Brisbane turns its attention to tech this week with a series of events celebrating the best of Queensland fast-growing tech and startup sector.
The week-long Something Fest, Queensland’s digital, innovation and technology festival, kicks off on Monday with the Something X, an all-day conference organised by the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur that brings together globally renowned thinkers and change makers, with leaders from across the Queensland innovation ecosystem to explore and debate great ideas.
That’s followed by the two-day conference, Something Digital, now in its 5th year, on Tues-Weds, October 25-26.
This year’s theme is “reality bites” and the topics in Something Digital this year span Web3 to responsible design, ethical AI, and net zero, exploring ethical conundrums, data + personalisation, people + growth, and the broader digital journey in the lead up to the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.
International speakers this year include Brad MacDonald from The Exploratorium, Sumner Norman from Caltech and Jess Northam from the Tony Blair Institute for Global change.
The two-day event features 57 international and Australian speakers along with the best of Queensland’s emerging technology community, and some of the nation’s top tech leaders.
The event puts a spotlight on Queensland and Australian companies developing the technologies that shape how we live, work and play, complemented by international speakers from TikTok, Google and AWS.
Speakers include TikTok Head of Product Alex Rankin, Google Cloud VP and chief innovation evangelist Jim Hogan, and Dr Lutza Ireland, founder of Matrix Design+Health.
Alongside the talks, nearly 60 Queensland tech companies are exhibiting at the accompanying trade show.
River City Labs general manager Pauline Fetaui, said that while it’s the first year for Something Tech, it’s the start of something big for Queensland’s startup sector.
“The theme sets the tone for what we are experiencing in the world and in technology right now. ‘People, Planet and Platforms bite back’,” she said.
“Our world has experienced continuous challenges, technology helps shape and create opportunities for how we evolve and show up. The exciting and consciously designed lineup of speakers showcase some of Australia’s most exciting technology entrepreneurs, and industry leaders who are working on these opportunities and delivering right now.
The week-long Something Fest climaxes with the finale of River Rival, where 8 Queensland entrepreneurs will present for best product and business to a panel of judges, including Shark Tank’s Steve Baxter.
ACS Head of Innovation Siobhan Casey said Something Tech shows how the Australian innovation and startup ecosystem is far bigger than just Sydney and Melbourne
“There are entrepreneurs across the nation and opportunities in every state,” she said.
“By bringing in some global leaders, we can showcase the great work being done in Queensland and give inspiration to founders wherever they are in Australia.”
Something Tech tickets and the program are available at somethingtech.com.
There’s more on Something Fest and its events here.