Young professionals explore cities of the future

Young professionals and students came together at the Young Professionals Forum.

A record number of emerging young leaders took part in the Griffith University Young Professionals’ Forum last week.

The two-day event was part of the 2019 Asia Pacific Cities Summit (APCS) and welcomed 170 participants – more than any previous Young Professionals’ Forum.

The delegates, of which about half were young professionals and the other university students, spent time in workshops, brainstorming innovative ways to create sustainable and liveable cities.

Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph answers questions of the future leaders.

They took part in a Q&A session with Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph, who told them that to stay motivated in business, you must be in love with a problem, not a solution.

“Most people start out the wrong way, they start out in love with the solution,” Randolph said.

“They have this great idea and the keep trying to find a problem to match their solution and that’s just a disaster.

“But if you say, ‘I see a problem out there,’ and you begin to learn everything you can about that problem, you become so passionate about the problem that you’ll never lose interest.”

Griffith University Bachelor of Business (Management)/Bachelor of Psychological Science student Chloe Ward said she enjoyed the opportunity the forum gave her to connect with a vast network of professionals and was inspired by Griffith opera singer Xenia Puskarz Thomas at the event’s orientation.

Griffith opera singer Xenia Puskarz Thomas performs for the Young Professionals’ Forum.

“Xenia said that the more knowledge we have about something, the better we are able to take care of it,” Chloe said.

“I believe this message not only applies to your voice but also to cities and the community on a global scale, therefore I went into the conference with the mindset that everything I will learn will be helpful in building my understanding of current worldwide issues.”

In other sessions, delegates heard from Griffith Cities Research Institute’s Associate Professor Matthew Burke on the mobility of cities — with technology such as electric buses a viable option and Urban and Environmental Planning senior lecturer Dr Tony Matthews examined how sustainable cities can be achieved.

Other Griffith speakers included Dr Johanna Nalau on regional strategies for sustainability, Dr Rob Hales on global goals reshaping cities, Associate Professor Ingrid Burkett and Alex Hannant about creating an urban innovation ecosystem, Professor Brydie-Leigh Bartleet on the role of artists designing cities and Dr Ali Lakhani city accessibility impacting health.

On the last day of the summit, forum participants presented delegates with some of the solutions they had been working on.

Young professionals present to APCS delegates.

Griffith Asia Institute director Professor Caitlin Byrne co-chaired the forum alongside Professor Paul Burton and said the group had worked hard over the course of the program.

“It has been a privilege to work with 170 young professionals to come up with ideas for meeting the challenges facing cities today and tomorrow through the APCS Summit,” Professor Byrne said.

Griffith University Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans said she was proud of the university’s involvement.

“Cities are at the forefront of political, economic, social and environmental challenges and of innovation in diplomacy and global governance,” Professor Evans said.

“As a globally engaged, values-led, research intensive university that serves as an anchor institution in three major cities of Queensland’s southeast, and with our enviable tradition as a leader in the Asia-Pacific region, Griffith University is proud to support the APCS.”