Leaders across education, workforce, health, and climate came together in Melbourne in the sixth event of our Global Impact Summits Series.
After last week’s virtual East Asia event, the Global Impact Summit series moved to Melbourne for a day of impact-focussed discussions, presentations and fireside chats with leading figures, founders, and experts from Australia and New Zealand. Opening the event with HolonIQ’s signature interactive overview of the global impact economy, Co-CEOs Maria Spies and Patrick Brothers set the scene for topics ranging from international education and OPM partnerships, to skills shortages and disability care and the state of the Australian climate tech ecosystem.
Connecting ecosystems was a dominant theme throughout the day, well summarised in a closing session with Google Cloud’s Ray Fleming and Keypath’s Chief Development Office Howell Williams, as part of a lively discussion on models and pathways for skills and jobs of the future:
“We’ve heard a lot of consideration about how industries and ecosystems connect, asking ‘which boxes do we play in? Will that work? How will it work?’ - and we’ve seen lots of great examples today”
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Early sessions in the main room at the summit tackled impact thematics head-on as we were joined by Giant Leap, Australia’s first venture capital fund 100% dedicated to impact startups, followed by Jared Ingersoll from Climate Salad, a network supporting climate tech founders and entrepreneurs in Australia. Investment manager Charlie Macdonald from Giant Leap noted that “the impact spark has become the impact movement”, with huge growth in climate tech funding; at the same time, however, investors in this space are often faced with difficult choices between hard-to-compare issues such as climate, social equity and health outcomes. Their ‘impact calculator’ offers a way to navigate such themes using an established framework and industry-recognised standards for assessing impact.
By way of example, Gönül noted the collaboration between Global Victoria's trade and investment office in India and the Karnataka government in south western India, who are working together to support Victorian irrigation innovator Rubicon Water on climate tech solutions addressing challenges to feed large populations whilst conserving water. In health, Grant Dooley described the collaboration between Breakthrough Victoria, Global Victoria, Invest Victoria and LaunchVic to support the expansion of health tech company Seer, who featured in an earlier summit session on the power of data and design in healthcare.
Evidencing outcomes and the impact of EdTech in K12, Higher Education, and Workforce.
Danni Jarrett highlighted the role of education as an enabler across many parallel ecosystems, including local capabilities as well as international expertise in partnership with universities and businesses. She noted, however, that tracking and measurement are crucial for supporting ongoing innovation:
“If you don’t measure it, it doesn’t become important”
In a panel session on evidencing outcomes in EdTech and online learning, EduGrowth Managing Director David Linke joined Google Cloud's Kevin Rodrigo to explore what efficacy means, and why it matters as technology is increasingly embedded into learning processes and education delivery. David also led several sessions on the EdTech ecosystem and investment in Australia, reminding the audience that education is Australia’s largest services export, worth $1b in export revenue. Sharing findings from a 2022 EduGrowth report on this thriving sector, he noted that 17,000 people are employed by Australian edtech companies, with many established companies growing significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a panel on strategic shifts in Australian Higher Education, Studiosity's Jack Goodman and OES Chief Academic Officer Sue Kokonis discussed the important role that collaboration between universities and education technology companies will have in improving student outcomes and experience.
“Universities have served us very well, but they may not fit so well with this particular moment. I don’t think the student experience has been front and centre, and with these digitally native companies nipping at universities’ heels, they will have to look at what they buy in, how they partner, or their capacity to build”
In a later session on new dynamics and opportunities in international education, Victorian Government Commissioners Michelle Wade (South Asia) and Rebecca Hall (Southeast Asia) echoed the need for changes in skills and mindsets to meet expectations for international students and reach new markets:
“Unless we want to stay in this paradigm of serving such a small part of the world’s population, we need to bring together conversations with governments, EdTechs, institutions and organisations”
Tech tackling skills shortages, improving diagnostics, and next gen telehealth.
The education and health tracks at the summit were connected by a number of ‘ecosystem’ threads. One such example is the skills shortage and clear need for innovation in healthcare education. Vivienne Mak, Director of Health & Clinical Programs at Keypath Education, noted how the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated a skills crisis and highlighted the challenges in meeting this demand. Traditional models of placement and fieldwork education are inadequate and institutions struggle to obtain clinical placement sites for the growing student population. Technology and innovations in healthcare simulation can be part of the solution to future-proof our health workforce.
The Australian Digital Health Agency is responsible for My Health Record, electronic prescriptions and other digital health programs under Australia’s national digital health strategy. CEO Amanda Cattermole spoke about the huge growth in programs such as these during COVID-19 in Australia, and slowly evolving attitudes towards the relevance of digital health both for patients and healthcare providers. Trust, privacy and security remain high on the agenda, and at the same time, increased expectations of connected data and tailored healthcare solutions.
“Our healthcare system isn’t a healthcare system, it’s a sick-care system; how do we move that to be less reactive and more predictive?”
In a fireside chat, Hitesh Mehta was one of several digital health entrepreneurs driving innovation in the sector not only in treating disease, but just as importantly to better diagnose and prevent - in this case using continuous diagnostic monitoring to tackle ‘fast-moving’ healthcare issues such as sepsis management and cardiovascular complications. Medtech devices, remote monitoring, telehealth and disability care were all under discussion during the health track, which also included the announcement of the Australia and New Zealand Health Tech 50, HolonIQ’s annual list of the most promising startups from across digital health, biotech, medtech and other areas where entrepreneurs are driving healthcare innovation.
Follow 100 Days of Impact
The Melbourne Summit marked Day 36 of 100 Days of Impact and a global wave of ideas and inspiration for the future of impact. As each week unfolds, we’re sharing key themes and content from each summit, including speaker highlights, insights from leading organizations and the winners of our regional EdTech, HealthTech and ClimateTech 1000s.
Stay tuned here for a weekly wrap as we move from New York and Mexico City to Bengaluru, Melbourne, Singapore and Jakarta, with exclusive insights from our participation at COP27 before our final summits in London, Paris, Berlin, and Stockholm. Be part of the action by registering for any of the face to face or virtual summits around the world, and see for yourself how 100 Days of Impact unfolds with our 5,000-strong global community.
Whether you’re participating or spectating from afar, find out the latest with #HolonIQSummits and by following @HolonIQ wherever you get your socials.
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Global Insights from HolonIQ’s Intelligence Unit. Powered by our Global Impact Intelligence Platform.