Oct 7, 2013

Tech boom? Innovation drives Newcastle’s (slow) renewal

What's next for Newcastle when the coal runs out? A conference last week urged an innovation drive to kickstart a new business boom for the region.

Stilgherrian — Technology writer and broadcaster


Technology writer and broadcaster

Australia’s mining boom can’t last forever, we’re told. We have to think further ahead, and move away from our reliance on a commodities-based economy to one based on innovation, technology and intellectual property. Well, in Newcastle they’re doing something about it.

“No business can rest on their laurels or rest on their past successes,” said Craig Wilson as he launched Newcastle’s inaugural DiG festival and conference last week, with the theme “Adapt or Die”. Wilson, who’s managing director of digital agency Sticky and creator of and, co-founded DiG with Steph Hinds, founder of Growthwise Accountants, and the team at Eclipse Media, Events and PR.

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5 thoughts on “Tech boom? Innovation drives Newcastle’s (slow) renewal

  1. Ben heslop

    Its Craig Wilson 🙂

  2. Stilgherrian

    I’ve been doing that all week, Ben. I must know a Colin Wilson from someone. One who is haunting my typing fingers. Thanks.

  3. Tom Boyle

    Great article. Lots of good things happening in Newcastle at the moment. A can-do attitude goes a long way.

  4. tim wilson

    “Greentech” is an ironic term considering they have have dug up and destroyed most of the picturesque Hunter Valleys premium agricultural land and displaced and fragmented small communities. Plus the heavy metal contamination of the Hunter River, Stockton and other areas, and destruction of their fisheries and marine ecology. (Including the redneck gold medal for building more coal loaders on a previously preserved high profile international migratory bird sanctuary) Not to mention the suspicion of cancer clusters in some areas.

    Then along came the massive outer suburb malls that gutted the centre of town and many small businesses and ensured that apart from the new attractive tourist areas the CBD has had a ghostly feel for a couple of decades plus. (get your facts straight Con, 25,000 odd people getting laid off from BHP in the late 80s nearly Detroited the place.)

    Yet despite its unplanned luck through the mining boom and a lack of political neglect and incompetence Newcastle is known to have produced more than its fair share of bands, artists, and creative people.

    Hopefully, despite its apparent death wish ecologically, maybe this could be an opportunity to get into the 21st century in the next several decades? This requires vision and planning, something Newcastle doesn’t have much a track record in.

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