Golden advice from nation’s brightest innovators

Forward Fest 2022 with MMA athlete Alexander Volkanovski

Want to learn how “tough decisions, wild mistakes and bold moves” can create success and make the world a better place?

How about how artificial intelligence can benefit your business and discovering the new technologies we can expect in 2030?

The Sunshine Coast is soon to host Forward Fest, where some of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs and global futurists come together to share their golden tips with the local business community.

The two-day event at Venue 114 on August 2-3 will include presentations and collaboration on four key themes: Innovation and Technology; Customer Experience and Marketing; Skills of the Future; and Business Support and Growth.

It will be open to everyone from individuals to businesses who want to learn from the best and brightest.

High calibre guest speakers include Daniel Flynn, co-founder and managing director of one of Australia’s most successful start-ups, Thankyou, and Chris Riddell, award-winning global futurist.

Mr Flynn said he was excited to be invited to share his insights at Forward Fest.

The Nielsen 2022 Brand Sustainability Report ranked Mr Flynn’s social enterprise – which sells water, body care, and food products – number one out of 247 leading brands in Australia.

“My journey started when I was 19 and, 12 years later, Thankyou’s products are stocked by major retailers in Australia, with every product contributing to helping end global poverty,” Mr Flynn said.

“The Thankyou journey has come with tough decisions, wild mistakes and bold moves.

“I’m looking forward to sharing these insights with the Sunshine Coast business community at Forward Fest!”

Thriving Through Change

Forward Fest will incorporate the popular Thriving Through Change Business Resilience Expo in recognition of the alignment these events have around showcasing local innovation.

The Thriving Through Change Expo brings together the Sunshine Coast business community to discover the expansive network of support available to help build resilience and opportunities for growth.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said he was delighted to see two amazing events united to help local businesses accelerate, develop and embrace innovation.

“Council is excited to have our signature expo, Thriving Through Change, headline at Forward Fest to enable local businesses to access the incredible speakers, learnings and practical tools these events offer in a one-stop-shop,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“It’s also a great fit for our region, which has embraced game-changing infrastructure like the international broadband cable, Sunshine Coast Airport expansion, Maroochydore City Centre and new cyber threat intelligence headquarters.”

Local businesses will be able to connect with government support agencies, Chambers of Commerce and Industry Groups, obtain resources, and learn about the latest business trends.

The Thriving Through Change Expo will run from 3pm-8pm on August 3, 2023 at Venue 114 with workshops on AI and digital marketing, plus a FREE networking session with a keynote address by global futurist Chris Riddell.

Silicon Coast chief engagement officer and co-founder Craig Josic said Forward Fest would also provide an opportunity for local business to showcase their innovative products and services.  

“As the business landscape continues to evolve, it is imperative for decision-makers to stay up-to-date with the latest innovative solutions,” Mr Josic said.

“The inclusion of the Innovation Showcase at Forward Fest promises to be a dynamic platform for businesses to showcase their cutting-edge products, services and digital solutions.”

Businesses keen to exhibit should express their interest at by July 7, 2023.

Tickets for Forward Fest are available now. The dynamic and engaging program includes:

  • BreakFWD: featuring Daniel Flynn for an extraordinary morning of inspiration and delicious breakfast ($55 per ticket or $99 day pass early bird special).
  • CSIRO Research and Innovation Showcase: share your coolest ideas and be inspired by boundary-pushing researchers and innovators.
  • Explore innovative and promising investment opportunities: whether you’re seeking investment or simply looking for inspiration, this event, presented by QIC is not to be missed.
  • Advanced Manufacturing Trends and Innovations: uncover the latest trends and ground-breaking ideas shaping the future of manufacturing.
  • Brisbane 2032 Olympics and Paralympic Games: gain inspiration from innovative solutions and explore how your business can become involved in this exciting event.
  • Small to Medium Business Success Stories: be energised and inspired by success stories and innovative ideas that are shaping the future of business.
  • Business Beyond 2030: a FREE keynote event featuring global futurist Chris Riddell.
  • AI Tools for Small Business: how to utilise AI in your everyday business operations.
  • Beyond Facebook and Instagram: how to leverage emerging social media channels to target potential customers.

For the full program and more information visit:

Forward Fest is proudly supported by Silicon Coast, Sunshine Coast Council, Queensland Government, CSIRO, Australia Zoo, Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC).



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