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Wired For Wonder

Hi guys!

It’s Leah here. I’m the Marketing Assistant at Bockers & Pony.

Last month, I was given the wonderful opportunity to attend Commonwealth Bank’s annual ‘Wired For Wonder’ event held at Docklands.

Each year ‘Wired For Wonder’ features an impressive line up of speakers and discussions in the areas of technology, science, business, life and the arts. It aims to encourage self-discovery, innovation and inspiration both personally and for businesses.  

2015 marks the first year for Melbourne’s Wired For Wonder (the event was originally only held in Sydney) and what a success it was! I was able to hear great visionaries speak about their passion for their work and their view of the future. The speakers for this year included Nolan Bushnell, Jack Andraka, Hannah Fry, Cindy Gallop, Remo Giuffree, Sam Gosling, Ben Hammersley, Jordan Nguyen, Fiona Kerr and Aleks Krotoski. By the end of the day, I had absorbed so much knowledge and developed profound respect for the speakers that it was only natural to follow them on every social media platform possible.

Wired For Wonder – what an awe-inspiring day… Here’s how it unfolded!

Aleks Krotoski: Techno-fundamentalism and the ethics of innovation. Or, Seriously, don’t be evil.

After an intriguing breakfast of Hot Tomato and Tarragon Tea served with Potato Styrofoam, we ventured into the main hall for the commencement of the first keynotes. Journalist and academic Aleks Krotoski spoke about the ambiguity of technology and Techno-fundamentalism, the belief that technology drives society in different directions. She underlined the importance of ethics in innovation, where in a positive light, technology will drive history in the right direction. However, in a more negative light, it may go the other way and be deemed as ‘evil’.

Jack Andraka: The Hidden Innovator

Wow he’s so young! – That was the first thing that went through my mind when Jack Andraka stepped onto the Wired For Wonder stage. Do you remember what you were doing when you were 15? At 15, Jack worked on finding an early detection test for pancreatic cancer after a close family died from the illness. He talked about feeling frustrated with the lack of low cost and speedy screening methods for detecting pancreatic cancer at its early stages and set out to create one with a plan and budget in mind. His work has earned him numerous prestigious international awards, most notably a 2014 Jefferson Award which celebrates public service in America.

Nolan Bushnell: The future of Education and Gaming

Nolan Bushnell is a true pioneer for technology and one of the founding fathers of the video games industry. Charismatic, passionate and humorous, he took us on a journey of when he founded Atari Inc., Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Time Theatre and his never ending love for gaming and education. He likened life to a game, and how it’s necessary for businesses to change their managerial structure in order to thrive. He also equated business success with hiring creative, hardworking and talented employees. Which he did when he started Atari with an employee you may have heard of – Steve Jobs.

Francesca Sferlazza: See Make Play

To mix things up, we all had the choice of taking part in a workshop after lunch and I chose Francesca Sferlazza’s See Make Play. Previously a Primary school teacher for 10 years, Francesca left to pursue a more creative pursuit and started See Make Play. See Make Play is a creative space where anyone can make and exhibit art. We sat at tables scattered with bright pieces of coloured paper and were asked to cut up and create our very own circle art installation.    

Dandapani: Unlocking the Secrets of Meditation

Back at the main hall, we were introduced to Dandapani. After graduating from university with a degree of Electrical Engineering, Dandapani made a complete life change and left it all behind to become a Hindu monk. He practiced (for 10 years) a life of serious personal discipline and training at Hinduism’s notable spiritual leader, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami’s Hawaii monastery. Dandapani led us through a guided meditation session and spoke about resilience, self-development and how we are all a work in progress.

Guy Kawasaki: The Art of the Start

Crowd favourite Guy Kawasaki was back again this year and closed Wired For Wonder Melbourne with a simple yet fascinating keynote speech on ‘The Art of the Start’. Named after his new book, he advises entrepreneurs to not over complicate things when first starting out. He draws on his wealth of experience from working at Apple, Motorola and now as the chief evangelist of Canva – a free graphic design website for non-designers and professionals.

The day ended with a gorgeous Asian inspired dinner party. Everyone mingled over drinks and dined on scrumptious catering by The Atlantic Group. We even got to take home beautiful Wired For Wonder kaleidoscopes as a keepsake!


Until next time!

Leah xx