FAI graffiti‘Interesting People Doing Interesting Things’ is the theme for the upcoming Festival of Ambitious Ideas, a unique event filled with ideas and viewpoints from all corners of Canberra. The quarterly event is a collaboration between local innovation consultancy, Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre, and the Canberra Airport. It is designed to be fast-paced and informal, following the Ignite format where speakers each only have 5 minutes to tell their story and ‘ignite’ the audience.

Lighthouse CEO Anna Pino says, “The Festival of Ambitious Ideas provides a platform for the intersection of different fields and disciplines; where academics, public servants and entrepreneurs; experienced speakers and students can all engage in conversation”.

According to Ms Pino, the inspiration for the event comes from the Medici family, who in 15th century Italy were instrumental in bringing together scientists, poets, artists and architects in the town of Florence. Here they swapped ideas, learned from each other, and collaborated. This brought about one of the most creative and innovative periods in history - the Renaissance.

“The Festival of Ambitious Ideas is our way of bringing together all the people in Canberra who are prepared to give things a go and do something bold,” says Ms Pino.

Melissa Evans, Head of Marketing and Communications Canberra Airport says, “We are a city with business and tourism opportunities that are worthy of a nation’s capital. Tapping into such opportunities requires allowing yourself to think in new ways, and being open to others who can help make them a reality. We trust the speakers at this year’s Festival of Ambitious Ideas will not only inform and entertain their audience, but also inspire a host of similarly brilliant initiatives.”

The speakers for this Festival of Ambitious Ideas are:

  • Elizabeth Scott, Canberra Academy of Dramatic Art (CADA)
    ‘What Theatre Does’
  • Prof. Gordon Waddington, University of Canberra
    ‘Mums and Dads, Athletes and Astronauts’
  • Mark Gaykema, Rosemark Water Tanks
    ‘Doing Interesting Things’
  • Anne Masters, Gallery of Small Things
  • Dr Leif Hanlen, Data61
    ‘Data61 – Digital Legislation’
  • Clyde Rathbone, Karma
    ‘The best gift you can give’
  • Korske Ara, World Photo Day
    ‘How your photos can help inspire a better world’
  • Dr Sue Williamson, UNSW Canberra
    ‘Achieving Workplace Gender Equality: Next Steps’
  • Sean Fenemore, Savage Yeti
    ‘From scrap to App’
  • Catherine Jaktman, Jaktman Gallery
  • Dr Jospeh Winter, Australian Institute of Sport (AIS)
    ‘Our Quantified Self – to share or not to share?’
  • Lisa LaMaitre, Canberra Wise Women
    ‘Where is the Love?’
  • Steve Rohan-Jones, Big Picture Events
    ‘The Art of Reinvention’


Where: Brindabella Conference Centre, Brindabella Business Park, 33-35 Brindabella Circuit, Majura ACT

When: from 5:30pm on the 2nd of November

Tickets: Tickets can be purchased at http://www.fai-interestingpeople.eventbrite.com.au