Pause is cross-pollinating ideas across creative, tech and business industries

The creative, tech and business industries are no longer so separate. Combining each industry is what leads to world-class innovation and new age ideas that transform entire sectors. People are told to think outside the box and with festivals like Pause, Melbourne’s original digital festival, that also means thinking outside the industry.

Pause 2017 looks to ignite conversations across creative, tech and businesses industries and has divided the three-day event into each theme. While each day is focused on a specific theme, Pause is all about sharing and cross-pollinating ideas; showing its attendees how industries come together and push one another to innovate.

Pause has announced its first three key speakers who will be leading the conversations across each day. These speakers include Gawain Liddiard, VFX supervisor of US creative content studio, The Mill; Duncan Turner, managing director of global hardware accelerator, HAX, and Harry West, CEO of global design and strategy firm, frog.

Since its inception, Pause has played host to world leaders across a variety of different industries, bringing the best in global talent to Melbourne to inspire, engage and speak with festival attendees. This year, the number of applications to feature in the 2017 program was overwehelming – four times the amount the schedule could accommodate.

The popularity and success of Pause has seen the festival dubbed ‘the digital natives answer to Woodstock’ and grow into the Asia Pacific region’s leading digital conference event.


The first day of the festival is all about the creative industry, with the running theme: ‘Make ideas happen.’ Hedon explains that creativity is an experience that needs to come alive beyond a brief: “at the intersection of creative and technology, creatives are redefining the process of making ideas tangible.”

Speaking across both the creative and tech days The Mill’s Gawain Liddiard will be covering two interrelated topics: “VR: Passion Project to Hollywood Blockbuster” and “Introducing: The Mill BLACKBIRD.”

On behalf of The Mill, Liddiard will talk about the creative ideas and projects that are currently taking place in the creative content studio. For 26 years, The Mill has combined the talent of both artists and technologists to embrace both technology and creativity.

As VFX supervisor at The Mill, Liddiard has had the privilege of working on a huge range of projects, such as Google Spotlight Stories ‘HELP’ and Reeps One ‘Does Not Exist.’ Using these projects as case studies, Liddiard will be demonstrating how people can create powerful content at any level; as long as they have an in-depth understanding of both the technical and creative processes.

“When you cross-pollinate creative ideas with technology really amazing things can happen. If you understand the tools you’re using, and can make strong creative decisions, then you’re able to leverage those tools, generating an incredible burst of possibilities to show people new visuals and ideas never seen before,” said Liddiard.


The second day of the event is all about technology with the running theme: ‘Building successful products.’ When industries like creative and tech cross-pollinate the end result are products that challenge what has been possible.
“Without creativity or business, technology is for the sake of technology. But with every exciting step forward, there are consequences, risks and endless opportunities,” explains Hedon.

To marry together insights on creativity, Liddiard will also be giving a talk on the way products like VR are used to generate visuals people have never seen before. Liddiard explains that without combining the two, other industries may seem boxed in suffer from a lack of understanding on the tools that are available.

On the second day of Pause, Liddiard will be speaking about a new project called The Mill BLACKBIRD, the first fully adjustable car rig that creates photo real CG cars. BLACKBIRD was recently awarded the Cannes Lions Gold Innovation award and is a perfect example of the intersection of tech and creativity.

Also leading the discussion around technology and investment is Turner from the world’s largest hardware accelerator, HAX. Turner will be conducting a workshop to offer attendees a behind the scenes take on what it takes for a company to go from concept to market.

Turner will show attendees what it takes to makes an investable startup, how to use global markets like China to bootstrap development and how crowdfunding can be leveraged to boost market penetration.


The final day will cover everything business and will tie in conversations around the creative and tech industries. The running theme of the day will be ‘Master disruption,’ which will look at the moments of change that can define a business.

“Digital disruption is both a threat and an opportunity. Innovation is no longer optional and Business Day will look to explore whether the old and new can exist in harmony” explained Hedon.

Speaking on the day will be West from frog, who will share his thoughts on how design thinking may have made everyone a designer, but how it is the quality of design that ultimately determines the outcomes.

frog is a global design and strategy firm that helps to transform businesses through brand, product and user experience design. West will be speaking about how businesses can scale using design and innovation principles that ultimately enhance the human experience.

Throughout Business Day, Pause will be generating discussions around how technology and creativity are affecting the way a business is run and the opportunities businesses have to adopt new ways of thinking. Liddiard says the benefits of attending Pause are discussing the latest ideas, talking about things that have yet to be put into practice and then making them happen.

“It’s essential to learn from each other; to be inspired; to go and make great new things,” said Liddiard.

Pause Fest 2017 will take place at Federation Square on the 8th-10th of February 2017.

You can buy tickets now at the Pause website, right HERE.

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