This talk is presented by
Mike believes in the inspirational power of cities and spends a good amount of time encouraging anyone in his orbit to get out of the house, to know their city and to have more fun.
While working as a lawyer in the Middle East, he spotted an opportunity to launch global lifestyle brand Time Out in Sydney in 2007 to achieve these aims. In 15 years at the helm of Time Out Australia he has grew the brand across print, digital, event and social channels, which now reaches 1,000,000 Australians monthly. He also co-founded the Time Out Bar Awards and the Time Out Food Awards. Time Out’s contribution to our cities was recently recognised in 2020 when Time Out was awarded the Mumbrella Publish Awards Publishing Company of the Year, and Mike himself was awarded Publish Leader of the Year.
Since 2017 and prompted by the challenges facing Sydney's night time economy, Mike has focussed his efforts on aligning and empowering industry to actively engage in the political process in order to effect change. This saw him take a leading role in launching an independent bars association for Sydney in May 2018, followed by the launch of a Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) in November 2018 of which he was the inaugural Chair. The NTIA was at the forefront of the development of the NSW Government strategy for a 24-Hour Economy, and in February Mike was announced as the State of NSW’s first 24 Hour Economy Commissioner, a role that commenced formally on 29 March 2021.
Mike is also co-host of leading hospitality podcast Back of House, a board member of UNSW Art & Design’s advisory council and a board member of Torrens University Hospitality advisory council.
Lily works on making change in cities. She was the founding CEO of Renew Adelaide, taking it from start-up to established non-profit organisation, providing opportunities to over 100 start-up business or creative projects and contributing to Adelaide’s city revitalisation by working with the private and public sector. She currently works at Lendlease, leading strategy and new business models for emerging sectors, innovation & place creation in urban development. Lily's a member of the Committee for Sydney’s night time economy taskforce and the liveability & loveability task force, and has recently been working with the Perth government and private sector on revitalising the city. She remains a board member of the Economic Development Board of South Australia and the Botanic Gardens of South Australia. Before starting the city stuff she worked in arts and culture management and festivals, and finished dux of her law degree. She likes new ideas, hard problems, and making things happen.
Jess Cook is a Sydney based Creative Entrepreneur and Community Engager. She is the Managing Director and Founding Member of 107 Projects. She thrives on collaboration, curiosity and adventure. Her passion and playfulness drive her love of innovative engagement in hybrid place making projects. Working in community, government and corporate arenas, Jess has enjoyed developing and producing artistic initiatives both locally and globally. 107 might be a Petri dish of an experimentation… but it is already setting an example of new ways of understanding structure, engagement and transparency in the public realm.