Global experts to shine light on new technologies and Sydney’s future

Clover Moore, Lord Mayor City of Sydney

Global thinkers and local innovators will come together this month to discuss what the future might look like for cities, tech and innovation. As part of the City of Sydney’s annual visiting entrepreneur program, 11 future tech thinkers will take part in 17 events to discuss a future to be determined – from autonomous vehicles, decarbonisation and creative experiences, to future possibilities of the metaverse, cancer research and global health game changers.

What are the stakeholder thoughts on the event?

Sydneysiders and entrepreneurs are invited to join the series and learn from experts about how innovation can have a positive impact on the world and tech can support our future. Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the free series was a great opportunity for the community to hear from global and local experts on the latest technological breakthroughs and innovations.

“The tumultuous events of the last two years have reinforced the need for us to work together and innovate to address social and environmental issues,” the Lord Mayor said.

“That’s why the city is bringing together thinkers and local entrepreneurs and asking them to push the limits of what seems possible. Not only will the collaboration help those in our tech and start-up ecosystems to learn from each other and grow, it will inspire thinking about how we can harness creativity and technology to tackle some of our most pressing issues.”

“I encourage anyone who is interested in finding out more about the future of tech and its role in shaping Sydney’s future to come join us at the visiting entrepreneur program events.”

Annie Parker, executive director Tech Central, said it was wonderful to see entrepreneurs from a variety of backgrounds included in the visiting entrepreneur program. “I’m so excited about this year’s visiting entrepreneur program – there is an incredible line-up of talent being hosted across Tech Central and the broader city. It’s that diversity of thought and experience that I’m sure will inspire the next generation of founders here in Sydney,” Annie said.

What is the event’s program?

The visiting entrepreneur program, A Future TBD, runs from 22 June to 1 July and features a host of experts across a series of in-person and online events including Tim Kentley Klay, co-founder HYPR and Zoox, Grace Sai, CEO and co-founder Unravel Carbon, Bell Beh, CEO and co-founder BuzzAR and Zareh Nalbandian, co-founder and CEO of Animal Logic.

Program details include:

Future TBD: How is technology shaping a better future?

22 June – 8.30am to 10.30am – The Ground of South Eveleigh. Mary Spio, founder of CeekVR, will join by video link from Miami for a discussion with a panel of experts about maintaining balance in the convergence of creativity and tech, next generation AI creating vehicles that teach themselves to drive, the hope for a decarbonised future and more.

Is Web3 eating the world?

23 June – 8am to 9:30amHaymarket HQ, Dixon Street. Web3 changes everything, so how can startups keep up? Join an exclusive chat with Maria Shen, partner at Electric Capital, live from San Francisco as she shares insights and stories from her experience as an investor.

Is Australia missing the immersive experience revolution?

23 June – 5:30pm to 7:30pm – Powerhouse Museum. Why is Australia lagging behind when it comes to immersive experiences, and how do we create real change? This discussion will be kick-started by Zareh Nalbandian, co-founder and CEO of Animal Logic. Zareh’s leadership has created seminal feature animations and visual effects for over 30 years.

Lessons for our future: how to accelerate climate-tech?

23 June – 6pm to 9pm – KPMG, Barnagaroo. Renowned investor and entrepreneur Grace Sai put Ampol, the NSW Government and their current climate initiatives under the microscope.

Grace will draw on her experience with the Singapore startup ecosystem – rated 14th in the world – to dissect how the Australian energy giant Ampol and the state government can better support climate-tech startups in commercialisation and growth.

What if biotechnology could cure cancer?

24 June – 7:45am to 9:30am – Cicada Innovations, Eveleigh. Sally-Ann Williams, CEO of Cicada Innovations, and Cyriac Roeding, co-founder and CEO of Earli, will discuss how biotechnology could transform cancer detection and treatment in the future.

Cyriac will join the event virtually from California, along with three successful local biotech startups who will present their innovations. At the end of the event, attendees will have a chance to network with the broader deep-tech and health tech community.

MVP to IPO: How do you take your startup to the next level?

24 June – 5pm to 7pm – Folklore Ventures, Redfern. Experts; Stephen Scheeler, CEO and MD of Omniscient Neurotechnology, Alister Coleman, founder and managing partner of Folklore Ventures and Lauren Sneddon, head of marketing at Lived, will discuss how early-stage founders should approach building, strategising and scaling. Topics include acquiring your first 100 paying clients, building scalable strategies and attracting the right talent.

