A catalyst for innovation, a uniter of industries, a platform for the future. Pause Fest stands for the content you can’t Google.

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“You can't put the region’s best creative digital minds in the same room together and not expect something extraordinary.” - Clemenger BBDO

Six years ago, Pause’s founder George Hedon saw an opportunity to start bringing together a new breed of thinkers and doers in the world’s most liveable city. Australia’s digital ecosystem was just finding its feet while the U.S and Europe surged ahead. As an accomplished designer and artist, George wanted to foster true mutual collaboration. He wanted speakers and attendees alike to benefit from great quality content - with Melbourne, the design and digital culture capital of Australia - as the setting.

George is driven by what happens when you create a space for people from all industries to converge, share their passion and find purpose: an opportunity to Pause. This ethos has seen Pause become the premier creative tech conference and festival for the Asia Pacific region.

“Without Pause the industry would be floundering in a pond of self-promoting bullshit. Pause is the life force we all need to get through another year.” – Sneppo Research

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For this reason, many brands, startups and services have chosen to launch at Pause. The festival has hosted the Desktop mag relaunch, Canva, For The People Agency, BSchool and Tractor School. Zero Latency (the world’s first free-roam, multiplayer, virtual reality gaming experience) debuted at Pause in 2014. Following this, they attracted investments and then almost a year later hit the jackpot of $1million from Carthona Capital.

From a few hundred attendees in its first year to over 12,000 last year with increasing numbers of international attendees, Pause’s growth has been organic, determined by a sense of exploration. Instead of asking ‘what if’, we ask ‘why not.’

“Pause is an essential part of Melbourne's digital culture. Pause inspires connections, collaboration, and entrepreneurship. Pause opens our eyes to the latest innovations and the possibility of change.” – Elance oDesk

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Why does a conference have to be the same every year? Now in its sixth year the festival continues to reinvent and rengineer itself each year, disrupting the expectations of the average conference. By consistently listening to our audiences, learning from experience and with a healthy dose of f--k yeah, Pause is reflecting and inventing tech culture all at once.

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Why attend

  • Sony missed the mp3
  • Coke and Pepsi missed energy drinks
  • Kodak missed digital
  • Borders missed eBooks
  • Nokia forgot about innovation
  • Travel agents didn’t foresee online booking
  • Banks missed digital currency

Pause and join the next wave of visionaries at Pause Fest 2016. At Pause we don’t ask what’s next, we figure out how, and we’re deciding when.

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Digital disruption has changed the way consumers behave and businesses operate. To truly understand what this means for you and your business, the conference program has been designed around the pillars of the startup - Creative, Tech, Business. Our keynote speakers and panels will take you deep inside each topic, challenging what you thought you knew.

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Share your knowledge, engage with new ideas and people across all industries and roles, let your hair down and experiment. Pause provides an environment not just for collaboration, but creative collisions - a space for tech culture to shine.

This is not a passive conference. You will get your hands dirty. You will be surprised. You’ll probably go WTF.

Pause Team//

Phoebe Callow

Phoebe Callow is an event manager and music industry professional. Her experiences have taken her on an amazing global journey, which has included artist management, touring, event management and publicity. Phoebe is responsible for programming partnerships & events for Pause 2016.

Meg Kleinig

Meg Kleinig is an event & sponsorships manager. Meg has worked for some of Australia’s most recognised not for profit and arts organisations, and is passionate about developing relationships, creating memorable events and project management. Meg is responsible for events and partnerships for Pause 2016.

Kane Jones

Kane Jones is an experienced community manager with a strong background in the arts and entertainment industry, both in Melbourne and abroad. Kane has worked as a social media coordinator at The Arts Centre Melbourne, theatre designer, performer, community development manager in Nepal, a tour guide in Edinburgh and in his own words, “knows how to spin a good yarn”.

George Hedon

George Hedon is the founder and creative director of Australia's premier creative tech festival Pause Fest. His expertise in design, advertising, festival and events lead him to create award-winning projects. Under his creative lead, Pause Fest has attracted major brands, agencies, corporate, local government and he's hosted 155 international and local thought leaders supporting the growth of Australian born startups and enterprises. George's interests are in branding and experiential activations that explore creativity and technology.

Advisory Board//

Sophie Travers

Sophie Travers is International Development Manager, Europe for Australia Council for the Arts. She is an experienced arts producer with an international perspective. Sophie worked in Europe before moving in 2004 to Sydney, then Melbourne. She is skilled in strategic planning, producing, writing and editing and travels regularly to network and update her international contacts. Sophie has led a number of arts organisations including Critical Path in Sydney and Random Dance in the UK. She worked in the Drama and Dance Department of The British Council in London, producing projects in 28 countries. Sophie speaks Spanish, French, German, Dutch and Italian.

