Innovation Month 2013 – Inspire, Design, Deliver

What is it all about?

Innovation Month 2013 (20 May – 14 June) is innovation in action! It’s all about collaboration and creativity – sharing new ideas, solutions and priorities to get better results and outcomes. The theme of Innovation Month 2013 is ‘Inspire, Design, Deliver’.


Innovation Month 2013 includes open public events and internal agency activities. Events will be added here as details are finalised – please contact us if you would like your event added. Some events will be invitation only whereas others will be open to all who are interested.

  • 20 May – Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Launch of innovation strategy and innovation mentors (invitation only event)
  • 20 May– APS Innovation ’13: Inspire, Design, Deliver – So what? – Opening of APS Innovation Month at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) by Dr Kim Ritman, DAFF Chief Scientist. An open event, 10.00 to 11.00am in DAFF National Conference Centre, 7 London Circuit Canberra City
  • 20 May – Uinfoshare France – a presentation by Christopher Tallec, Uinfoshare, France (tentative)
  • 20 May – Lunch and learn Master Class with Christophe Tallec – Christophe Tallec from Uinfoshare France will be conducting a lunch and learn master class following his presentation for Department of Human Services (DHS) (invitation only event) (tentative event)
  • 20 May – Unravelling the impact of climate change on plant productivity – a presentation by Dr Robert Sharwood, University of Western Sydney. An open event, 2.30 to 3.30pm in DAFF National Conference Centre, 7 London Circuit Canberra City.
  • 21 May – Personas and user pathways workshop – as part of its project for the APS looking at how to dramatically improve interactions between business and government, DesignGov (with the Australian Taxation Office) is running a workshop as part of Innovation Month to test how the design methods of personas and user pathways can add value (invitation only event)
  • 21 May – Why design? How DAFF is using common sense to beat rocket-science and make lives better – a presentation by Claire Murray, Design Services Lead at DAFF.  (event for DAFF staff only)
  • 22 May – Personas and user pathways (experienced edition) – working with public servants with experience with these design tools, DesignGov and the Australian Taxation Office will explore the potential for cross-agency collaboration and frameworks in this space (invitation only event)
  • 22 May – NBN Webinar Showcase – mini showcase of DHS webinar functionality (event for DHS staff only)
  • 22 May – Tracking changes in land use and vegetation condition – a presentation by Adjunct Associate Professor Richard Thackway, University of Queensland. An open event, 2.30 to 3.30pm in DAFF National Conference Centre, 7 London Circuit Canberra City
  • 22 May – Forecasting the Unpredictable: Geoscience Australia’s National Earthquake Hazard Map – a presentation by David Burbidge, Geoscience Australia
  • 24 May – NBN Webinar Showcase – mini showcase of DHS webinar functionality (event for DHS staff only)
  • 24 May – The missing link? The role of value chains in climate adaptation – a presentation by Dr Lilly Lim-Camacho, CSIRO. An open event, 2.30 to 3.30pm in DAFF National Conference Centre, 7 London Circuit Canberra City
  • 24 May – Brown Bag seminar  on The Australian Intellectual Property Report 2013 by Ben Mitra-Kahn (Chief IP Economist). This talk will look at the evidence base for where Australia sits in terms of IP – recent trends and comparisons with the rest of the world. Ben will also briefly refer to the use of patent analytics data to evaluate innovative activity  through the National Patent Analytics Hub at IP Australia (invitation only event)
  • 28 May – Genetic control of pest insects – a presentation by Dr Luke Alphey, Oxitec UK. An open event, 1.00 to 2.00pm in DAFF National Conference Centre, 7 London Circuit Canberra City
  • 28-30 May – Design Mini Jam at DHS (event for DHS staff only)
  • 29 May – Brownbag seminar on Patent analytics – an open event providing information on the Patent Analytics project currently running in IP Australia (To be confirmed)
  • 29 May – Presentation by  Peter Moore, DAFF on DAFF’s new post entry quarantine facility in Victoria  (event for DAFF staff only)
  • 1-2 June – GovHack – all over Australia, hundreds of hackers will join together to form teams and work to create the best new mashups, data visualisations and apps with Government data. An open event, GovHack 2013 will be held at 8 locations around Australia
  • 3 June – FSANZ – launch of innovation awards (event for FSANZ staff only)
  • 3 June – Soil health and sustainable production: facts, fiction and everything in between – a presentation by Dr Sandrine Makiela, Central Queensland University. An open event, 10.00 to 11.00 am in DAFF National Conference Centre, 7 London Circuit Canberra City
  • 3 June – Exploring molecular markers and ‘stomatal movement genes’ for barley salt tolerance: connecting genes to yield performance in saline fields – a presentation by Dr Zhong-Hua Chen, University of Western Sydney. An open event, 2.30 to 3.30pm in DAFF National Conference Centre, 7 London Circuit Canberra City
  • 4 June – Public Sector Strategy Mini Jam – join invited senior public sector staff and service innovation agency Work•Play•Experience for this 2 hour session to address a significant theme set in conjunction with the Western Australia Department of Premier and Cabinet. The Mini Jam will be held on 4 June 2013. Contact for details
  • 5 June – TED talks- lunchtime session for IP Australia staff (event for IP Australia staff only)
  • 6 June – GovCamp – a one day event to bring together leaders and experts across the public sector, academia, industry and society to talk about innovation in government. An open event held in Canberra
  • 6 June – A little bit cathedral, a little bit bazaar: innovating in the public sector – a presentation by Martin Stewart-Weeks, Internet Business Solutions Group, Cisco. An open event, 3.00 to 4.00pm in DAFF National Conference Centre, 7 London Circuit Canberra City
  • 4-6 June GovJam – in 48 hours you will design and prototype better public services and policies. Join staff from all levels of government, members of the public and NGOs for public sector innovation, professional development and rollicking fun. Global GovJam will be held in PerthCanberra and Melbourne on 4 – 6 June 2013
  • 10 June – TED talks- lunchtime session for IP Australia staff (event for IP Australia staff only)
  • 12–13 June – NBN Webinar Showcase at DHS (event for DHS staff only)
  • 14 June – ‘Towards a Unified Theory of Shiny New Things’ – innovation, design, behavioural economics, visualisation, Gov 2.0, foresighting, horizon scanning, narrative, lean organisations – are you overwhelmed by the array of tools and approaches or shiny new things being talked about in the public sector? This half-day workshop  will explore how these various things might fit together (or not). An open event this DesignGov event will be held in Canberra.

