It's a time to reassess your ideas, to consolidate your new inspired ways of thinking, and in some cases, to have a good belly laugh to really get the neurons firing. 

So hailed as being the "leading geek evangelist" of our time, it is through a cloud of expectation that EduTECH delegates welcome David Thodey, Chair of the Board at CSIRO and former CEO of Telstra, to kick off the final keynote for day one.

Thodey comes to the stage with a distinct purpose: to highlight the changing nature of our workforce, and to share his visions for how Australian education needs to respond to meet these new demands of the future.

Acknowledging that education is very much part of the business world, Thodey says the future viability of our nation depends on our ability, as educators, to work together with businesses, researchers, academics and the public service sector to craft a future-ready workforce.

"A well-educated society is a prosperous society," he articulates.

"Firstly, great education will create great students, which will create great researchers and employees, which creates innovation..."

This "great circle of leverage" as Thodey so eloquently puts it, is now underscored by much "volatility and uncertainty"- how do we determine what the jobs of the future will be? How do we teach students for an age we ourselves do not know? 

The key, according to Thodey, is not to find the answer to such sweeping questions. Rather, its about understanding the trends that are shaping our educational and occupational spheres. If we can seek to do this, he says, only then will teachers be truly valuable to their students. 

Sitting, of course, at the heart of these changes is technology and its capacity to encourage the kind of curious thinking that will be needed to drive innovation into the future. 

Australia, in fact, has much work to do in this area, Thodey says. 

"We are poor at taking innovation and making it into something," he shares. The solution, according to Thodey, lies in the grassroots of STEM in schools. 

"When you look at STEM, [it] creates this natural curiosity, creative thinking, always searching for truth, it is not just about doing experiments – it's an attitude towards life."

Dropping in some figures to flesh-out his reasoning, Thodey puts forward that 60 per cent of the world's leading innovators have sprung from a STEM background.

"It's the whole idea of continuous learning," he says, that "constant yearning for knowledge" that educators have to engender in students.  

Technology can allow us to do just this, but here Thodey has a note of caution for delegates: we must always have the upper hand. 

"We need to be leaders not followers, Thodey says. "This will make greater authenticity for learning."

Confessing that Google itself has become an "extension of [his] memory", Thodey leaves delegates to ponder whether we are slaves or masters to this new technological world. 



As one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs, Creel Price shares with EduTECH the inspiring journey he’s been on since he first started his businesses back in high school.

Price tells us that he built seven businesses before he finished high school. When he was 25, he founded Blueprint Management Group with just $5000 and sold it a decade later for $109 million. 

As a result of his success, Price now works with schools and educators to share how school leaders can build a culture of entrepreneurship that inspires and empowers their teams and students.   

After he retired in 2008, Price decided to focus on skilling kids in financial literacy, business skills and using imagination to drive initiatives.

He encourages those in the audience to build a culture of entrepreneurship in their schools and inspires and empowers their students.

“If you want to master something you should teach it,” he shares.

As the founder of Club Kidpreneur, Price also talks about how he is dedicated to cultivating 'The Entreprenaissance’, fostering an era of entrepreneurial spirit to drive innovation and positive change across all industries. 

During his talk, Price raise an interesting idea on how schools focus so much on celebrating the success of students either academically or in sport, but how more should be done to value innovation and entrepreneurship.

And with that, delegates file out of the Great Hall and back to their hotels, ready to do it all again tomorrow.