ACS’ star rises with Reimagination 2015

Digital disruption conference wins widespread praise

The ACS has won plaudits from government and industry for its inaugural Reimagination 2015 conference and Digital Disruptors Awards.

Held in Sydney, the conference attracted hundreds of delegates from across Australia and internationally to discuss digital disruption and ways to reshape Australia to prosper in the digital future.

“When we decided in 2014 to launch this new summit and awards program, we did so recognising the power of innovation, entrepreneurship and the overwhelming economy-shaping that digital disruption can and will provide,” ACS President Brenda Aynsley said.

“ACS is committed to partnership with the industry, government, education and the broader economy.

“It’s time to ask ourselves the pertinent questions: what vision do you have for Australia? What vision do you have for your company, for your communities and for yourself?”

Aynsley said that ICT’s contribution to Australian GDP is already “phenomenal”, but digital disruption would see that contribution “eclipse many of our traditional sources [of economic growth] in a very short time.”

“We make an important contribution to Australia’s prosperity and growth,” Aynsley said. “We need to trumpet that.”

Innovation anywhere

Providing the opening keynote address, Craig Dunn, chair of new fintech hub Stone & Chalk, highlighted the new market dynamics being driven by digital disruption.

“It’s truly amazing to see the speed of change across the world right now,” Dunn said.

“In many ways we’re living in a new renaissance of creativity, this time spurred on by digital technologies which are democratising opportunities for people to innovate, and unleashing talent in a way the world has never seen before.

Other high profile speakers at the event included Babson College Distinguished Professor Thomas Davenport, the ‘Father of the Internet of Things’ Kevin Ashton, ANZ Banking Group’s GM Strategy & Planning and CTO Drs Patrick Maes, NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer Professor Mary O’Kane, Telstra Chief Scientist Dr Hugh Bradlow, NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello, and iiNet founder Michael Malone, among others.

Minds – and doors – opened

ACS CEO Andrew Johnson praised the breadth of discussions at the event.

“We covered a lot of territory – insights into what boards are thinking about technology investment, the importance of ecosystem development, and how you tackle technology as competitive advantage,” Johnson said.

“And the great thing is there’s been a whole variety of different ideas.

“Most importantly Reimagination has been about connections – meeting other people and talking about what’s keeping you up at night, and how to create solutions.”

The conference was well-received by members and delegates and will return in 2016.


This article is summary of the original article published in the ACS Information Age magazine on 19 Nov 2015.