Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia, 16–18 November 2021 2021

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Concurrent Sessions descriptions

Concurrent Session 1 — Developing Regional Tourism and Geotourism

The benefits of and opportunities for geotourism development in regional Australia are considerable. These can best be realised by holistic approach of geotourism which enhances the value of traditionally structured, nature-based tourism by generating new products (i.e., inclusive of geology, landscape, flora and fauna, and celestial as well as cultural heritage attributes, both Aboriginal and post European settlement).

Employment benefits arising from geotourism activity have the potential to significantly improve Aboriginal employment, and more broadly, regional employment through professional consultancies, management roles in geo parks and mining parks, tourism services and visitor spend as well as social benefits for local communities.

This session will highlight a number of successful projects across regional and remote Australia.

Concurrent Session 2 — Modelling and Data Transforming Regional Australia: long term opportunities and challenges

The emergence of all sorts of model-based testing tools and platforms capable of advance analytics, automation and AI has provided us with the opportunity to think more expansively and creatively about a wide range of future possibilities and responses across a wide number of industries.

Access to multiple tools to map, identify and forecast internal and external changes has generated enormous opportunities in the field of strategic decision making. Some applications include: identifying the characteristics of an issue and where the leverage points/greatest value might be; ascertaining emerging and competitive advantages; discovering hidden economic, social and institutional costs; establishing priorities and monitoring outcomes.
This session will look at how regions are planning for an increasingly digital future, driving the uptake of new technologies and emerging service opportunities (health, education and government).

Concurrent Session 3 — Entrepreneurship, Startups and Innovation

Entrepreneurship is human action in pursuit of the generation of value through new venture creation. Entrepreneurs go about their value growth in a variety of ways from small businesses, scalable start-ups, large companies and social entrepreneurs. There are many indicator measures for entrepreneurial activity, however these do not always reveal how to nurture or encourage this activity.

The encouragement of start-ups and social entrepreneurs frequently require a different strategy than traditional economic development techniques. Often these strategies rely on the less tangible skills of enabling and supporting more collaboration and co-operation within the community.

Regional leaders can foster start up and social entrepreneurship in their community through support of entrepreneurial networks, provision of access to appropriate business services (lawyers, IT, HR) and, as they advance, more intensive support options such as office space, basic office needs, and some form of financial capital and market promotion. 

This session will examine how different strategic approaches regions have used to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.

Concurrent Session 4 — Government Business Partnerships

Genuine partnerships between the three spheres of government, business and the community are being increasingly understood to be critical to the development of productive and liveable cities and regions.

Some of the goals of working together include aligning the planning, investment, and governance necessary to accelerate growth and job creation, stimulate urban renewal and drive economic reforms. This approach to working together is quite different from the traditional models of public private partnerships and are subject to their own specific processes, policies, and guidelines.

While there is general agreement that partnerships are worth pursuing, they are rarely easy or seamless. This session will look at the learnings from a number of case studies in government business and community partnerships.

Concurrent Session 5 — Building Social Capital and Human Capability

One of the best assets of any region is its people. The skills and experiences of people living in a region can both solve challenges and create growth.

There are countless examples of individuals who step up to the task, building their community and economy both in times of crisis but also in the good times. There is an abundance of literature demonstrating that the level of social capital within a community will positively influence the level of economic development in that community. One of the key strategic directions for our regions then, is to increase the capability of our commercial, community and government organisations.

In this session speakers will be unpacking the circumstances that support and encourage development of social capital and human capability. What sorts of governance arrangements best foster social capacity? What can your region do to ensure it builds strong business enterprises a strong community, and is socially secure?

Concurrent Session 6 — Regional Sustainability Opportunities

This will be a Webinar at a date to be announced

The concept of sustainable development has been discussed extensively for a long time. One of the clearest understandings to emerge from this is that sustainability is spatial and characterised by interconnected systems. This in turn highlights the importance of developing sustainable systems on a regional scale.

Increasing societal recognition of the linkages between economic, environmental, and social values are also driving changes both in perspectives and expectations at government, enterprise and institutional levels.

Speakers in concurrent session 6 will present some of the emerging technology (that affects both scale and accessibility) particularly in the renewables space; some key initiatives in supply chain management as a result of new technology, and some important recent research and actions in the safe and secure off grid water space.