Smart Cities: Can technology make them sustainable?

24 June – 12pm to 2pm – Stone & Chalk, York Street, Sydney. Can technology transform smart tech cities for tomorrow? A panel discussion will highlight the role climate technologies have in transforming our cities. What will power and connect us in the future?

What is really going to work and what needs to be debunked so we focus on the vision and future while we transform Australia into a sustainable technology-driven economy?

How to lead meaningfully in these uncertain times

27 June – 10am to 11am – Fishburners, York Street, Sydney. Stephen Scheeler, Chief Executive Officer and managing director of Omniscient Neurotechnology, will join as the keynote speaker at this hybrid event hosted by Fishburners. The event will discuss how to implement effective leadership in an uncertain world – a timely and relevant topic for discussion for a diversity of leaders across the startup, corporate and government sectors.

Why is place so important to innovation systems?

27 June – 5pm to 6.30pm – The Quantum Terminal, Central Station. Agents from innovation precincts will discuss how place has a critical role in influencing the development of innovation ecosystems. The people, businesses, economic profile, culture, history and aspirations for the future all play a part in making each innovation ecosystem different from the next.

Is diversity the key to unlocking the potential of Web3?

28 June – 9am to 10am – online. Maria Shen will be joined by a panel of prominent Australian women making their mark in Web3 to discuss their stories and insights.

Is the metaverse part of your reality?

28 June – 6pm to 7.30pm – EY, Sydney. This panel of representatives discussion will look at all things metaverse – from what it is and how it works, to how it is being used in the real and virtual worlds and the implications for the individual, society and organisations. The session will also explore real life case studies as well as risks and opportunities.

The power of nature + human ingenuity = shaping our future?

29 June – 4pm to 5.30pm – Taronga Zoo. How can we combine the power of nature and human ingenuity to create a flourishing future for all? Join a panel of entrepreneurs who have breathed life into world-changing ideas for a conversation at Taronga Zoo around the kind of world we want to shape, and the role that everyone can play in shaping that future.

The future is now: where is synthetic biology taking us?

29 June – 5.30pm to 7pm – Hall Chadwick, Sydney. Synthetic biology is already transforming how we grow food, what we eat, and how we create medicines.

With the Australian industry in its infancy, what can we learn from abroad about this brave new world we are entering? Be part of an insightful conversation about this new frontier of innovation that the CSIRO predicts will be worth over $27 billion annually by 2040.

Travel guide to decarbonisation: How do we get there?

30 June – 9am to 10am – online. Visiting entrepreneur Grace Sai will discuss her entrepreneurial journey and transition to the decarbonisation space.

Other international entrepreneurs will join for a panel discussion providing advice about how we can join them on this journey, with a particular focus on women entrepreneurs.

Quantum in space: Will it conquer the final frontier?

30 June – 5pm to 6pm – The Quantum Terminal, Central Station, Sydney. Where are the opportunities for quantum tech? This panel discussion, hosted by Sydney Quantum Academy, will bring together innovators applying quantum to space challenges, from delivering secure space-to-earth communications to navigation across vast, unknown distances.

Who rules in the metaverse?

30 June – 5pm to 7pm – UTS Startups, 3 Broadway, Ultimo. How are we considering the values, ethics and even laws of the new worlds in the metaverse? This panel discussion will feature UTS Startups, UTS Graduate Research School, Sydney Knowledge Hub and visiting entrepreneur Bell Beh – Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, BuzzAR.

What’s next in a future TBD?

1 July – 4.30pm to 6.30pm – Canva, Surry Hills. Join visiting entrepreneur Tim Kentley Klay as he sits down with Holly Ransom, Chief Executive Officer of Emergent, to explore frontier technology, how he navigates an ever-evolving landscape, what he sees as next on the innovation horizon and what it could mean for our shared future. Tim will also discuss Zoox, the autonomous mobility company he founded that was acquired by Amazon.

The City of Sydney’s annual visiting entrepreneur program is a series of free events bringing global and local experts together to explore the latest technological breakthroughs and innovations. Since the program’s launch in November 2017, the City of Sydney has worked with more than 90 partner organisations on more than 100 visiting entrepreneur events.

This series is produced by the City of Sydney with partner firms from the local startup ecosystem. The 2022 edition is supported by Tech Central and the Greater Cities Commission.