Creative Innovation 2019 (Ci2019)

“How to get better ideas? Do more.” by Marita Cheng, Ci2011 scholarship winner

Monday, 3 October 2011

In July this year, Robogals launched a Science Challenge for girls all over Australia to do a science experiment, film a 4-minute video, then submit it online for some great prize. (Entries close 28 October 2011).

To prepare for the Science Challenge, I got as much input and suggestions as I could from television producers, journalists, and employees of Google, GE and Engineers Australia.  After taking on all these great ideas, we fired and went to work making the Science Challenge happen.

Yesterday, I was talking to my sponsorship and partnerships manager about next year’s Science Challenge.  Just in examining how things were going with this year’s Science Challenge, we came up with specific and actionable ideas that will focus our efforts and have even more girls participating next year.

We could never have come up with these ideas if we hadn’t first already implemented a plan.

In March this year, Robogals implemented the pilot of the Robogals Rural and Regional programme.  The plan was to have female engineering students from rural and regional areas around the country come to Melbourne for a Training Weekend and get equipped with the skills necessary to hold a large community event back in their hometown.  The pilot included just universities from Victoria.

The pilot didn’t go very well.  We only managed to get 4 volunteers from 2 regions attending, and none of the girls successfully held an event.

On the grant application for this project, we had stated our goal was to have volunteers from 19 regions reach 1900 schoolgirls this year.  Gulp.

As our first plan didn’t work, we racked our brains and came up with another plan.

Our new plan has two components:

1.  Have our Robogals city chapters go to rural and regional areas near their city for one week and teach as many schoolgirls robotics lessons as they can in that week.

2.  Have female engineering students from rural and regional universities come to Melbourne for a Training Weekend and learn leadership, presentation and public speaking skills so that they can return to their hometowns to deliver talks about engineering to schoolgirls.

We began implementing the plan in April.  Since then, the Robogals Rural and Regional programme has reached 2101 girls from 46 schools: 801 girls from 17 schools were taught robotics workshops and 1300 girls from 29 schools were given presentations about engineering.

We wouldn’t have been able to come up with our new plan, if we hadn’t first already implemented a plan.

"Without a doubt the best conference in Australia with a delightful mix of creativity and big thinking bringing together an eclectic group of industry, community and education leaders. Once again, I’ve come away enthused by new ideas, more aware of future trends, and heartened by the kindness of humanity. We all have a role to play and it should be a collective one." Kerry Anderson, Founder of Operation Next Gen

"Conferences are boring. Creative Innovation is more like a rodeo for ideas, and you are guaranteed to leave wanting to make the world better for everyone." Andrew Despi, A.kin

"Kudos to Tania for organising the the 2019 CI Conference in Melbourne - it is the best I have attended so far. All the speakers and sessions were very well-planned. I have attended many conferences and this is the first I did not have the 'luxury' to skip any sessions. Your effort in this space has truly made Melbourne a global innovation and entrepreneurship hub." Danny Ong, Deakin University

"I wanted to pass along how incredible I thought Creative Innovation was and how much your passion for life and for humanity was inspiring to all of us. It was a privilege to be included and one that I am very grateful for." John Pickering, Chief Behavioural Scientist

"Creative Innovation is a transformational platform built by changemakers for changemakers. It is an educational adventure showcasing the forefront of ideas internationally." Melissa Warner, Ci2019 Scholarship Winner & Education Officer, Mind Medicine Australia

"Creative Innovation 2019 was one of the most well-organised events I’ve ever taken part in. From beginning to the end, every detail had been planned through and taken care of. Secondly, are the production values. As a result, it was possible to attend all the sessions without suffering conference burn-out, happy in the knowledge that the next piece of content was guaranteed to delight and challenge the senses." Richard Claydon (Singapore)

"Well done on another successful Ci conference. Your energy, passion and sheer determination to ensure the conference delegates get a fantastic experience is admirable." VP People & Global Capability | P&GC, Woodside Energy


There are a host of incredible opportunities to partner with us on this world class innovation event. If you are interested in becoming a partner or creative collaborator for the upcoming conference, please contact:

Tania de Jong AM // Founder and Executive Producer
Tel: +61 (0)3 8679 6000

Alrick Pagnon
Tel: +61 (0)3 8679 6000

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Jim Grant, Partner, Dattner Grant

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Craig Carolan, Director Private Wealth, ANZ

“I came to learn – I came away inspired! Best conference ever.”

Paul Duldig, University of Melbourne