Our future is our next gens

Business, industry and government have an important role in supporting our educators to help our young people, our next-gens, realise their potential as drivers of innovation in our economy and communities into the future.

The Sustainnovation Challenge program makes it easy for communities, governments and businesses to collaborate and activate important relationships with their local education ecosystem.

As a collective force, we can create immersive, unique learning experience’s for students to connect with and have agency in their place unleashing their inner innovators and activating great ideas for their and our future.

Our Values Drive The Sustainnovation Challenge Learning Experience

Thinking Local – Authentic innovation grows through a lived experience or an emotional connection with a problem. A local lens makes learning, deploying, and celebrating innovation easier. We look local first, because it’s the people closest to a problem that have the insight and motivation to find a solution. We exist to help them find that solution.

Activating SMART –  The future is enabled by digital technology, but is only ‘smart’ if there’s a human perspective at its core. We facilitate ‘human-centric’ discussions, bringing together people and technology. This approach allows our young innovators to develop authentic ways to help people and communities, supported by cutting-edge technology. Not the other way around. 

Sustainability – A global spotlight is shining on humanity’s environmental impact, and now more than ever we need sustainable solutions to world issues. At the same time, thanks to the ongoing digitisation of learning, there has never been greater access to resources and technology. We introduce sustainability from the beginning of the ideation process, setting a standard for our young people and local communities to do the same.

Our Mission Delivers

Bringing people together from all walks of life to share, learn, collaborate, innovate and grow. We search for clarity in the problems and challenges people and communities face in our towns, regions and cities. We apply innovation to these challenges as a community and deliver a solution. As a result, our connected, inclusive, problem-solving communities prosper; socially, economically and environmentally.

Enriching local businesses, community organisations and students understanding of innovation and its role in building a sustainable society.

With sustainability and innovation at the core, developing deeper engagement with varying stakeholder cohorts across a city or region.

Develop a broad and diverse pipeline of problem solvers to join and collaborate in a city or region’s innovation ecosystem network.

Being visibly engaged and supportive of business, community and students development and growth.

Proactively uncovering social and business problems requiring innovative solutions.

Creating a new innovative way for people from across a city or region to connect, collaborate and innovate.

Meet The Team

duncan burck

Creator & Program Director

Duncan is a well rounded, collaborative, down to earth leader with a track record of innovation and program development in industry, community, education and next-gen partnerships.

Unlocking and developing the innovation talent pipeline is something Duncan is very passionate about, believing that it is critical for our communities, now and into the future, to grow and prosper.

Clint Bruin

Clint Bruin

Advisor | Innovation Coach

Clint is a proven innovation professional with a long history of working in the research development industry. Skilled in systems and design thinking, control systems design, functional safety, strategic planning, and advanced product development, the Sustainnovation Challenge participants will be receiving coaching from one of the best thinkers in Australia’s innovation space.

TrevorStuart (2)

Trevor Stuart

Advisor | Challenge Development & Industry Collaborations
Trevor’s background includes R&D associated with construction materials and the circular economy, operations management, project management, economic research, and continuous improvement projects. Trevor plays a key advisory role in testing and connecting industry partners to the challenge themes.
Ryan Palmer

Ryan Palmer

Advisor | Local Government Strategy
Ryan has been the Mayor of Port Stephens since 2017, he is also a company director and Next-Gen advocate. Local government is a key partner in any Sustainnovation Challenge, the insights and direction Ryan provides in this critical area of the program ensure the Sustainnovation Challenge team are delivering an exceptional experience to local government partners.
Tracey Breese

Tracey Breese

Advisor | Education Programs & Relations
Tracey Breese, Principal of The Hunter School of Performing Arts, is a highly respected and recognised education leader in the NSW Department of Education, and with her peers across Australia. Always at the front of innovation in education, Tracey brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and connections to the Sustainnoovation Challenge program.
Scott Sleap

Dr Scott Sleap

Advisor | Education Partnerships
Scott is regarded as a visionary educator. In 2018, he was the first Technology teacher to win the Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence for Secondary Science Teaching. As a genuine collaborator and educational leader with over 25 years of experience, he brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to shape the Sustainnovation Challenge.
Mary Burck (2)

Mary Burck

Advisor | Project Management
When she’s not driving change and comms projects for the nib Group Mary is advising the Sustainnoviation  Challenge team on the setup of an effective process for delivering the program. Mary is a Certified Change Prosci Practitioner and Prince2 project manager. 
Gabe Robinson

Gabe Robinson

Advisor | Challenge Development
Gabe has had an exceptional career as Creative Director on some of Australia’s highest rating television programs, and as an innovator in the VET training space creating industry skills driven programs for students breaking into the creative industries. Gabe’s contribution to the Sustainnovation Challenge programs ensures students will connect with their inner creator when taking on any challenge.

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