Ballarat innovators will have the chance to pick the brain of the creative lead at one of the world’s largest companies, Amazon.
In an one-off event for Pause Fest, Amazon’s Head of Creative Studios Cecilia Ambros will speak in Ballarat on February 4.
She will discuss the importance of STEM with a group of Year 11 and 12 students, before speaking at the Mining Exchange from 7pm about entrepreneurship and digital transformation.
Described as ‘Woodstock for digital natives’, Pause Fest was launched in Melbourne in 2011.
Creativity is innovation, so the more creative you are, the more you can convert creativity into business.Pause Fest founder George Hedon
The festival famously offered free microchip implants for the hand, which had the potential to act like swipe keys and credit cards, but has pivoted to encompass start-ups, government bodies and corporate players.
Founder George Hedon said the ethos behind the festival is to “connect with people, collaborate and then celebrate” new creations.
“It’s about bringing people with different skill-sets and mindsets together into one room … to dream big,” he said.
“We want people to network and develop their businesses and be successful, but we’re doing in a way that is slightly different from everyone else, because this year we’ve got everyone from NASA to Amazon to Google to local entrepreneurs and start-ups.”
The festival also has a 50-50 gender split across speakers and attendees.
Mr Hedon said he met a City of Ballarat contractor working on the technological Smart Cities proposal, and the idea for a Ballarat event grew from there.
“They thought it would be good to get one of the speakers down to Ballarat, to visit and to ruffle the locals a little bit, in a good way!” he said.
“She works across a lot of different and interesting things, Cecilia is a very creative and entrepreneurial person and very energetic.
“My hope would be that apart from just businesses coming along, there will be come creatives as well. Creativity is innovation, so the more creative you are, the more you can convert creativity into business.”
Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh said it was an opportunity to see “somebody here in Ballarat that is on the world stage”.
“Our goal is to make sure we’re doing the best we possibly can with our creatives,” she said. “Often artists, creatives and innovators have such a beautiful focus and vision in that area, but they don’t necessarily understand or have the skill in broader business or delivery.
“For our community to be able to ask questions of, be inspired by and guided by someone of such high-calibre is something I think there will be many benefits from.”
Tickets $20, to purchase search ‘Pause Fest Ballarat’ at eventbrite.com