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Chief Digital Officer Summit 2018

While the disruptive potential of digital is inspiring and exciting, the focus of this summit is the realistic challenges that are faced by those charged with developing and implementing a transformative digital strategy. The event will bring together international and local Chief Digital Officers to discuss their past, current, and future strategies with a particular view to the role and influence of the CDO and the challenges posed by driving organisational buy-in, ensuring strategic outcomes and future relevance, transitioning legacy systems, data governance and security, and the adaptive potential of trial and error. Attendees will leave with a far greater understanding of what is involved in a successful digital strategy, and how best to achieve it.

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  26 - 01 March 2018
The Grace Hotel


Hear local and international Chief Digital Officers and digital leaders from all sectors share insights and experiences from their past, present, and future digital strategies. Also hear from regulatory, governance, and analytics experts on how to ensure that your transformation runs smoothly.


Two days of case studies, keynotes, best practice methodology, and analysis on the success and failure of digital strategy in the past, present, and future.


Incredibly valuable sessions strategically targeting the common issues faced in digital transformation. One full-day session on developing, securing, and retaining your talent team. Two half-day sessions on building a culture of sustainable innovation and driving organisational buy-in.


The Grace Hotel
77 York St
Sydney, NSW, 2000


  • Get inside information on large scale digital strategy from industry leaders and government agencies
  • Learn how to overcome internal resistance and drive organizational buy-in for your digital strategy
  • Maximise profit by minimising waste on unnecessary and redundant digital innovation
  • Understand the best methodology for radical digital transformation
  • Explore and exploit the many potential uses of your data, and how to ensure it is ready for anything
  • Hear war stories from experienced digital leaders and what they learned as a result

Who should attend this conference

98%Chief Digital Officers

95%Heads of Digital

93%Digital Transformation Specialists

88%Chief Information Officers

83%Chief Executive Officers

Get Ready To Be Inspired!

Scroll down for more info and the agenda
Easy online booking or call for further assistance

Key Speakers


Gurmeet Singh

Senior Vice PresidentChief Digital Officer

7-Eleven Global


Martyn Wallace

Chief Digital Officer

Scottish Local Government


Avi Golan

Chief Digital Officer

Air New Zealand


Kylie McLean

Chief Digital Officer ANZ



Mark Drasutis

Chief Digital Officer



John Dardo

Chief Digital Officer

Australian Taxation Office


Clive Dickens

Chief Digital Officer

Seven West Media


Barbara-Anne Bensted

Chief Digital Officer

Energy Queensland


Bruce Callow

Chief Digital Officer

Griffith University


David McGrath

Chief Digital Officer

Clubs Australia


Mary-Lou O’Brien

Chief Digital Officer

Melbourne Girls Grammar


Craig McDougall

General Manager of Digital and Pricing



Cara Walsh

Manager, Digital Strategy



Paul Shetler

Expert in residance

Stone & Chalk


Grant Baxter

Head of Brand Strategy



Libby O’Brien

Head of Digital, Corporate

Flight Centre


Dr Ian Oppermann

Chief Executive Officer and Chief Data Scientist

NSW Data Analytics Centre


Dr Genevieve Bell

Professor, Engineering & Computer ScienceSenior Fellow, New Technology Group

Australian National University & Intel


Leisa Bacon

Director Audiences


  • Conference Overview

    Chief Digital Officer Summit 2018 brings together local and international digital leaders so  you can implement best practice across your organisation.
    This summit will give you the skills to roll out an effective, timely, and meaningful digital strategy. You will learn how to drive organisational buy-in for your digital strategy, implement best practice data governance and security and harness new methodologies
    to drive digital change.

  • Pre-Conference Workshop Agenda

    Pre-Conference Workshop: 26th February 2018

    Talent: Empower your strategy by harnessing your digital capability

    Your strategy can only be as effective as the people who drive it. Therefore, understanding the questions that you must ask about your transformation is essential to identifying the talent you need to make it a success. Learn the mindset of putting together a successful team, ensuring they are engaged and challenged, and what conditions they need to flourish. Effective and relevant talent is essentially leverage for the capability to drive growth and profitability, and is fundamental to successful digital strategy.

