The event, which sought to bring together the wider ON community for an engaging and informative couple of days of learning and inspiration took place within the urban-industrial spaces of The Commune, in Sydney's Waterloo.

The stage and audience at ON Tribe Forum 2017

Master of Ceremonies for the event, renowned Australian comedian Tim Ferguson, kicked off ON Tribe Forum, delighting the audience with some well-placed witticisms and a Q&A with ON's Executive Manager Innovation Steve Brodie. Tim then handed the stage over to author and leadership advisor, Dr Jason Fox, whose presentation 'Your quest to creating impact' kicked off the event and provided the audience with a range of superb analogies to avoiding default thinking.

What followed over the next two-days included an impressive range of inspirational speakers from across academia, business and science who took to the stage and shared their incredible insights about achieving impact.

Comedian Tim Ferguson and ON Executive Manager of Innovation Steve Brodie

Speakers included Franziska Iseli (founder of Basic Bananas) who spoke about the power of perception, Professor Maree Smith (University of Queensland) who's tale of commercialising a neuropathic pain reliever offered up many insights into 'spinning out', Nicole Velik (The Ideas Bodega) who encouraged creative thinking regardless of one's industry, Lisa Messenger (Collective Hub) who urged the audience to hustle with the right people, Katherin Maree Pace (Elanation) and Australian inventor Ric Richardson.

More than just a sit-down, presentation-style event, the ON Tribe Forum was interspersed with networking activities, like the 'Mentor Marketplace' where ON Mentors and ON Alumni swapped details on specially designed ON Tribe 'dollars' along with themed workshops run by expert facilitators such as Ian Brown (Entrepreneur in Residence at INSEAD), who gave a Masterclass on Lean Innovation, and Rebecca Gilling (Deputy CEO of Planet Ark) who schooled ON Alumni on 'Why the team is so important'.

Networking at the Mentor Marketplace

Spicing the event up further were two separate panel sessions that took place directly after lunch on both days; the day one panel session was moderated by MC Tim Ferguson and was titled 'Superstars of STEM – The Power of Partnerships' and saw Hannah Brown (University of Melbourne), Tien Huynh (RMIT), and Jillian Kenny (Machinam) discuss the importance of partnering with the right people to make an impact.

Day two's panel was moderated by Steve Brodie and was titled 'Investor Insights' which saw five of some of the nation's most experienced investors - Phil Morle and Mike Zimmerman (Main Sequence Ventures), Atlanta Daniel (Blue Sky Alternative Investments), Peter Devine (Uniseed) and Samantha Wong (Blackbird Ventures) - share their advice and perspectives on emerging ideas, and giving entrepreneurs a reality check to make sure their ideas truly are big!

Rounding out the event on day two was Keynote speaker Professor Fiona Wood AM whose inspirational personal and professional story about having true human impact from science made for a fitting, and at times, a deeply affecting end to the ON Tribe Forum, earning a standing ovation from the crowd.

Keynote speaker Fiona Wood AM at the ON Tribe Forum

ON's Executive Manager of Innovation Steve Brodie said the idea behind the ON Tribe Forum was to both motivate and support our Australian entrepreneurs.

"The intent of the ON Tribe Forum was to inspire people," Steve said. "To give people the tools and the connections, and then let them leave the event on a high, with an attitude that they can do this!"

"Turning research into impact is hard! The good news is that there are people in Australia who have paved the way, successfully translating research to the market. It's the power of this network that will guide Australia down the right path – to convert our incredible knowledge to real-world impact."

"Today we light the next fuse and spark a community of practice to help Australian researchers get their brilliant research put to use for the benefit of the economy, society and the environment."

Visit ON's Flickr page to see more images of the ON Tribe Forum.

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