October 12-23: We Are Agents of Change

Sustainability at SparkFest

Burning with purpose and want to change the world? There's never been a better time to give it a red hot go. Tune into SparkFest to learn from and connect with some incredible Australians who are doing just that!

The segments below are part of Spark Festival, Australia's largest event for startups, innovators and entrepreneurs. Running from Oct 12 - 23, check out the full two week program here.

Save My Spot!

12 October,
11:10am — 11:50am AEDT

What goes around Comes Around

How did two sisters from regional Queensland go from plotting a plan on their bedroom floor to leading Australasia's transition towards a circular economy? Through the trials, tribulations and tears you'll learn how tenacity, courage and authenticity won out. Come along to hear Jaine and Ashleigh talk you through their very humble beginnings where they worked for free with 45 small businesses to prove the value of a circular economy to today where they are leading some of the world’s most impactful circular economy projects with clients including BHP, Rio Tinto, Lendlease, Mirvac, Queensland Investment Corporation, and more.

12 October,
12:00pm — 12:50pm AEDT

Funding Success for Social Entrepreneurs

For social entrepreneurs, fund raising can often be an uphill struggle. But, does it have to be? Is it possible to find a smarter, more efficient way to get funding to back your world changing idea? In this panel discussion, we will dive into these topics with leading investors and social entrepreneurs, and share practical tips to help you be more confident in your next capital raise!

13 October,
2:00pm — 2:50pm AEDT

Understanding the SDG Agenda for You - And What is an SDG?

The whole world is focused on set of global goals with 17 different impact areas and 197 different targets that we're aiming to achieve by 2030 - but in Australia, most of us wouldn't even know what these are!
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the guiding principles of international development, agreed to by 197 member countries of the UN, which replaced the Millenium Goals (and let's not talk about how many of those we reached...). When meeting with people from developing countries, the SDGs are the guiding themes for impact, community development and social enterprise - but in first world countries, these hardly race a mention.
Let's change that - now!
2030 isn't that far away - and we all have a role to play. Learn about the SDGs, what they mean for us in a first world country (and what we'll learn about where we aren't doing as well as we thought), and how every single business, entrepreneur, government agency and individual can align their efforts and achievements to help the global community get closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

13 October,
4:10pm — 4:30pm AEDT

Find Your Impact: An Interactive Virtual Experience

2020 has left many of us reeling. From devastating bushfires to a worldwide campaign against systemic racism, and a global pandemic that has brought unprecedented challenges to our health system and economy, we’re facing a season of rapid change unlike any other. What better time than now to be working together to develop the world of the future? Find out how you can create positive impact and contribute to Australia’s economic recovery using UTS Startups' Find My Impact virtual experience.

13 October,
6:40pm — 7:00pm AEDT

The Startup Journey: Binsense

Waste contamination is a global problem and individual, councils/government organisations and private sector are constantly working towards addressing this. But there is a lack of understanding of how to effectively address this and reduce the impact on our environment. Stakeholders at all levels need to address this so we can put measures in place to reduce consumption, improve waste management practice at source be an individual or an organisation and work towards creating a circular economy.

14 October,
3:00pm — 3:30pm AEDT

Why All Investors Should Now Be Impact Investors

The growing impact investment market provides capital to address the world’s most pressing environmental and societal challenges. In Australia alone, the impact investing market has grown by 250% in the last 2 years, reaching an estimated value of $19.9 billion*.
But as we design a new world Post-covid-19, impact investing imposes itself as the new smart investing.
Join this session to discuss the benefits impact investing brings and why the growth opportunities that come with purpose-led startups should be on all investors' agenda.
*Source: 2020 Benchmarking Impact Report & From Values to Riches 2020

15 October,
8:00am — 8:50am AEDT

Making Brands a Force for Positive Change

Businesses today need to be crystal clear about the value they bring. More than ever, they need to help people achieve their own ambitions – not just deliver on corporate goals. Particularly in the trying times we live in right now, there is a greater appetite for creating positive change. Start-ups are in a position to create new ways of doing things that enhance feelings of optimism and a sense of community while looking to the future.
Enduring businesses truly empathise with the people they are designing for, make complex decisions simple and help people connect to what really matters.
In short, they build brands that thrive.
Join us in this LIVE interactive session where we will explore how to build enduring brands that thrive. Using real-life examples, we will walk you through a selection of different exercises using a seriously imaginative approach where you will learn how to draw on culture, context and empathy to truly understand the people you are designing for, the key questions you need to ask, and the elements you need to define to build not just a better brand, but a better business that becomes a force for positive change.

19 October,
1:00pm — 1:50pm AEDT

Innovation and Social Impact with the Honourable Malcolm Turnbull, Professor Hala Zreiqat and Adam Spencer

With the tumultuous year that is 2020, the University of Sydney is bringing together Australia's best thought-leaders to redefine what innovation is and discuss its inextricable link to social impact.
Join former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Eureka Prize Winner for Innovative Use of Technology (2019) Hala Zreiqat, and duo heavyweight in mathematics and comedy Adam Spencer, in a panel to discuss the future of Innovation and Social Impact in Australia.

