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Partners in Innovation and Optimism:

IdeaSpies and The Centre for Optimism

Climate Change and Innovation: Opportunities and Optimism


This interesting panel conversation was led by ideaSpies Climate Editors Angus M Robinson and Jeremy Wright and moderated by The Centre for Optimism's Victor Perton with Idea Spies Chair Lynn Wood and Maddie Cunningham.

The panellists: Dr Vanessa Rauland, Founder and CEO at ClimateClever. Vanessa "is a carbon nerd, a yoga junkie, an outdoor enthusiast and an eternal optimist." Rebecca Huntley, author of "How to Talk about Climate Change in a way that makes a Difference" Dr Tom Denniss, Executive Chair, Wave Swell Energy Ltd Daniel Mason-D’Croz, Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO William Blomfield, Assistant Director, Climate Innovation and Investment, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Grant McDowell, Co-Founder Enosi Australia.

Design and Art Fostering Innovation and Optimism:
Gillian Corban and Friends in Conversation

Gillian Corban, Artistic Editor at IdeaSpies and Founder of Corban & Blair, in conversation with Camilla Schippa, Gab Mordy, Lisa Cahill and The Centre for Optimism's Chief Optimism Officer Victor Perton and Chair Robert Masters and Lynn Wood, Chief Idea Spy, IdeaSpies.

Special Panellists:

Energy opportunities in Australia: Are you Optimistic?
Kylie Hargreaves in Conversation.

The Optimism Cafe: ideaSpies Glenn Barnes and Governance

The Optimism Cafe: Michael Sharpe on IdeaSpies and Innovation

Wellbeing COVID-19 & Optimism? Maddie Cunningham in Conversation with IdeaSpies & The Centre for Optimism

Lynn Wood on Turning Down the News and Turning Up IdeaSpies

Lynn Wood Founder of IdeaSpies 

"Optimism is essential for innovation. Fortunately, it can be learned."

Optimism and Innovation

Lynn Wood

"IdeaSpies has partnered with the Centre for Optimism.  We are spreading optimism for the future backed by positive ideas and innovations. Victor Perton, Chief Optimism Officer of the Centre for Optimism, advises us to stay aware, read, listen or watch the news maybe once or twice a day rather than every hour, and rely on other sources of information.  “Look for the good in what you read” he says.  “Look for the opportunities.”

The Media Diet that Limits Negative News


Glenn Barnes,  Joint Chair, Australian Citizens for Democratic Renewal

"Optimism is the font from which innovation flows.”

Kylie Hargreaves, Chair of the Australian Ocean Energy Group

"What makes me optimistic? The fact that when the human spirit combines both innovation and kindness, extraordinary outcomes are inevitable." 

Gillian Corban

“Being optimistic I believe is the only way to be.  Learning, making new things happen, reinventing, being open to new influences, technology, inviting others into the creative process and working with the clever, imaginative & positive people with optimistic attitudes has been really important in the covid 19 era."


Maddie Cunningham is the Wellbeing Editor of IdeaSpies.   Victor Perton asked Maddie, "what makes you optimistic?

Maddie Cunningham: What makes me optimistic? 

Look for the something positive in every situation, no matter how bad an experience, you will get through it.

Every day we are faced with good and bad situations. When things are going well we generally do not worry about what may happen next and continue to move forward.

We tend to take things for granted and lose appreciation for the good things we have in our lives.

When something doesn’t go our way, stress immediately follows with ’Why me?’ and ‘What am I going to do now’?

It’s important to remember that no matter how bad a situation is, you will get through it

You can be constantly worrying or you can assess the situation and determine a plan of action.

No matter how bad the situation is, there is something positive to be gained, even though we may not see it right away.

So, positive thoughts will lead to positive actions and we can look at each experience and learn something about ourselves.  

The key is to process each detail over time and take as much positive as we can find and apply it to our lives.

When we can learn to do this, we become positive role models for others who may be able to benefit from our experiences.


Michael Sharpe

For me, optimism is not only seeing the glass half full, it’s taking action to keep filling that glass.

As the National Director for Industry at the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre I get to walk the factory floors and talk with industry leaders all across Australia. The manufacturing sector is number one for the development of intellectual property, with more patents than any other sector. The leading companies are diversified and exporting globally. We also have traditional engineering firms looking to new opportunities in the defence sector. Right now we have the largest defence budget in Australia's history, over $200 billion dollars with a focus on growing local industry supply chains.

Just this month, Prime Minister Morrison opened the new Australian Space Agency Headquarters and we are connecting manufacturing companies with the space industry opportunities. For example, Sydney based Nicholas Hacko Watches makes high value, high quality watches. The company has precision engineering equipment and a highly skilled workforce to make fine and complex parts for time pieces.There is great potential for divesification into the space industry with the manufacturing of complex parts for things such as cube satelites and more.  

The fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, is changing manufacturing forever. This transformation which includes such things as robotics, automation and smart sensors, also includes new ways of sales and marketing with technologies like online sales with Instagram and Facebook. It no longer matters that Australia is geographically removed from most of the world, Australian manufacturers now have opportunities to gain new customers with access to 7 billion people in addition to the 25 million residents here at home. We can export to the world and now with the growing space industry we can reach for the stars!


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