    This workshop will cover:

    • What capability do you need, and what is the form of that capability?
    • Ensuring that your organisational environment is conducive to attracting and motivating talent
    • Scenario building: mapping out your capability requirements, particularly when needs will change rapidly and frequently
    • Developing criteria: Diagnosing the skills and mindsets to align with particular challenges
    • Build, buy, or blend? The advantages and disadvantages of going in-house
    • Looking under the bonnet: What is in the DNA of great talent? How are we designing our organization to attract that?
    • Managing your expectations, and more importantly, theirs

    Workshop Facilitator:

    Anne Moore, Founder and CEO,  PlanDo


    Anne Moore is the CEO and Founder of PlanDo. She is a social scientist and entrepreneur with a lifelong passion for people and learning that has become the cornerstone of her career. She has worked with some of the best known local and global brands – Optus, David Jones, Holden and Raytheon, building skills, transforming culture and making sure individuals, teams and organizations are set up for success and growth. Anne has built and run a number of businesses during her 30-year career including leadership consulting, business skills development and lifestyle services. Anne has a Bachelor of Social Science (Dist) and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is a member of the UTS Business School Advisory Board and a long standing visiting lecturer at Sydney Business School.

  • Conference Agenda

    Day One – 27th February 2018

    8:30am Registration, morning coffee and tea

    8:50am Opening remarks from the chair:


    The CDO Scene

    9:00am: International Keynote: Defining the role of the Chief Digital Officer

    • Driving digital outcomes by understanding the organisation and where you fit within it
    • Communicating your role and responsibilities to internal and external stakeholders
    • Creating a company culture that welcomes change and innovation
    • Examining evolutions in the CDO role abroad
      • What does that mean for the Australian CDO?
      • What do the next 5 years hold?
    • Expanding organisational capability by pushing a pervasive digital philosophy

    Gurmeet Singh, Senior Vice President/Chief Digital Officer, 7-Eleven (USA)


    Organisational Buy-In

    9:45am: CASE STUDY:  Overcoming internal resistance 

    • Maintaining momentum in your digital strategy by anticipating and overcoming resistance
    • Proving digital value by eliminating cost myths
      • Communicating to stakeholders that digital innovation will produce a ROI
    • Rallying organisational support by dispelling short-term thinking
      • Looking further than the “easy wins”
      • Transitioning from a reactionary thinking to a proactive approach
      • Going bigger than baby steps
    • Championing agile mindsets to drive efficiency
      • Overcoming risk assessments
      • Traditional ROI models vs Digital ROI mindset

    Barbara-Anne Bensted, Chief Digital Officer, Energy Queensland


    10:30am Morning Tea


    10:45am: CASE STUDY: How to make digital a company imperative

    • Transitioning from the ‘nice to have’ and ‘need to have’ mentality
    • Driving the message home that digital is crucial to success
    • Convincing and onboarding internal ‘digital dinosaurs’
    • Stamping your authority on the digital role to ensure buy-in and outcomes
    • Knowing how much you already control to generate leverage

    Martyn Wallace, Chief Digital Officer, Scottish Local Government



    11:30am: CASE STUDY: Ensuring a successful strategy by cultivating a digital company culture

    • Getting your digital strategy off the ground by overcoming internal resistance
    • Driving organisational buy-in to ensure an effective digital strategy
    • Understanding sources of resistance and why it is prevalent
      • How to overcome various ‘pockets of resistance’ throughout your company

    Bruce Callow, Chief Digital Officer, Griffith University


    Lunch 12:15pm


    Data Governance

    1:15pm: EXPERT SESSION: Minimising the cost of your digital strategy by maximising data efficiency

