Think HBR


Christina Gerakiteys
UtopiaX and IdeationWorX
Another HIF over and still going strong. With most events at close to 100% capacity, we can declare that innovation is alive and well in the region.
The motivation to put on the festival is twofold. We want to showcase that innovation is alive/well/kicking goals/flourishing (and all other terms used) in our region. We, a collective of hard working, amazing and awesome individuals and
organisations, meet from October each year to plan and formulate what we anticipate will be a HIF surpassing the year before in useful information that leads to transformational innovation. We’re all volunteers. We are all passionate about innovation and our region.
With that in mind, bear with my indulgence in acknowledging the team; Martin McKenzie (Ignite Alliance), Steph Moscovis and Emily O’Sullivan (Idea Bombing), Heath Raftery (Newie Ventures), Pierre Malou (Business Centre), Kim Britton and Maree Campbell (Hunter Research Foundation Centre, UoN), Siobhan Curran (Three76), Sally Whitakker (Research and Innovation, University of Newcastle), Josh Jeffress (Design Anthology), Eighteen04, Adrienne Donnelly and Sarah Ladyman.
Thanks again to our sponsors, Port of Newcastle and Research and Innovation, University of Newcastle. It’s a common phrase but it’s true, we couldn’t do it without their help. Our constant supporters are The Newcastle Herald and Hunter Business Review.
At this point I could launch into a summary of the highlights and festival take-aways. I am instead going to ask festival, conference and workshop delegates this question. What next?
We invest time and money in producing and attending events. What do we do with the ‘new’ information we walk away with? With whom do we share it? What actions do we take as a result?
There is an order to innovating that goes something like this:
• Learn something new (that’s why you are at said conference/workshop/festival)
• Unlearn something old
• Adopt what you’re learning so it’s relevant to you and your business or organisation (as long as it’s relevant to your end user!)
• Tell someone who can support you with your vision/mission
• Convince nominated supporter that it’s worth the investment of time and/or money
• Ideate
• Create
• Test
• Evaluate
• Implement
The changes we commit to making don’t need to be transformational or ‘disruptive’ but they do have to be valuable and considered. And change is mandatory or we have failed to take advantage of the invested time and money in development and knowledge.
What was the last change (even the tiniest one) you made to the way “things are done”? I am a huge supporter of never changing anything “just for change’s sake” but to come away from a conference or workshop without any ideas for improvement usually indicates a ‘blinkers on’ attitude.
Encourage and support ‘unsafe thinking’ to encourage and support innovation. Protect your people from the derision that potentially follows failure. Make them feel safe in the usafe!
Gold is struck when conversation and actions occur post conference, workshop or festival. What are the actions you have implemented as a result of the new knowledge gained from events you invested in?
For further information contact Christina on 0425 236 156, email or visit
ChristinaGerakiteysHeadShot copy Christina Gerakiteys

Christina Gerakiteys is the Founder of UtopiaX and CEO of SingularityU Australia Summit. She is a change catalyst and instigator of Moonshot Ideation. Christina opens hearts and minds, inspiring impossible to possible.