The 2023 BiiG Festival - Innovation for Impact brought together a diverse range of professionals to share their ideas on how innovation can lead to positive social impact. This multi-day event was filled with panels, presentations, and break-out sessions.
We had the privilege of attending both Day 2 and Day 3 of the conference, and we're thrilled to provide you with a comprehensive overview of this exciting event. For a full breakdown of Day 3, head here.
Insights from Day 2 of the 2023 BiiG Festival
Day 2 of the conference was filled with insightful presentations on a range of topics. Zoe Kemp and Sarah Mitchell shared their experience on how to engage young people in policy-making, while Kaye Hewson presented the Australian Teletrial Program. Joanna Costello discussed the Injury Code Assistant, Lisa Beach presented the Disaster Impact Survey, and Paulette Oldfield talked about building future employment pathways for youth in Logan. Finally, Michelle Haywood and Kellie McGowan presented the Queensland Digital License Application.
Engaging youth in policy decisions
One of the presentations was given by Zoe Kemp and Sarah Mitchell from the Office of Youth at the Department of Environment and Science. They shared their experience on how to engage young people in policy-making and consulting them on matters that affect their lives. According to their research, 54% of young people feel like they have no say in the things that impact their lives. To address this issue, Kemp and Mitchell suggested that young people should be consulted and informed about policies that concern them. They also suggested that younger generations should be involved in every step of the process, including the location of consultations. To make consultations more engaging, they recommended using social media and in-person consultations, where young people can be incentivised with food or certificates.
Telehealth in regional communities
Another presentation was given by Kaye Hewson, Director of the Australian Teletrial Program, Queensland Health. The program was created to bring clinical trials closer to home for Australians in rural, regional, and remote areas. The program's aim was to provide access to clinical trials, as 88% of clinical trials were conducted in metro areas. The program enables telehealth via a primary site and cluster of satellite trials, allowing for clinical trials to be conducted in regional and rural areas.
Hewson mentioned that since the program's inception, 96 trials have either started or converted at 70 sites, with 584 patients recruited, and staff across regional, rural, or remote areas receiving training.
Injury codes and MAIC
Joanna Costello, Principal Claims Specialist, presented the Injury Code Assistant (MAIC), which was created to free up high-value staff. Costello stressed the importance of ongoing collaboration between technologies and businesses, and external collaboration with thought leaders to supercharge impact. Amazon, QUT, CSIRO, and insurers were among the organisations that collaborated on this project. Costello explained how they enabled technologists to solve puzzles using various tools such as Amazon Textract, Amazon Comprehend Medical, search engines, rules engines, and handwriting recognition. Participants were curious about how they handled the quality assurance of handwriting detection.
Disaster Impact Survey (DAF)
Lisa Beach presented the Disaster Impact Survey (DAF) and how it was created to crowd-source data from affected farmers using the Survey123 app. The app automatically updates spreadsheets, and SharePoint, and adds images to mapping pages. Officers use this data to proactively look for areas that might be impacted by disasters but haven't submitted any information yet. The platform's flexibility allows for connections with industry partners, providing them with vital information during floods. Participants praised the platform for its simplicity and effectiveness.
Future employment pathways for Youth in Logan
Paulette Oldfield, from the City Transformation Team at Logan City Council, presented the innovation partnership to build future employment pathways for youth in Logan. She explained how the city's growth led to labour shortages and high youth unemployment, with 15% of Logan's youth being unemployed. To address this issue, Oldfield and her team developed industry and school bus tours to show students what job opportunities were available nearby. They also organised an employer expo called "Bridge to Business," which connected over 300 students directly to employment opportunities.
Queensland Digital License Application
Finally, Michelle Haywood and Kellie McGowan from Transport and Main Roads (TMR) presented the Queensland Digital License Application. They started by involving customers, the QLD police, and accessibility groups in the procurement process. They built prototypes and tested them to create an application that can be used by all. Not just select groups. Excitingly, this application should be made available to the public in 2023.
At the Biig Festival - Innovation for Impact (Day 2), we observed a few recurring themes. The first was the importance of people, collaboration, and openness in driving innovation. Speakers highlighted the need to bring together diverse perspectives and work collaboratively to solve complex problems. Additionally, there was a focus on the potential of technology to support these efforts, with discussions around the role of data and digital platforms in fostering collaboration and innovation.
As a private sector observer, we see the potential of these innovative efforts, but also recognise the challenges that come with implementing change in the government sector. Change can often be slow and difficult to achieve, particularly when different agencies or departments are operating in very different ways. However, we believe that collaboration and openness can help to bridge these gaps and drive meaningful progress. By bringing together people from different backgrounds and perspectives, and leveraging the power of technology, we can work towards a more innovative and impactful government sector.
If you missed Day 3, don't worry - we'll be breaking it down in another blog post soon. So stay tuned to learn more about the innovative ideas and solutions presented at this fantastic event. Let's keep pushing forward towards a better future through innovation and impact!