NATASHA HOPPNER and RHEA ANTHONY
The Global Cafe kicked off again today in Brisbane, showcasing influential scholars and industry leaders from across the globe, and giving the community a taste of the high-intensity debates expected at the G20 summit.
The leadership forum is being hosted at Brisbane’s iconic City Hall covers a variety of societal, economic and political issues and examines their impact on the development of business and industry.
The two day forum explores the following five themes in depth: Powering Future Economies Energy, Cities of the Future, Improving Human Life, Tourism’s New Frontiers and The Digital Age – Entrepreneurship & Innovation.
The first day started with Brisbane Lord Mayor, Graham Quirk presenting the opening address. This was followed by Queensland Premier Campbell Newman sharing his thoughts about the growth in power, economic development and health Queensland is experiencing.
The discussion of exploring human life was led by the Queensland Ballet’s Artistic Director Li Cunxin who said there is a need for greater understanding of the arts and the contribution it has towards culture.
“Culture can really increase people’s understanding, can promote peace, tolerance, and compassion, regardless of background or race.”
The forum on Powering Future Economies discussed growth and energy with Origin Energy’s Managing Director Grant King discussing the impact of growth in Australia on the increased demands for energy.
“As Australians, we want to know the right balance between responding effectively to climate change and at the same time meet the objectives towards growth.”
Despite a heavy security presence, protesters managed to enter City Hall just after midday and interrupt Peabody Energy’s President and Chief Operating Officer Glenn Kellow’s presentation.
Mr Kellow continued on with his seminar, disregarding the protestors who were soon escorted from the meeting and later had their accreditation access revoked.
The Digital Age – Entrepreneurship & Innovation offered unique perspectives from a variety of industry leaders on entrepreneurship in digital commerce sectors and future prospects for technology.
City University New York Physics Professor Dr Michio Kaku gave an engaging and entertaining seminar streamed live from Istanbul, Turkey.
He spoke of his dream of a seamless future with total awareness and knowledge, similar to Einstein’s dream of a ‘theory of everything’.
“Computer power, the internet and information will be everywhere and nowhere in the future, digital information will be scattered throughout the environment,” Dr Kaku said.
Highlights of Dr Kaku’s vision for a technologically integrated future were: a wallpaper that can set you up with a date, a Smart Toilet that saves men from the dreaded C word [Colonoscopy], and cubicles so gorgeous you won’t get any work done.
In contrast to Dr Kaku’s scholarship, Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian presented the digital age from the perspective of a young entrepreneur turned industry leader.
Mr Ohanian advocated the potential the internet has as a tool for the democratization and intensification of philanthropy, in the hands of the right people.
“I’m always very quick to point out, it’s never the platforms or the tools that do this, its people,” Mr Ohanian said.
“I think technology helps, but it’s a tool like any other, just as a hammer can help build a home or cause some harm.”
Today’s and yesterday’s coverage and highlights can be seen here: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/live-brisbane-global-cafe-20141112-3k4mz.html
View today’s live-stream of the Global Cafe here: http://www.choosebrisbane.com/g20-brisbane/global-cafe