 


Key to the success of Brisbane Innovate is the bringing together a wide cross-section of the Brisbane ecosystem to collaborate and work together to solve our city’s stickiest challenges.

Participants include:

  • Small business owners
  • Corporates
  • Government Representatives
  • Startups
  • Not for Profits
  • Academics
  • Students
  • Residents who simply want to make a difference

More about the Brisbane Innovate Lab.

The Brisbane Innovate Lab brings together representatives from all sectors of the economy, and community, to solve the complex challenges of the city’s future.

We do this through a robust program of design-thinking workshops and conversations, where we;

  • Deepen the collective understanding of the challenge
  • Shape possible choices for solutions
  • Test those choices to validate assumptions
  • Repeat until we land on a solution that benefits Brisbane residents
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