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  • Writer's pictureSamara Kitchener

Space, Sport & Supercomputers: Mumbrella 360 Presentation on 'How to Supercharge Uptake of Innovations'

It was incredible to host a panel on how to supercharge the uptake of innovations as part of the Mumbrella 360 Conference. When we heard the conference theme was “Dare to Disrupt”, we decided to bring in some natural born disruptors to decode the creative genius behind true disruption.

L to R: Sarah Walsh, Head of AFC Women’s Asian Cup™ 2026, Football Australia; Samara Kitchener, Founder & MD, House of Kitch; Dr Will Crowe, Founder & CEO, HEO; A/Prof Gregory Cohen, Deputy Director, ICNS

I have thought long and hard about why getting people to adopt innovations is so hard – even when it’s in their best interest, and it comes down to the fact that change can be scary.


As humans our behaviour is hard-wired to keep us safe. We know that what we did before didn’t kill us, so why try something new?


The crux of behaviour change is how to get people to move from our safe, comfortable known world and make a leap into an unknown abyss.


Amazing things can be achieved when people are inspired under a unifying vision that is creatively executed. The panel discussed how important it is to paint an emotionally compelling vision and strategy to bring others along.


POWER OF VISION

Sarah Walsh, Head of AFC Women’s Asian Cup™ 2026

Fatma Samoura, FIFA Secretary General, called the 2023 FIFA Women’s Cup the best ever.


Sarah Walsh, Head of AFC Women’s Asian Cup™ 2026, Football Australia, outlined how Football Australia planned an emotionally compelling journey from the outset. “In our strategy meetings we talked about creating moments - like they will remember where they were when they saw a Sam Kerr goal - because they'll talk about for years as they did for Cathy Freeman's race.”


“We then worked back from there and made decisions around that. We talked about leadership and about creating moments to inspire the hearts and minds of Australia. We needed to build a brand and storytelling to help more Australians can connect with the players. We realised we needed to give fans access to the players, so we saved time after the matches for this. That's really what drove us,” said Sarah.


POWER OF VISUALISATION

A/Prof Gregory Cohen, Deputy Director, International Centre for Neuromorphic Systems (ICNS) described neuromorphic engineering as taking ideas from biology to solve problems. "We take those ideas and we try to build real world systems right down to the silicon levels. We build physical things that try to achieve the robustness, the reliability and the power efficiency of biology. Simply put, we do things the hard way with computers and biology does it the easy way.”


Bringing your ideas to life through in tangible ways will accelerate uptake, especially for novel ideas that have never been done before. It’s very hard for people to imagine something they have no point of reference on. Greg explained that visualisation is the most important thing in driving uptake of innovation.


“When I started pitching neuromorphic ideas, I was showing slides with text and equations and circuit diagrams. And as I look back over the years, I dropped the circuit diagrams, I dropped the equations, dropped most the text, I show videos and pictures now, because that's what people can input and remember.


International Centre for Neuromorphic Systems: visualisation of Deep South supercomputer

“Neuromorphic engineering is a different way of thinking, so you really must work quite hard to say, let me show you why this is different. Why this is better. The only way to do this is through compelling story and compelling visuals to back it up. That's something my lab spends a lot of time thinking about and doing, and it's been largely successful” said Greg.


The ICNS team are developing a neuromorphic supercomputer, called Deep South, the world's first supercomputer capable of simulating networks at the scale of the human brain. This concept art has been pivotal in getting more mainstream understanding of the tech.


POWER OF DISRUPTION

Dr William Crowe's successful space start-up is HEO. In some ways it’s like Uber, they use satellites in their downtime to take images of other satellites. It’s also a bit like space CCTV as the space imaging can help companies and governments monitor their assets in space, detecting damage or danger. Gizmodo recently called HEO Orbital Paparazzi.

Dr Will Crowe, Founder & CEO, HEO

 

Will told the story of how HEO got SpaceX as a customer.

 

“We took an image of a SpaceX satellite and noticed it had two solar panels, instead of one.  As nerdy scientists were like, oh my god, we thought it was really interesting. So we put the image up on Gizmodo. SpaceX saw it and reached out to us in a couple of minutes and asked if we could image a bunch of their other satellites that were broken to diagnose what was wrong,” said Will.


POWER OF TRIALS & SOCIAL PROOF

When you look at the Innovation Adoption Curve, Innovators and Early Adopters are largely driven by scarcity - they want what others can’t have or don’t know about. The Early and Late Majority are driven by social proof. They want something that’s been tried, tested and has a degree of talkability. Trials are a great way for people to safely experiment with risk and get quick wins.


Sarah detailed how Football Australia used trialling concepts like the parental policy to drive change. “I think you have to create a space within leadership, but also within the team to be on board with the vision. When trying to disrupt the sporting ecosystem, you need to do things differently. You need to pay equal pay, and if you think about how we support mothers in high performance, you are in new territory and you're not always going to get everything right. Trialling the parental policy created a safe space where people can test and fail. I think we did that really well. Katrina Gorry excelled as a player by having her daughter with her in the high performance environment.”

 

POWER OF FAILURE & STORY

Greg described that failure is how we learn. “I think it's particularly interesting in academia because we don't talk about failures. You don't publish them and say, here's the spectacular failure. This experiment we prove nothing. That doesn't get published. The only way we get that knowledge out so that someone else doesn't go and make that same mistake is to tell the story of what we did.”


Will described that telling a story of risk to potential customers is very beneficial. “Showing a real example of something that happened, like an unusual object in space, helped the customer to visualize themselves in the story, and that had huge benefits. The transformation that we saw in customers when we gave them a new perspective was incredible.


THE POWER OF BEHAVIOUR SCIENCE

At House of Kitch, we are very excited by the spirit of innovation as this is what drives humanity forward. Here is a summary of some of the evidence-based behaviour science tools we use to supercharge the uptake of innovations.




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