Our view from the very back row

Hi there! Let us introduce ourselves. We’re Helena, Sophie, and McKeeley – led by Lisa & Nadine, we’re the crew behind the festival. Nice to meet you!

For each of us, 2021 was our first experience of Something Digital. After months and months of working to bring the festival to life, we finally got the chance to actually experience it. Did it meet expectations? No. IT EXCEEDED THEM!

It can be hard to put into words the feeling that SD gives you, but we’re going to try our best. Here are the top 5 hits from #SD2021, from our perspective in the back row. 

 

#5 – The great transfer of knowledge

The Precinct played host to our stellar masterclasses. And while the concept was clear enough on paper, nothing to beat actually seeing them in action. Legends of the industry, standing before students, start ups, and small businesses, passing on their years of industry experience – what a sight to see!

In a world of fierce competition, the instinct is to hoard knowledge, understanding, and new ideas for the benefit of our own ventures. But knowledge can only grow when it is shared from one brain to another. And seeing that in action was most certainly a favourite moment of ours. 

 

#4 – Bearing witness to new connections

Following 2 years of lockdowns, working from home, and the repetition of ‘you’re on mute’, there was something magical just having people together IRL. And if the line for the coffee cart wasn’t the perfect networking opportunity, we made sure there were plenty others. 

Our Speed Networking left attendees with 3 minutes on the clock to break the ice and make a new connection. For some people, that would be their cue to run… but the digital ecosystem are braver than that. They took a deep breath, gripped their chair, and dove in. 

And weren’t they glad they did! The feedback from our speed networking participants was truly incredible. Fast-paced, eclectic and epic to be a part of!

 

#3 – Content that left us talking

With the program as jam-packed and incredible as it was, it’s hard to pick a favourite speaker or topic. But there were a handful that left us talking for days…

For Sophie, the Olympics block was an eye opener about the future of Queensland. Hosting the 2032 Olympics is a game changer for Queensland, opening new opportunities, possibilities and innovation at our doorstep. And seeing Nat Cook live on stage with her gold Olympic medals… 😱😱😱

For Helena, it was hearing from an Indigenous perspective. Witnessing the connection and moments of pure joy on stage between Cassandra Diamond, Brett Leavy, Gullara McInnes and Sarah Pearson, discussing how Indigenous knowledge can inform responsible technology, brightened our day! This panel delivered on an incredibly interesting, important and informative panel topic. 

In preparing to stream Jen Wong live to the Precinct audience, McKeeley had some time one-on-one with Jen on Zoom. And what a lightbulb ‘oh my god’ moment for McKeeley realising she was sitting on Zoom with the Chief Operating Officer of Reddit. I’ll say that again – the Chief Operating Officer of Reddit.

In 2021, we promised our best program ever. Promise delivered!

 

#2 – The non-digital of it all…

Despite being a festival celebrating anything and everything digital, we have to acknowledge that the digital ecosystem isn’t made up of programs or software, the latest gadgets or online platforms: it’s made up of people. 

And at Something Digital, we got to bring those people together and see our ecosystem grow bigger, better and stronger! 

There’s not many events that put startups and small business owners in the same room as titans of industry and government bodies, along with our incredible team of volunteers, made up of high school and university students.

 

#1 – The disco ball!!

Something Digital delivered over 90 world-class speakers, 4 days of content and activations, 2 amazing venues, yet 1 thing stole the show for us… the disco ball at the Tivoli! Walking in the doors of the Tivoli to see it all set up, the disco ball shining down on the epic venue, we all had the realisation that Something Digital really is something special, magical, and oh so different! 

Turns out, even with all that Something Digital had to offer… we really do just love shiny things.

 

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