Myriad Live 2017 — proof that Queensland is leading the charge for new tech and startups.

I’ve just returned from two amazing days at Myriad Live, the inaugural festival for emerging technology, startups, and design trends in Queensland and I’m a bit overwhelmed with all the awesome that’s happening in the Sunshine State at the moment.

Here’s a quick highlight reel from the two days at Brisbane’s Powerhouse in New Farm:

Queensland is a haven for startups and designers

Queensland is paving the way in Australia when it comes to exciting and groundbreaking new start-up opportunities. From established players like SafetyCulture to newcomers like FolkTale, the Sunshine State is the place to be for nurturing new business and talent.

What made Myriad really special was that it drew support from the likes of Slack, Tinder, and Lyft who flew in from San Francisco to share their experience with the Queensland start-up community.

Empathy is still a big deal

One of the big themes was how empathy is still a big-ticket item for everyone from start-ups to bigwigs like Slack. Even the technologists among us are realising anew that technology is nothing without the people and their stories/needs driving it.

We attended a number of sessions calling for an ‘empathy revolution’ as a response to social challenges like the refugee crisis and disability in the workplace.

Major players like Slack are positioning empathy as one of their core values that they’re activating at all levels of the business with motivational and design-thinking practices.

We’ve always been advocates for user-centric design practice and it’s heartening to see that it’s a passion shared by our colleagues in other spaces and industries as far flung as sustainable farming.

Design thinking is the next frontier for eLearning

We had the privilege of attending a number of workshops and seminars that challenged and reaffirmed my belief in design-thinking processes and practices — particularly as they apply to industries as disparate as industrial design, medical technology, and fashion.

One session by Brisbane-based industrial designers DesignWorks chronicled their journey to design and develop the Queen’s baton for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

We’ve been applying design-thinking processes to our client work for a while now, and I predict this is going to be a major shift for eLearning in general in 2017 and beyond.

Myriad’s focus on design thinking reaffirmed that our customer journeys at Croomo are rooted in robust rationale and reasoning and very much keeping pace with other industry leaders.

Virtual reality is no longer a pipe dream

It was obvious from the opening night that virtual reality is coming into its own as an affordable technology. We’ve been tinkering with its potential for a while now, and can’t wait to share what we’ve been up to very soon.

Virtual reality is no longer just innovation for innovation’s sake —applications of this exciting technology are based on specific use cases and needs, allaying any fears that it would become gimmicky before reaching maturity.

More and more, virtual reality is being seen as an enabling technology that blurs the line between the digital and the real world to create learning experiences that are both emotional and cognitive.

Myriad Live 2018 — watch this space!

I think it’s safe to say that Myriad Live 2017 was a resounding success despite Cyclone Debbie wreaking havoc on the first day. Croomo is planning on having a much bigger presence next year and I think it’s safe to assume that we’ll be hitting the stage (or two) to share a bit more about our journey and or Know.How as we redefine the eLearning landscape.

(with additional reporting by Taylor Hobbs)

Did you attend Myriad Live 2017? How was your experience? Let me know in the comments below.