Five lessons from Pause Fest 2018

Pause Fest is Australasia’s ‘premier innovation event’. It’s all about ‘creative, tech and business’. Here are five quick takeaways.

Over three days at Melbourne’s Fed Square, Pause Fest covered everything from blockchain trends, AI, VR, the future of agencies, authenticity, innovation, entrepreneurship and just about everything at the intersection of creative, technology and business. Here’s five fun finds from one person’s experience.

1. The importance of play

Gwen Gordon’s talk on the Seven Paths to Play argued that playfulness is the secret to solving the world’s biggest problems. She discussed how there is hard evidence that “play is actually critical to our success in every area if life”. And it makes so much sense. The best work always happens when people feel comfortable in their environment, have the freedom to fail and are having fun. If you want to read more about Gwen’s Seven Paths, you can download her eBook at

2. AI is not coming for my job (yet)

AI is already in just about everything we do. And the machines are getting smarter. There were many discussions over the course of the event that discussed the challenges industries will face with the rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Some industries like freight and logistics will likely become completely automated, with driverless trucks and machines, costing millions of jobs around the world. Whereas in creative industries, like ours, AI is going to continue to augment the work we do, making us more efficient and effective (but not obsolete, at least not yet).

3. No more morning meetings

“Task switching takes up 40% of our time”, according to Dr Amantha Imber, Founder of Inventium, who presented ‘How to get meaningful things done’. She also said that “most people have the highest cognitive impact in the first two hours from waking up”. By removing morning meetings, and designating our precious 8am to 12 noon to “deep work”, as she puts it, we’re well on the way to becoming far more (meaningfully) productive.

4. Microsoft HoloLens sounds awesome

Why? A few reasons. First, it’s untethered. Which means you’re free to roam around in your experience. Secondly, it’s a MR (Mixed Reality) headset. Which means it uses a combination of your real-world surroundings with graphics that are mapped on to them. Finally, surgeons are using it to help improve the success rate in brain surgery and other life and death situations. And that’s not to mention a game called Fragments where a murderer in a red mask appears in your living room casting judgement on your possessions – seriously spooky. While I never got to try one, I sure do want to.

5. Microdosing at work ain’t for me

There’s been lots of talk about the positive and negative impacts of microdosing hallucinogens in the workplace to improve creativity. Pause put on a debate to settle the score. Interestingly, the crowd started the debate in favour of ‘Smart Drugs’. But by the end of the debate, the against team had convinced the crowd that ‘Smart Drugs’ at work aren’t really a very intelligent idea – and I tend to agree.

If you haven’t been before, and can’t afford a ticket to SXSW, this is the next best thing. Earlybird tickets to next year’s festival are already on sale at If you’d like to get in touch to discuss any of these subjects, contact us now.