    • “Data—everyone has it, but no one knows how to use it”
      • Not just “turbo-charged CRM”: Determining the myriad applications of existing data
      • Fulfilling the potential of the data that you currently have
      • How to make your data work for you by knowing what you want from it
      • Best practice for holistic data cleanse, structure, and flow
    • Implementing grass-roots data education initiatives to ensure data care among employees: o
      • Minimising data corruption and replacement
      • Building a holistic data integrity ethos from the board-room to front-of-house
    • Driving the message that data is fundamental to business performance

    Dr Ian Oppermann, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Data Scientist, NSW Data Analytics Centre



    Transitioning Legacy Systems and Ideas

    2:00pm: CASE STUDY: Navigating massive organisational restructure

    • Evolving business efficiency and maximising profit by disentangling outdated systems
    • Fostering consensus in new business needs:
      • Disregarding past investment in outdated systems
      • Mitigating past cost-regret and future cost-shock
    • Boosting executive confidence by managing long time-horizons and navigating delays:
      • Identifying and managing key stakeholders
      • Managing expectations
    • Ensuring full realisation of your strategy by preventing internal interference

    David McGrath, Chief Digital Officer, Clubs Australia


    2:45pm Afternoon Tea


    3:00pm: THOUGHT LEADER SESSION: Ensuring a successful strategy by understanding the human side of transformation

    • Maximise the effectiveness of your strategy by comprehending whether past transformation has changed the way we think
    • Reduce unnecessary expense by investing in tech that people will respond to
    • Choosing innovations that create excitement rather than anxiety
    • Build relevant and sustainable innovation by remembering the human factor in digital

    Dr. Genevieve Bell, Professor, Engineering & Computer Science/Senior Fellow, New Technology Group, Australian National University/INTEL


    3:45pm: CASE STUDY: Pushing digital as a core company value

    • Ensuring that digital becomes a core company operational principle
    • Integrating digital philosophy to core company processes
    • Eliminating reticence to embrace digital strategies by negotiating with traditionalists
    • Increasing buy-in by ensuring your voice is heard in the organisation
    • Reducing operational cost with BYO tech initiatives


    Mary-Lou O’Brien, Chief Digital Officer, Melbourne Girls Grammar


    4:30pm: Networking Cocktail Function



     End of day one


    Day Two – 28th February 2018

    8:30am Registration, morning coffee and tea

    8:50am Opening remarks from chair:



    Best Practice Digital Strategies

    9:00am: KEYNOTE: Continuous improvement approaches to your digital strategy

    • Guaranteeing strategic relevance by adopting the right methodology for your business structure
    • Stop trying to keep up: Ensure relevant investment by anticipating technological movements
    • Avoid the redundancy loop: Implementing new strategies with new methodologies
    • “No pain no gain”: Why risk assessment is a source of resistance and an unnecessary expense

    Kylie McLean, Chief Digital Officer, A/NZ, IBM



    9:45am: KEYNOTE: Digital to Digitisation

    • Building on digital capability to become a digitised organisation
    • Linking operational technology, information technology, analytics and digital capabilities
    • Using real-time data to see the bigger picture

    John Dardo, Chief Digital Officer, Australian Taxation Office


    10:30am Morning Tea


    10:45am: CASE STUDY: Implementing an effective digital strategy

    • Comfortably meet your goals by building the optimal technology infrastructure
    • Minimise expense by pinpointing ideal platforms and scope
    • Implementing future-focused change beyond immediate market trends
    • Reduce cost and hassle by knowing when to go in-house and for what reasons
    • Raising the tech-stacks: Understanding what is best practice for each industry
    • “Is it worth it?” Avoiding losses by setting realistic objectives for your strategy

    Mark Drasutis, Chief Digital Officer, IAG (Prev. Chief Product Officer/Head of Innovation, News Corp Australia)


    11:30pm: CASE STUDY: The importance of going digital

    • Avoid redundancy by streamlining digital and analogue businesses
    • Maximise profit and reach with appropriate digital investment
    • Minimise waste by planning your transformation for the right future outcomes
    • Generate organisational buy-in by understanding the nuances of digital RoI

    Leisa Bacon, Director Audiences, ABC


    12:15pm Lunch



    1:15pm: Case Study: Effecting significant digital transformation

    • Increase the success of your transformation by scoping it appropriately
    • How far to look ahead? Avoid redundancies at roll-out by anticipating tech movements
    • Empower your transformation by ensuring your data is ready for anything
    • Tools and talent: What do you actually need? Do you already have it?

