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Pause Fest opens doors to NFPs to boost innovation


21 October 2020 at 6:03 pm
Maggie Coggan
For the first time in its 11 year history, the festival is going virtual 


Maggie Coggan | 21 October 2020 at 6:03 pm


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Pause Fest opens doors to NFPs to boost innovation
21 October 2020 at 6:03 pm

For the first time in its 11 year history, the festival is going virtual 

Half of the tickets to Pause Fest 2021 are being donated to the not-for-profit sector, in a move organisers hope will democratise access to innovation in hard times. 

Like most events in 2020, Pause Fest in 2021 will stream live from computer screens and televisions across the globe.  

It’s the first time in the event’s 11-year history it won’t be hosted in person, and this means that capacity has been boosted to 20,000 spots. 

Another major difference with the 2021 event – which will be headlined by the likes of Dirk Ahlborn from Hyperlooptt, Myleeta Aga Williams from Netflix, and Christopher Gerty from NASA – is the decision to donate 10,000 tickets to the NFP sector, worth up to $750,000. 

“[By] going digital, we have the opportunity to reach a lot more people,” Pause Fest founder George Hedon told Pro Bono News.  

“That’s when we started thinking about how we could democratise innovation, not just bringing even more people, but giving more people the chance to be innovative.” 

Hedon said that opening up the event to the NFP sector meant opening up the bubble of innovation that existed across the world, and this would be represented at the event.     

“The NFP sector is full of people working to solve issues around Indigenous affairs, education, climate change, disadvantaged communities, and these are exactly the sorts of themes we have at our event,” he said. 

“We’re hoping that people that attend will be able to learn about what’s going on out there, who are the players, who are these people that are building incredibly amazing products and services.” 

He said that through such an immense period of disruption, it was important that organisations that could give back, did.  

“We see ourselves as a beacon of an industry of innovation, and so if we aren’t doing this, who’s going to do it?” he said.

“We want to show that we do care and we want to support and we want to give… And maybe through this, other companies will realise and see this as an opportunity that they can do something similar or they can help us deliver this to others.” 

Pause Fest will run from 1 to 12 March 2021. More information about the event can be found here.  


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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