Sam Hannah-Rankin

Sam Hannah-Rankin is the Director of Public Sector Innovation for the Department of Premier and Cabinet in Victoria. Following an inauspicious commercial start as a Masters graduate in Ancient Greek Literature, Sam has designed and launched new businesses in corporates such as Australia Post, Bendigo Bank and Fairfax Digital, and also worked across the public and private sector as a management consultant. Sam is excited (and relieved) to find that entrepreneurial disruption has become recognised as a genuine professional capability.

PK Rasam

Designed advanced computing products (compilers, virtual machines) at AT&T Bell Labs. Extensive global experience in Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Consulting, Technology, Startups, Strategic Guidance, Business and Finance. Lived in 20+ countries and served the top 100 brands. Adventurist and climbed several mountains.

Luke van O

Luke just is.

Kendyl Rossi

With a portfolio of work that includes some of Melbourne's most complex and internationally-acclaimed recent public art projects, Kendyl is currently Creative Projects Producer at Federation Square. Kendyl delivers an all-year-round program of major installations, festivals, exhibitions and multimedia projects in one of the most unique spaces in Melbourne. Through her producing work and her artistic practice, Kendyl has hands-on experience developing projects that utilise technology to create new public encounters with art. This expertise has evolved from more than a decade of involvement with artistic and cultural institutions in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Sydney.

Jon Osborne

Jon Osborne helps individuals and businesses innovate to create results. He works at Arup, a large consulting firm that works to improve the built environment.

Darren Sutton

My role entails commercial management of Brand Partnerships and Agency Sales teams / revenue from Victoria based media agencies and clients. An experienced content marketer with strong technology background, I fuse creativity, innovative thinking, solid business acumen and outstanding agency knowledge. I am on a mission to help brands tell more compelling stories to communities of interest using creative technology in my role with Guardian Australia.

Ben Keenan

Ben has led the digital creative offering of M&C Saatchi Melbourne and now Clemenger BBDO. His work has been recognised over 70 times for its creativity and effectiveness at every major award show including Cannes Lions, Award, Webby's and the Facebook Studio Awards. Beyond his advertising work, Ben has a passion for teaching and collaboration. He is the former head of the prestigious AWARD School of creative thinking and co-created the PauseThe Road ideas hack at PauseFest 2015 in Melbourne. He has hosted workshops on digital creativity at Fairfax, Melbourne University, Hachette Publishing, WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature, World Vision, Royal Children's Hospital, and the MSO. He also created a best selling app which solved an everyday parenting problem.

Atlanta Daniel

Atlanta is an entrepreneur and startup industry evangelist based in Melbourne. Her professional experience includes venture capital, founding a startup (Tetris Digital), and technology industry advocacy with StartupAUS. She is passionate about the Australian startup ecosystem and is actively engaged in a number of initiatives to grow and develop the industry

Anuraj Gambhir

As an Innovation catalyst Anuraj assists organisations (from mentoring startups to consulting with mature entities) to spearhead their innovation agenda. He has over 23 yrs experience working across the mobile ecosystem spanning 5 continents. He focuses his efforts on value creation via strategic business development and nurturing breakthrough concepts leading to game changing and disruptive/radical innovation. Some prominent companies he has worked for include: NASA/JPL, SingTel Optus, Logica/Aethos, T-Mobile, Orange, GSM Association, Sharp, Siemens mobile, Spice, Ericsson, MTS, Globacom. Anuraj has worked from hands-on technical roles to senior executive management positions and is regarded by many as an industry visionary. He is a valued advisory board member of several organizations globally and also involved with teaching as adjunct faculty. Some major areas of his focus have been on mobile content/media/entertainment (multimedia convergence), mEducation, mHealth along with new age gadgets / emerging devices - smartphones/tablets/ superphones/phablets/wearables, Internet of Everything/Things (M2M), HNI (Human-Nature Interface) and seamless (/multi-modal) access as a part of the connected world.

Andrew Ranger

Andrew Ranger is an Internet Entrepreneur with a passion for marketing, digital technology and the arts. Andrew recently co-founded Skymorials.com. Skymorials is an online memorial software that helps families and friends create a place to remember their loved ones legacy online. Since 2013 Andrew has been a Director on the Board of ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) Australia’s second most popular musuem, and is an external media advisor to the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle. His passion for digital and creative marketing started from a young age, and cemented itself after working as a Marketing Strategist with the innovative team at The Taboo Group marketing agency. There Andrew specialised on working with corporate brands such as NAB, Sensis, Cadbury and Nike, helping them creatively connect with the youth, and navigate the evolving world of online/social and digital media.