    Craig McDougall, General Manager of Digital and Pricing, RACQ

    Cara Walsh, Manager, Digital Strategy, RACQ


    2:00pm: Case Study: Embracing and promoting a global digital culture

    • How to avoid local trends and make your digital strategy internationally relevant
    • Exploiting ‘the content dilemma’ to expand your company’s digital agenda:
      • The changing nature of customer product value assessment
      • Increasing reach by updating “legacy” business models
      • Staying ahead of changing distribution networks
      • Building revenue by facilitating meaningful connections between customers
    • Navigating the challenges faced by established companies.

    Clive Dickens, Chief Digital Officer, Seven West Media


    2:45pm Afternoon Tea


    3:00pm: Panel Discussion: What can we learn from startups?

    • How do digital natives and big companies experience digital differently?
    • What are the cutting-edge digital strategies from the start-up universe?
    • “The harder they fall”: Big companies and big transformation, how can it go well?
    • How can a startup strategy ever benefit a large organisation?
    • What lessons can digital natives learn from big businesses? If any?

    Avi Golan, Chief Digital Officer, Air New Zealand

    Grant Baxter, Head of Brand Strategy, Twitter

    Libby O’Brien, Head of Digital, Corporate, Flight Centre


    3:45pm: CASE STUDY: What it takes to achieve a meaningful digital transformation

    • Ensure a successful strategy by setting realistic but meaningful goals
    • “Timing is everything”: maintain speed and deadlines to keep your transformation relevant
    • Data: Know the power you already have and make sure it is ready for anything
    • Increase success and reduce cost by securing the right people and the right tech

    Paul Shetler, Expert in Residence, Stone & Chalk (Prev. Chief Digital Officer, Digital Transformation Office)



    End of day two

  • Post-Conference Workshops Agenda

    DAY FOUR: Post-Conference Workshops – 1st March 2018

    8:30 Registration, morning coffee and tea

    9:00 Workshop A: Building a culture of sustainable innovation

    Truly understanding innovation is essential to driving it in your organisation. This interactive workshop will give you the tools to identify the difference between invention and innovation and focus on the key aspects of innovation. You will learn how to create a culture where innovation can flourish in an enterprise setting. You will review the 5 key principles that go beyond innovation for innovation sake and lead to tangible business value.

    This workshop will cover:

    • Driving innovation by learning to separate it from invention
    • Understanding the power of innovation through examples where it has been extremely profitable
    • Determining the best placed people to drive innovation in your organization
    • Maximising successful innovation within your organisation by learning to lead by following
    • Delivering successful outcomes by implementing failure
    • Solving problems faster and more effectively through inverted thinking

    Workshop Facilitator: Michael Bromley, Vice President Digital Consulting ANZ, Genpact (prev. Group Head of Digital – IAG, Head of Digital and Innovation, BoQ)

    12:30 Lunch

    1:30 Workshop B: Driving organisational buy-in

    The most common issue among Chief Digital Officers is frustration at seeming contradictions in organisational logic: the role exists to effect digital transformation, yet every step seems to be met with resistance. This workshop will equip you with the tools to overcome resistance and drive organisational buy-in with time-tested leadership techniques.

    This workshop will cover:

    • Earning internal trust for your digital strategy from the board room to front of house
    • Overcome resistance more effectively by understanding where it is coming from
    • Eliminating preconceptions about the cost of digital transformation and emphasising the exponential returns
    • Moving beyond short-term thinking and crippling risk assessments
    • Stamping your authority on the digital role to ensure buy-in and outcomes
    • Knowing how much you already control to generate leverage

    Workshop Facilitator: Sebastian Salicru, Founder and Director, Leadership Development and Engagement Solutions


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