Pause Fest 2019


Priding itself as the world’s leading creativity-infused business event, a catalyst for change and a uniter of all industries, Pause Fest is a platform for the future. As usual it was held across a range of venues at Melbourne’s iconic Federation Square and presented an inspiring and motivating look at what’s pushing the boundaries of these industries and how we can be involved in the evolution of creativity, business and technology.A few of our staff members had the pleasure of attending this year’s event and have returned with some highlights of the 3 days.

Day 1 – Wed Feb 6

Victoria’s Cultural & Creative Institutions: Where to Now?
Moderator: Paul Bateman – Senior Policy Adviser, Creative Victoria
Panelists: Katrina Sedgwick (ACMI), Rose Hiscock (Science Gallery), Anna Burkey (State Library Victoria)

There will always be resistance to change, but you have to find the balance between respecting traditions and introducing new ideas and technologies. This panel discussed the future of cultural and creative institutions in Victoria. For example the state library is currently looking at a ‘zoning approach’ – creating different spaces that serve different functions. People generally view the library as a singular space and therefore when you introduce something like a ‘children’s space’ they think it then won’t be a ‘quiet space’, however this approach is about working towards creating different zones where all these needs can coexist. You then test it out and get feedback and see what works. You need to show the people that you’re also learning, show the working and the nuts and bolts rather than just presenting the result.

They also discussed whether streaming and Netflix are a threat to places like ACMI and the library. However they believed that now more than ever people are wanting shared physical experiences – they seek them out, and this is illustrated by the 13 million+ visitors to cultural and creative institutions in Victoria each year.

The Power of Social Presence
Jason Juma Ross- Head of Tech, Entertainment & Connectivity, Facebook


Social media has evolved the way we communicate – A platform like Facebook started as a text-based form of communication, which then moved into photo, video and now stories (real-time media). Technology and social media allow the potential for real-time experience. Within this is the ability to place people in locations and experiences they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access. Facebook uses technology like VR and AR to advertise, create social change and create user experiences (concerts etc). It’s about creating a synchronicity between humans and technology and bridging the gap from clunky tech that you still have to set-up or remove from your pocket to every day easy to wear (e.g glasses).

Can We Really Design a Desirable Future
Moderator: Vincent Lazzara – AGDA Board Director
Panelists: Juliana Proserpio (Echos Innovation Lab), 
Sarah Owen (WGSN), Andrew Hoyne (HOYNE), Michael Stoddart – (Adobe)

The self-centered nature of thinking means we don’t often think further than say, our own lifetime. Company constraints also impact how far forward we often look in our day-to-day lives, as we often strive for a short-term deadline, rather than looking beyond to future potentials. These panelists discussed the idea of whether we can design the future and what that means for both businesses and individuals alike. The future is a possibility, more so than a destination or location – “You can design the parameters of the future, but you can’t design the future”. The major point raised was that there is an organic nature to the movement of time and the events that will shape it – You have to look more towards problem solving and taking responsibility for those actions, rather than designing from the beginning.


Day 2 – Thur Feb 7

How Human Intimacy Will Shape our Future
Kylie Savage – Director of Capability, Huddle

A Director from Huddle gave insight into how her organization encourages creativity based on emotion, vulnerability and collective intimacy. A main point of focus was humanity before processes and she shared an absence of processes inside of her team. The idealism was absolutely inspiring, however I didn’t agree whole heatedly. The absence of processes can leave an organization aimless. Depending on the organization, a balance between humanity and processes will be what drives results forward.

Cultural Architecture: How to Build the Foundations for a Thriving Innovation Culture
Matt Whale – Managing Director and Lara Dolz – Project Leader, How to Impact

Matt Whale and Lara Dolz, experts in Team and Innovation Design shared their top points for making work meaningful in any organization. Top points of discussion were having vision clarity, cultural metrics as well as performance metrics, freedom & autonomy and linking each task to the end user. This last point was focused on quite heavily to highlight that all tasks in the workplace are to help/assist/serve the end customer with a product that makes the whole team proud.

Digitally and Ethically Yours: The Future of Big Data and Privacy
Moderator: Giuseppe (Pino) Demaio – Founder & Creative Director, Local Peoples
Panelists: Lisa Watts (The Conversation Media Group), Dr Niels Wouters (Science Gallery), Martin Kemka (Northraine)

A panel of experts discussed the ethics, impact and risks of data collection in 2019. The discussion also delved into artificial intelligence, the new ‘rating system’ being implemented in China and the importance of reading the terms & conditions before submitting your data anywhere on the internet. This was an eye opening discussion that pulled the curtain back on who your data is sold to and why.

The Power of Knowledge: Why R&D Still Matters
James Callahan – Director and Adrian Lawrence – Creative Director, FutureDeluxe

Directors from digital agency FutureDeluxe passionately shared their thoughts on why research and development make such a huge difference in an organization. They shared the story of how their agency went from small corporate clients to large creative innovators like Apple and Intel and BBC2. A large focus was placed on encouraging staff to take measured risks and celebrating successes, big and small.

Day 3 – Fri Feb 8

Constructive Conversations with Sadie Said
Happiness Concierge

Did you know the majority of team members would rather leave a role than have a constructive conversation at work? Sadie Said from Happiness Concierge tackled this startling fact and provided the audience with a framework for having constructive conversations at work. When asked “Who here enjoys giving feedback?” – understandably only a small amount of audience members raised their hand. On the flipside when asked “Who here likes to receive feedback?” almost every hand was raised. With this notion in mind Sadie laid out a conversational framework for the audience –

The positivity behind each of these points really reinforced the idea that providing feedback doesn’t need to be a negative process.

Less Process, More Guidance: Tips For Effectively Scaling Great Teams
Dominic Price – Head of R&D and Work Futurist, Atlassian

Dominic shared his experience helping Atlassian grow over the past 5 years. With a strong emphasis on maintaining a single version of yourself and not having separate work/home personalities, Dominic lead a refreshingly frank and candid talk which was one of the most entertaining of the day. Dominic spoke about the old way of building teams being focused on efficiency and where the new way should focus on effectiveness:

Efficient teams focus and measure Outputs
Effective teams focus on Outcomes

Instead of measuring how a team performs by focussing on the amount of work being completed – a new way of measuring the effectiveness of a team is by looking at the overall outcome of the work they do.

Atlassian even provides open access to their “Team Playbook” via – their no-bulls!?# guide to unleashing your teams potential.

The Five P’s: A Practical Framework For Leading Teams
Paolo Malabuyo – UX Director, Youtube Advertising, Google

Through Paolo’s rich experience working as a designer for some of the world’s biggest and most innovative companies he has developed a framework for leading team which he now has in place in his role as UX Director for Youtube/Google:

Principles – The fundamental values and beliefs that guide behaviours and decisions
People – The team that embodies those principles and the user/customers they serve
Priorities – What’s important for the business and the people
Process – Just enough structure to enable the pursuit of those priorities
Product – Is the outcome, when evaluated against the Principles, good?

Talking us through each of the P’s Paolo gave some amazing examples of these ideas being applied in his current role as well as previous positions at companies such as Netflix, Mercedes Benz and Microsoft.