Rapid Open Innovation Sprint

Transform your idea into a prototype ready for submission to the City of Melbourne’s Open Innovation Competition.

Start-up founders, entrepreneurs, students and interested citizens are invited to participate in a rapid design sprint towards submission into the City of Melbourne Open Innovation Competition (OIC), responding to the theme ‘City Reactivation & Recovery Post COVID-19.’

Whether you’re starting from scratch or have an existing prototype, this four-day program will give you tools, frameworks and insights from a range of experts to help transform your idea into a viable solution. Choose to attend any or all of the daily masterclasses and panel discussions, and present your prototype to a panel of judges from RMIT, RMIT Activator and City of Melbourne at the final pitch event.

Face-to-face attendance is encouraged, to benefit from hands-on guidance, however digital experiences will also be facilitated for those unable to attend in person.

Day 1, Tuesday 27 April: Map

Set the goal. Understand your audience and define the key challenge(s) your idea will address.

  • 10am – 11.45am: Design thinking masterclass
  • Midday – 1pm: Vibrant and smart cities panel with Bonnie Shaw, Sandy McDonald, Tegan Kop and David Morison

Day 2, Wednesday 28 April: Sketch

Explore and develop the idea. Learn how to iterate fast and creatively to solve problems, regardless of feasibility.

  • 10am – 11.45am: Research and define masterclass

Day 3, Thursday 29 April: Decide and prototype

Learn how to quickly prioritise the best ideas as a group and develop a prototype — all in the same day.

  • 10am – 11.45am: Decide and prototype masterclass
  • Midday – 1pm: Open innovation panel with Juan Polanco, Jacyl Shaw, Justyna Dabrowska and Will McIntosh

Day 4, Friday 30 April: Test

Unearth new opportunities or pitfalls as the product’s target audience tests your prototype.

  • 10am – midday: Iterate and launch masterclass
  • 2pm – 4pm: Pitch presentation – Present your insights and prototypes to a panel of judges from RMIT, RMIT Activator and the City of Melbourne.

Please note, following the morning masterclasses, a workshop space on Activator level 2 will allow a limited number to work on their ideas. Please bring your tech equipment (laptop, headphones, etc.) and a water bottle if you’d like to make use of this space.

Tue 27 to Fri 30 April, from 10am daily

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Watch pitch livestream

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Event Speakers

Bonnie Shaw

Trained as a landscape architect and urban designer, it was the creation of a surprise hit game, and the resulting fellowship at MIT’s Senseable Cities Lab, that re-routed Bonnie into a tech career. In the two decades since, Bonnie has worked with some of the worlds most high impact institutions and leading cities to prepare for and respond to the impacts of advanced and emerging technologies on cities and society – including helping to establish and lead the Smart City Office at the City of Melbourne. She is a passionate champion for diversity in tech, a mentor to startups and young people, and a qualified Human Potential Coach specialising in bio-hacking for stress management. Bonnie wraps all that experience into her role as Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Place Intelligence. A world leader in location intelligence, Place Intelligence provides big data at a human scale, working with city makers to provide advanced analytics on the activity of places and how people use them, to enable greater precision in the design and management of cities, and create better places for people. Bonnie was recently recognised for this work as a finalist in the Australia and New Zealand Women in AI Awards.

    Daniel Christiansen

    Daniel is a human-centred designer, service designer and a learning designer. A wealth of experience in supporting clients through understanding and solving design problems makes him an expert in design-led innovation. He is currently leading the Activator’s student-industry innovation program Impact Academy where he channels his passion for education.

    David Morison

    David is a highly experienced strategic planner and urban designer. He has worked in public and private sector roles in Melbourne, London and Rotterdam. David is committed to policy and design outcomes that deliver great places for all people. He is currently involved in planning for the Arden and Macaulay urban renewal areas. David is a graduate of the school of architecture and built environment at Deakin University.

      Jacyl Shaw

      Jacyl is the Global Director, D-Lab at GHD Digital – GHD’s fast-growing digital transformation and technology engine. She is passionate about driving impact at scale through digital innovation and storytelling. Bringing over 20 years’ delivering innovation experience, Jacyl provides tailored consulting services to clients from higher education, industry, start-ups, accelerator hubs, government and research agencies. In her work, Jacyl creates and delivers new value creation initiatives and ways to foster “innovative, creative” thinking and doing. Her knowledge and networks have been shared by studying and working abroad on 3 continents as well as prior roles including corporate lawyer, Supreme Court Judge’s Associate, strategic adviser in higher and international education, innovation, research, commercialisation and partnerships as well as co- founder of several startups. In 2019, Jacyl was awarded Microsoft Executive of the Year at the Women in Digital Annual Awards.

        Juan Polanco

        Juan is an innovative engineer with over ten years’ experience across the agricultural, healthcare, manufacturing and start-up sectors. He currently works as an Education Designer and Facilitator at RMIT Activator. Juan uses his experience to help businesses and start-ups drive business innovation and new product development in diverse industry sectors with a sustainable impact. Juan’s key skills include design thinking, R&D, business innovation, product development, sustainability and prototyping.

          Justyna Dabrowska

          Justyna is a VC’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow at RMIT University. Her research interests focus on organization and management of open innovation. More specifically, she studies open and collaborative innovation in various contexts and levels of analysis, as well as organizational renewal in digital era. Justyna has a wide experience in managing large international research projects on open innovation, business acceleration, sustainability and digital transformation. The results of her research and innovation frameworks were adopted by various global companies including Swarovski AG. Prior to working in academia, she worked in European Headquarters in automotive and marketing industries in strategic functions.

            Reana McCourt

            Reana is an experience designer with a deep interest in helping businesses transform and grow by understanding their market, their people, and their customers. For nearly a decade Reana has developed skills in collaborative facilitation, human-centred design, brand strategy, leadership, and organisational design to drive success for entrepreneurs, national retailers, and global tech companies.

              Sandy McDonald

              Founder of SandyMcDonald.com and Australian charity, CreateCare Global, Sandy is an TEDx speaker, author, and storytelling communication coach and trainer. She has worked with hundreds of business owners, professionals, and academics to bring clarity into their complex communication world, and affect transformation through purpose-driven contextualised storytelling. After 32 years running successful marketing communication companies, she used storytelling to start a global community that has supported orphaned and vulnerable children for 13 years. Her TEDx talk about this, Tell Your Story. Save a Life received a standing ovation, and her book, Clans. Supercharge Your Business details the framework that achieved this. Sandy believes stories told coherently from clarity of purpose and principles act as a conduit to curiosity and truth seeking, fuelling the energy to enrich, transform and save lives.

                Tegan Kop

                Tegan is an expert in smart cities and exploring how we might all work together to use technology and data to create a better world. They have worked across many sectors including corporate, community and government sectors. Tegan currently works in the Technology and Digital Innovation branch at City of Melbourne.  


                • wheelchair accessibleWheelchair accessible
                • All knowledge levels welcome
                • 18+
                View MKW accessibility information

                Event partners

                RMIT University

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