Advanced Manufacturing

Building smart cities: from digital islands to the innovation matrix

Keynote speaker Mr. Brook Dixon, Managing Director of Delos Delta.
Smart cities seek to leverage technology, proactive governance, financial and capability resources, and the talents and networks of their citizens, to create livable, prosperous and future-oriented communities.

Participates as a ‘smart citizens’ explored smart city breakthroughs, digital transformations and the power of networking communities of excellence at this presentation and workshop.

Welcome, Smart Citizens!

Smart cities are powered by technology, know-how, motivated people, great enterprises and enabled local, state and federal government bodies. Our host, Rowan Grant, Full Circle Venture Capital, introduced our featured speaker Brook Dixon who shared his insights on how successful smart cities are created and sustained.

Following Brook’s presentation, our expert panel facilitated a rapid ‘smart insights’ session, leveraging our ‘smart citizens’, to explore possibilities and opportunities. The overall aim of this event was to continue to build and connect the pockets of excellence in our ‘community of communities’. Graphic facilitators and AGILE experts were on hand to speed and capture the outcomes! Panel members included Jodie Moule, Symplicit Co-founder, an expert in start-up culture and design thinking, and Christy McLeod, Digital Innovation Manager at Sunsuper, an expert in transforming data into actionable ideas.

A few of the memorable moments from the presentation and Panel.

People first! That’s the message from #smartcitiesqut. In a debate often dominated by technology, we flipped the paradigm, nominating the understanding of people and local communities as priority number one for a smart city.

Moments of serendipity make connections and inspire insights, we gave serendipity a little helping hand, bringing people together from disparate fields, and shaking up the smart city discussion.”

Highlights from the Graphic facilitators and the folks who participated in the Workshop session!

Graphic facilitation by Bizdraw.

Our Keynote Brook Dixon, Managing Director of Delos Delta, explored the lessons from global smart cities, drawing on his Sir Winston Churchill Fellowship study tour.

“Be a digital democracy”, said Mr. Dixon “All the leading smart cities practice this principle, by talking to people about digital technology, engaging them in collaborative design of new services, and by using digital technology to talk to people, broadening and deepening city dialogue.”

Graphic facilitation by Beenish Zaidi.

Thanks too, to our multi-disciplinary panel, who gave us new perspectives on the smart city movement.  Though coming from varying fields, Rowan Grant (finance), Jodie Moule (design), and Christy McLeod (digital innovation), all conveyed a passion for building better cities and openness to new connections and new business models.

Graphic facilitation by Bizdraw.

Smart financing was also identified as a critical element for building a smart, innovative community.  “So many people have great ideas, but too many great ideas wither and die without access to funding”, said Rowan Grant, Forum panelist, and Partner at Full Circle Venture Capital.  “Connecting creativity and capital is immensely powerful – it’s the pathway from inspiring talk to purposeful walk, which we are here to support.”


“Smart cities leverage technology, enable proactive governance, financial and capability resources, and enable the talents and networks of their citizens, to create livable, prosperous and future-oriented communities. ‘Smart citizens’ create smart city breakthroughs, digital transformations and the benefit from power of networking communities of excellence.”

Graphic facilitation by Elabor8.

The outcome!

To enhance the many smart cities initiatives in Australia, we will develop and release a Smart City communique.  Our session developed an agenda for our October event, and communicate ‘outwards’, which gives purpose and leverages influence.

Brook Dixon is Managing Director of Delos Delta, driving smart city and digital transformation for clients around the world.  He is also Vice President of the Australian Smart Communities Association, working with counterparts across Australia to promote smart city solutions that improve livability, sustainability, and productivity in our cities. Brook is a Churchill Fellow. He studies the drivers of digital transformation in leading global cities.

Rowan Grant is the co-founder and Partner at Full Circle Venture Capital and co-founder of SmartBooks Online. Rowan’s interests are on startups and helping entrepreneurs build companies. His businesses focus on early-stage companies in SaaS, eCommerce & fintech.

Check out the highlights on YouTube:

Listen to Brook and our QUT GSB Podcaster, Dr. Kate Joyner, chat!

Thank you to all who participated in this event held in the QUT Executive Education Centre on 28 July 2017. We encourage you to add your comments to help continue this conversation.


Tony is a Corporate Educator for QUT, teaching strategic thinking, strategy implementation, innovation and marketing. He has strong expertise in strategic thinking and business planning, innovation and creative processes, and leadership development. Tony’s research interests include employee loyalty, organisational climates, and corporate reputation.

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