This is a sponsored post from our friends at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.


What do you get when you put three experts in their field together in Melbourne talking about innovation through design, advertising and science to 2000 people? Well, you get Open Space.

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is opening its doors to the community for Open Space, as it welcomes three of Australia’s most inspiring leaders in design, advertising and science to its Plenary stage on Thursday 20 February.

In its second year, Open Space is MCEC’s free, signature event running during Business Events Week and alongside the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) hosted annually at MCEC.

What you can expect there?

Open Space will bring people together to hear inspiring and thought-provoking talks around the event’s theme of innovation from keynote speakers:

  • Dr Ken Cato AO – renowned designer and founder of agIdeas International Design Week and Club Melbourne Ambassador
  • Todd Sampson – CEO of advertising agency Leo Burnett and panelist on ABC’s The Gruen Transfer
  • Dr Cathy Foley – leading scientist and Chief of CSIRO’s Materials Science and Engineering Division and Club Melbourne Ambassador

Each speaker will then be taking questions from the audience via a live Twitter feed.

Dr Ken Cato is an Australian designer with an international reputation. As a graphic designer, his work has won numerous design awards and his work is represented in museums and galleries around the globe. The world’s largest student design conference agIdeas International Design Week was founded by Dr Cato in 1991 and it now attracts more than 4500 young designers and over 40 speakers from around the world.

Adman about town – Todd Sampson is CEO of Leo Burnett – one of Australia’s top creative advertising agencies. Todd is also the breakout star of the hit ABC television show The Gruen Transfer and features regularly on Channel Ten’s 7pm show The Project.

Dr Cathy Foley has a world-class reputation in her field, is active in promoting science in the media and is well known for her interests in science education and women in science. Dr Foley’s research expertise covers solid state physics, such as semiconductors, magnetics, superconductivity and nanotechnology.

Open Space provides a rare opportunity to see and hear these thought leaders talk passionately about their passion – for design, for advertising and for science respectively, and, in the context of innovation.


Want more?

For the more inquiring types, you’ll also have the opportunity to get involved with the discussion by taking part in an engaging Q&A session and join in conversations via social media which will be streamed on MCEC’s event Twitter feeds.

And the fun keeps going. After the Plenary session, guests can network with fellow industry visitors and wander through the hawker-style food market and urban-inspired installation in the Convention Centre’s foyer, featuring recycled milk crates and vertical gardens, and enjoy a complimentary taste of MCEC’s award-winning food and wine.

In case you didn’t know MCEC is an iconic, world-leading venue through its use of functional spaces, technology, in-house catering and service. Through constant innovation it leads the business events industry to create memorable experiences for its visitors.

MCEC’s business and the business events industry is an essential part of Victoria’s economy through jobs, tourism, economic impact and its support of local suppliers and producers.

MCEC is a place where people meet to connect, educate and entertain. Open Space is a place set to inspire, get you listening, talking and WOWED.

When and where?

Open Space takes place on Thursday 20 February from 11.30am to 2.30pm at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf.

So save the date and register for your free ticket to Open Space at and while you’re at it share with your friends and social networks too:

Watch the highlight video from last year’s event and connect with MCEC on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram (@MCEC) and LinkedIn for Open Space news and updates.

Image credits: MCEC