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This is how we opened a 2 day session with CSIRO: Health and Biosciences.

The history of science is made up of thousands of remarkable people that have made discoveries that have changed every part of our lives, in small ways and big ways, continuously for hundreds (well thousands) of years.

Most scientists have been dedicated researchers, single minded in their quest to understand the principles of science. The legends amongst them changed our understanding of how the world works completely, some even in multiple areas of science. What connects all great scientists though is their desire to make a difference, to have an impact on the world through their discoveries, and at times to win the race to get there first.

The scientists that have had the greatest impact are the ones that have helped to solve fundamental problems for society. How we travel, how we stay healthy, how we capture energy. The work of these scientists moved from the ‘lab’ to our lives. Their science had impact because it was able to cross into another realm.

In most cases the people that were responsible for bringing science into the new ‘everyday life’ realm were not the ones that came up with the breakthroughs. They were visionary people in their own right that were able to see the magic ways the science could be applied and the value it would bring to people. They were able to package it up and make it available to everyone. There have been some stand out examples of scientists that have done this themselves but in the main it has been done by others.

A different skill set is required to make things happen in the other realm. It’s unfamiliar ground. New systems, new words, new principles. If you want to have an impact learning a bit about what goes on here is worth the effort. There is no need to master it. Entering this realm doesn’t mean you leave science behind. The two worlds are not mutually exclusive but they are complementary.

Each of you are working in an incredibly valuable area of science. Imagine knowing without question that your work would absolutely have an impact… and how, and for whom. How would that direct your work? How would that impact on your ability to access the right people and the funding you need? How would you feel if this were to happen? It would be pretty amazing right.

Well that’s what the next two days are all about. Giving you an opportunity to try out a few of the newest tools designed to help you cross into the other realm. Tools that have been developed by the masters of change in this realm – startups. We are going to show you how they do it and how to apply some of their thinking to generate impact for your science.

We are going to have to use some unfamiliar terms to talk about all of this. Business terms. But don’t let them daunt you and I promise not to let your scientific terms daunt me! If we work together by the end of the two days we’ll see an amazing transformation. Go with it, push it as far as you can, give it everything you can and see where it takes you. You never have to come back to this again if you don’t want to. Think of the next two days as an experiment.

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