How you can get involved

Innovation Month 2013 is a collection of activities and events held by Australian Public Service agencies and others interested in public sector innovation. We encourage individual teams, groups and agencies to consider how they might participate, even if it is at the team or individual level. If you are unable to attend or be involved in any of the other events, why not consider holding an event or running an activity of your own?

The following are some suggested events and activities – but given the month is about innovation and creativity, you should take these as suggestions only, and feel free to come up with something even better!

  • A lot of creative ideas come from connecting different types of knowledge or experience and applying it to new areas. Why not invite in an expert speaker from another agency, another profession or another sector that could have relevance and insight to how your agency does things? Or get some people together to watch a TED Talk that might inspire some ideas for your agency?
  • If you know someone in your agency who has skills in running activities relating to creativity, design and innovation, or just how to do one thing better, why not ask them to run a mini class to share their knowledge with others in the organisation?
  • Ever considered doing a massive open online course (MOOC)? Why not get a few people together from your agency or others and do a course relating to design, or innovation, or something that might help you develop new approaches for the problems faced by your agency(ies)?
  • What are the key ideas, innovations and creations that affect your job now? Why not hold a lunch-time trivia event and include some questions that show how innovation matters to everyone.
  • What are the key things that are making it harder for you to do your job? What drives you mad when trying to do your job? Why not have a brainstorming session with your colleagues to explore some ideas about how things could be done differently?
  • Black Swan Challenge – A black swan challenge is an invitation to an agency’s staff (or a sub-group of the agency) to try and identify possible unexpected events that could impact on the agency’s work
  • Foresighting/horizon scanning – what are some of the ‘out there’ trends and developments that might impact your work area in the future? It may not happen for a long time (or at all) but an important part of innovation is about responding to innovation and change from outside of your organisation. The best way to do that is to first identify possible developments on the horizon. Why not get together with your team to discuss some of the things at the ‘edge’ that might affect what your team does?

If you have any additional suggestions about events or activities that people could run, please feel free to send the suggestions to us for inclusion on the list.

Social Media

Blog posts, videos and other links of interest relating to or arising from Innovation Month will be added here.


In 2011 the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry held an inaugural Innovation Week from 2-5 May. It was a great way of showcasing innovation and sharing ideas from the public and private sectors.

In 2012 a number of agencies and stakeholders built on this initiative, making Innovation Week 2012 (1-8 June) an even bigger and more exciting series of events.

Innovation Month 2013 is supported by the leaders of the APS. The Innovation Action Plan, which was endorsed by the Portfolio Secretaries, states “Recognising that long term value is captured through dissemination and diffusion of innovations, the APS and its agencies will institute mechanisms to recognise, celebrate and share innovation efforts. This will be done by … agencies holding innovation themed events to discuss, share and celebrate public sector innovation within their agencies.”


  1. Giving this some thought.

    Perhaps the greatest innovation which is working its way out of the PS (edu) networks is “Flipped Classrooms”. I’ll leave readers to Google it. So far as (one aspect of) running conferences, it means setting up a few nodes/rooms around the country (globe) and linking rooms via Video Conferencing equipment for the duration. So it’s like Pia did with the Public Sphere (PS) series. (and streaming, maybe to a broadcast station, & recording ). Lets call it a Distributed Conference.

    The challenge is in trying to encourage the culture of .gov (everywhere) to take on those of edu. So I’ll point to two LinkedIn spots in cyberspace. One is my OPEN Media and Learning group (out of .eu) (I’ll point you at one discussion). Here’s the archive of last year’s conference. The other, which is a ...

    ... good illustration of how identity works, is the Online Communications Forum. Like my Policy Making 2.0 group, I can’t point to it because it’s CLOSED. So it’s good to compare between the two approaches.

    Perhaps you might put something like a wiki up, as Pia did for the PS series, in order to build an agenda and keep a record. I’ll leave the rest up to her/your imagination. I’ll point a few other bright sparks at this suggestion.


  2. OK, So I’ve suggested to the guys at Future Forum that we might run a programme during the event.
    The working title is “what will the NBN be used for?”

    My suggestion to them was (because I’m trying so hard to see some development of linkages between broadcast and online media), that some GROUP of agencies/unis might run a MOOC to which viewers could be directed. So in that regard it’s a training ground for the people who Pia is running courses for.


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