IF Melbourne has brought together an amazing panel of experts and thought leaders to discuss innovation in business, strategy, marketing, brand and emerging trends in 2010. Following on from the success of IF Sydney in November, here is a quick profile on the panel of speakers.

To learn more or book tickets, visit EVENTBRITE HERE.



Ben Crowe :: Director – Gemba
Previously the International Director of Sports Marketing for NIKE in USA and Asia. A founding partner of Gemba, an Entertainment consultancy which exists to help the sports & entertainment industry do things better and be better for it.

Working with Govt, consumer brands and sports & entertainment bodies from Quiksilver, AFL, Cricket Australia to globally recognised brands.

Paul Breen :: Writer, entrepreneur, innovator
Paul is the originator of “pop-up” retailing in Australia/New Zealand and is perhaps best known for founding the 185 store seasonal retail chain, Calendar Club. Commencing this venture with $30,000 of capital in 1995 the business now has a 35% market share and annual sales of $20m (all achieved in 10 weeks every year!) He is currently the chairman of Calendar Club’s International Advisory Board which oversees 650 stores in five countries.
He has also co-owned and/or operated several other businesses in recent years, including an investment/advisory business focused on small to medium sized enterprises. Notably, he was a co-investor, and mentor to the founding CEO, of an electronic payments business which grew from start-up to $400,000,000 in annual sales and was sold to a listed US company. The business now has a 90% market share, sales of $2bn per annum and along the way fundamentally changed its industry sector.
Paul has been involved with companies of all sizes, some well-known and some not. These include privately owned businesses, corporations and private equity firms. In the last ten years he has held board directorships in six private companies across four countries. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Melbourne Angels Investment Group.

Mick Calder :: Director – 333
I spend most of my time fixing businesses, or helping people to fix them. How and why and in what order they need repairing constantly changes. The people in them constantly change, and we need to be able change our thinking from ‘Boardroom’ to ‘factory floor’ on the fly.

Key attributes for success are versatility, empathy, passion to make things better, and remain undamaged by the past … always forward looking.

Not sure why I’m on an innovation panel. I always thought innovation was like love — it was just there (or it wasn’t) — and no matter how hard we tried to manufacture it, we couldn’t. It happens at the most unusual times in the most unusual places. Then again, maybe it’s more like trust … some people have it, some can spread it to others, and others will never get it … but we need it.

I work with some of the least and most innovative people you will come across. Blending it together makes for an interesting experience.

Rebecca Scott :: CEO – Streat
For two years Bec was the Vice-President of KOTO, a hospitality training program and social enterprise for street youth in Hanoi.

Prior to this she worked for a decade in management positions at CSIRO, Australia’s premier science research organisation (roles included Internal Communication Manager, National Coordinator of CSIRO’s Double Helix Science Club and Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics Manager). Prior to this she won a scholarship to the Australian National University and travelled Australia as part of the Shell Questacon Science Circus. And prior to even this she trained as a plant biologist.

Bec has founded a number of large interdisciplinary programs (particularly international science art programs) and helped establish the ACT Film Makers’ Network. For six years she has been on the Board of the Australian Choreographic Centre. In 2005 she was awarded the Vincent Fairfax Fellowship, an 18-month program to further develop outstanding young Australians who have demonstrated strong ethical leadership.

Bec is passionate about the role that governments, NGOs, businesses and community groups can play together in poverty reduction and sustainable development. She has a Masters in International and Community Development.

In her spare time she writes a gardening and cooking newsletter A Moveable Feast for friends and family. She gardens, photographs, practices yoga, makes art and plays with her son Will.

Laura Demasi :: innovation director
Laura started her media career 15 years ago at Vogue magazine. In 2002 she released her first (non-fiction) book, The Ladies Room: The Stories Behind Australia’s most Fascinating Women, published by Harper Collins.

After working on most of Australia’s fashion & lifestyle glossy magazines, Laura landed at the Sydney Morning Herald where for six years she covered everything from social trends, marketing and design to fashion, lifestyle and celebrities.  Her ability to identify trends in the social and lifestyle spheres earned her several prestigious columns in the paper (and its magazines including The Sydney Magazine) and later blogs on smh.com.au.

Laura has also produced and presented online video for smh.com.au, co-producing and presenting two 12-part series for the hugely popular news site.

In 2007 she moved into brand and innovation consulting, co-founding the consulting arm of popular website, www.thecoolhunter.net, which helped brands inject a dose of “cool” into their products and marketing communications, working with clients such as Toshiba Germany, British American Tobacco UAE, Havaianas Brazil, Lion Nathan Australia, Red Bull Australia and Carlton United Brewery Australia.

Geoffrey McDonald Bowll :: MD – Starship
Is Captain of The Starship. Geoffrey is well known for his monthly Guerrilla Guide in Marketing Magazine. He has over 25 years experience in advertising, market research and strategy planning.

He studied Marketing at Monash and worked in research with Frank Small & Associates, Agrimark, Morgans, Reark etc., specialising in behavioral change and advertising effectiveness.

Geoffrey launched The Starship in 1991. Starship is a creative-based, full service, media accredited, integrated ad/design agency handling clients such as Metricon, Sea Shepherd, Vetta Pasta and government accounts.

Starship’s campaigns use all media, from free to air TV, web, out bound emails and SMS/SEO etc.

He is short, balding, usually grumpy, talks fast and thinks very slowly.


[IF] The INNOVATION FORUM is where remarkable thought leaders come together to share ideas. The forums channel energy and direction towards solving the pressing issues for organizations both large and small across varying markets and demographics.

uncluttered white spaces seeks to reinvent the traditional notion of “networking” by enabling interactions and long-term relationships through the IF.

IF is for people to share ideas and networks by meeting other remarkable people. It’s about people that inspire more action, better ideas, and new ways of seeing the world.

The impact you have in your life is shaped by the people you meet. We simply seek to accelerate that process.

IF is designed to connect local innovators and experts to discuss far-reaching themes like marketing, online, design, and more.

Videos of the forums are uploaded and shared on the uncluttered white spaces (dot com) website, transforming these local perspectives into global visions. All guests to the IF events are forever connected through the social INNOVATIONS webs site.

At the end of each event, a report is sent out to the attendees updating them on the findings from the night.


The world thrives on a community of remarkable individuals, they are all around us. In an age of sharing and networking, IF brings local innovators face-to-face to define and refine their ideas.  Videos taken from the forums deliver those ideas to the world. The ideas are then connected forever through the online network of members.


Drawing from business, marketing, design, strategists and innovators, IF brings together and connects like minded remarkable people with a focus on lateral thinking, a desire to share their knowledge, with a goal of forging new networks.