20 October,
9:00am — 9:45am AEDT

Business Driving Social Change: Social Enterprise

Social enterprise and BCorps are the next frontier in business. Learn about how social enterprise is supporting the change in the world, and taping into a new consumer - the Gen Z's -who want their purchases to support a better world.

20 October,
9:55am — 10:30am AEDT

The Startup Journey: charityBay

Join us to hear the story of 2 young social entrepreneurs applying technology for social change and environmental sustainability.

Many people wish they could help those who are less fortunate, but the majority of us simply rely on charities to do their job. However, the reality is charities often find themselves focused on getting funding rather than pursuing their causes, due to the fact that cash donations are a challenge to most. What if we can solve this problem?

charityBay is the world's first and only online marketplace that converts items/services/time into cash donations, where the proceeds are directed to the charity of choice as chosen by the donor, allowing the charities to focus on their social causes.

Tune in to learn how the social entrepreneurship journey looks in Australia.

21 October,
11:20am — 11:50am AEDT

Startup Stories: Iron Matrix

Why do we work? Why do we innovate? Why are we here? These questions led David Morgan on a journey which involved quitting his 20-year career in the oil and gas industry and resulted in the energy start-up, Iron Matrix. At the intersection of the energy and construction industries, Iron Matrix is on a mission to change the way the world sees and interacts with energy generation, storage and use. Each phase of Iron Matrix’s development has been underscored by the fundamental reality that everything we do and need in life requires energy.

21 October,
7:10pm — 8:10pm AEDT

The Great Australian Reset - Shaping Trust in Business

The onset of COVID-19 has fractured confidence, stability and trust across all sectors, presenting us with an economy-defining crossroads. The future of business is unclear and ready to be reshaped and it imperative that we do this with the best interests of our communities in mind.

Join this panel discussion moderated by Global Shaper Sydney Hub Curator, business strategist and leadership coach Taylor Hawkins, to discuss how a Great Reset of trust within our commercial landscape is desired and required to build the thriving businesses of tomorrow. Taylor will be joined by an esteemed panel which will include; Ed Santow, Human Rights Commissioner, Lindley Edwards, AFG Venture Group CEO, and Jehan Ratnatunga, VP Growth of Who Gives a Crap.

This event is the second of a three-part “The Great Australian Reset’ webinar series by the Global Shapers Sydney, a community of the World Economic Forum to convene multi-disciplinary leaders in Australia to discuss and take action on how to enable better outcomes in the areas of Climate Change and the Environment, Diversity and Inclusion, and Employment and Education.

22 October,
8:00am — 8:50am AEDT

Feeding the World Sustainably

Startups coming out of Universities can help farmers improve yield and reduce environmental footprint by building new products. Universities equip these startups with knowledge of the best technologies in AI, Robotics and IoT. This allows startups to design solutions with farmers using the latest research. The University of Sydney is partnering with the University of California Davis to showcase the impactful work of their startups who are helping to feed the world more sustainably. The panel will discuss the trends they are seeing in agtech and how entrepreneurs and investors can make the most out of this growing market opportunity.

23 October,
2:00pm — 3:00pm AEDT

The Great Australian Reset - Shaping a Clean Energy Revolution

From solar panels to student protestors, what more is needed to stop climate procrastination? As states shut down and societal efforts unite to fight our immediate crisis, it can be easy to forget: climate change isn’t cancelled.

Australia is entering a window of opportunity. Moderated by Darcy Small, Global Shaper and co-founder of Kua, this panel discussion will bring together expertise in clean energy technology, climate activism and business leadership. Eytan Lenko chairs Beyond Zero Emissions. Building from findings in the recent ‘Million Jobs Plan’, we’ll uncover why now is the time to catalyse a climate-smart recovery. Jess Miller governs as a City of Sydney Councillor and Kirstin Hunter champions holistically ethical investment as the CEO of Future Super. Reflecting on grassroots and corporate experiences, we’ll learn how to galvanise action amid a pandemic and answer the question: how do I participate?

This event is the final of a three-part “The Great Australian Reset’ webinar series. Run by the Global Shapers Sydney, a community of the World Economic Forum, the series convenes multi-disciplinary leaders in Australia to discuss and take action on how to enable better outcomes in the areas of Climate Change and the Environment, Diversity and Inclusion, and Employment and Education.

23 October,
3:10pm — 4:00pm AEDT

Responsible Business – Taking Imperfect Action, Not Perfect Inaction

Now, more than ever, businesses are facing pressure to act more ethically and responsibly. This has increased exponentially in 2020, with unprecedented challenges being met with intense scrutiny of a company’s response. From bushfires and pandemics to social injustice, business is not only affected by these situations, they are also expected to respond appropriately to an ever-widening range of issues.

Whilst we regularly see businesses making off the cuff statements, jumping on social media bandwagons and preparing well-meaning intentions, there still seems to be much less action. When the news cycle moves on and the response box is ticked, what is the real impact? What will change? What tangible and measurable action has been taken to move the needle forward?

Citizens, customers, investors and employees are all watching more closely than ever before to what a company actually does, not just what it says in the heat of the moment. To effectively face the type of crises that 2020 has been delivering, it is imperative that brands respond with action, not spin. This session will focus on examples and strategies to support businesses in taking meaningful, imperfect action over making perfect statements. Perfect inaction will not fly in 2020 and beyond.