Heads of Innovation Forum


Smart Services CRC, Sirca and Woolworths co-hosted our 3rd Heads of Innovation Forum for Innovators and business transformers on 30 April 2014.


Held at Sirca in the Rocks a robust conversation took place on topics such as:


  • inspiring future generations to start their own business;
  • changing the way Australia educates to generate more visionaries and leaders (Montessori theory encourages creativity not conformity);
  • building for the world’s population not just the 16 million adults in Australia;
  • corporate conversations with the start-up community to make it easier to succeed;
  • corporate tendency to dominate rather than collaborate;
  • Innovation culture and supporting ecosystems;
  • the need to think more and encourage/create/promote our powerhouse leaders, intellectuals and radical visionaries;
  • the ASX sweet spot for overseas companies to list here first;
  • the need for more unguarded moments (favourite song by the Church and perhaps our theme song for this session);
  • how in Silicon Valley and Israel failure is expected and is a precursor to success;
  • promoting Australia’s thought leaders to younger generations;
  • the need to invest in the social capital of the innovation ecosystem;
  • the need for educators to have start-up experience;
  • national endemic complacency;
  • how only plan B works;
  • to always ask “how can I help”?




07:30 Breakfast, Coffee & Conversation
08:00 Welcome & introductions (Paul McCarthy, Director, Strategy and Innovation, Sirca & Daniel Austin, Head - Research & Development, Smart Services CRC
08:10 Session 1 conversation kick-off - Paul McCarthy, Director, Strategy and Innovation, Sirca
08:20 Session 1 around the table sharing of experiences, stories, ideas and insights
09:00 Session 2 conversation kick off - Has Fakira, Head of Multi Option Retail, IT, Woolworths Limited
09:10 Session 2 around the table sharing of experiences, stories, ideas and insights
09:55 Closing comments, the next forum


The following people attended:



Has Fakira Head of Multi Option Retail, IT


Paul McCarthy Director, Strategy and Innovation
Sirca Mike Briers

Group CEO

Smart Services CRC Warren Bradey


Smart Services CRC Daniel Austin

Head of R&D

Smart Services CRC Annette Dockerty

Market Development Manager

Westfields Labs Ian Tinsley Head of Engineering
Action Foresight Tim Mansfield

Strategic Futures Expert

Jumptank Justin Baird

Group Director of Innovation

NORA Paul Greenberg


Fairfax Media Danielle Szetho

Manager, Data and Audience Analytics

Zeetings Tony Surtees


Zeetings Rob Kawalsky Co-Founder & CEO
Woolworths Georgie Fleischer

Business Account Manager - Multi Option Retail

Sirca Chris Mendez

Chief Technology Officer

News Corp Australia Mark Drasutis

Head of Innovation


Kim Chandler McDonald

Flat World Navigator, Co-Founder & Executive Vice President

Contextf Luca Gatti


AIMIA David Holmes