The future of regional business and innovation – what we learned from Binary Shift

Copywriter - GippsTech

Binary Shift 2020. A virtual conference without the typical virtual feel. There were no Zoom calls, no awkward lulls, and no tech problems — just a full day of electrifying speakers and engaging conversations.

“That was without doubt the best event I’ve attended in a long time — virtually or otherwise. Thank you”, said an attendee of the conference. 

When the board members of Binary Shift made the decision to take the popular in-person event and move it online, there were concerns. But after working out a new and better way to deliver the event, they knew it was going to be a standout. “What we’ve found in many cases is that people go to city based events for networking instead of utilising their local area”, says Dr. Elena Kelareva, co-founder of Binary Shift. “What we saw was a real need for networking and connection in regional areas. Although we couldn’t deliver that face to face this year, we wanted to bring a sense of connection and belonging to attendees, and highlight the exciting innovations that can exist in your own backyard. Many people assume that regional innovation means agriculture. But it’s actually really wide and diverse; ranging from telemedicine and healthcare, to AI and everything in between.”

“If this was a face to face event, distance, time to attend, and cost would have been a barrier. I love that I got to access these speakers and this conference, where normally I would not have been able to”, said one attendee.  

The conference was opened by Hon. Jaala Pulford, Victorian Minister for Employment, Small Business, Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy. With many idea-shaping conversations held throughout the day, participants were given the opportunity to interact both with one another, and with the keynote speakers, to ask the questions that matter in today’s landscape. 

In the first session of the day, “Big Picture”, Mary Aldred, CEO of the Franchise Council of Australia, discussed changes in the workforce in response to COVID-19. “The economy has been fundamentally altered. Governments are regulating how businesses can and can’t operate on a weekly basis, and consumers are now living, working, and shopping in their own towns”, she said. “Through COVID-19, there has been a massive uptake of people who are starting their own businesses. But one of the guiding principles at play for surviving this pandemic is scenario planning — we can’t predict the future, but we can anticipate it.” 

The next session of the day was based around the concept of “Big ideas”. Jean-François Legourd, futurist and Managing Director APAC, Board of Innovation, John Hartnett, founder and CEO of SVG ventures, and Stephanie Thoo, head of innovation, and Brenna Leech, innovation consultant at GippsTech, joined the conversation. 

“I learnt that you don’t need technical skills to be innovative. Start with baby steps, start small, and build it up from there. If you tried something that didn’t work it doesn’t mean that you FAIL. It simply means that it’s your First Attempt in Learning”, said another attendee.


All in all, Binary Shift provided both an inspiring and practical way to look at innovation in regional communities and organisations. “Innovation is a personal identity that you can encapsulate into any area of your life”, said Brenna Leech.

If you would like to learn more, read the full article here. 

Zoe Hyde

Copywriter - GippsTech

Zoe Hyde is the copywriter for GippsTech and the programs which it delivers: Work My Own Way and Startup Gippsland.
She is an author of “Uncage the Lion Within”, and has spent years blogging and writing within her own business and as a freelance writer.
Zoe is passionate about building positive relationships with GippsTech clients to create beautiful and professional copy for their website, which reflects their authenticity and who they are. She enjoys speaking to unique audiences and capturing the tone and mission behind the brand or person.
She understands how to ask the right questions and develop rapport with clients in order to truly capture and step into the brand to ensure the written copy speaks from the heart.

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