Exploring festivals and innovation. New Industry Adviser: Thomas Hajdu

Thomas Hajdu has joined the Arts, Festivals & Innovation project as an ‘Industry Adviser’, where he will help the team to find out more about the links between transformational festivals and innovation.

Tom’s career connects leadership, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Tom is CEO of Disrupter, his US-based innovation company. Over several years, this company has developed a way to create deeper and more creative strategic technologies. This year Disrupter is launching uNET, a next generation network company.

Tom is Professor and Chair of Creative Technologies at the University of Adelaide where he is Director of the Sia Furler Institute advocating innovation and entrepreneurship in the Faculty of Arts.

He received a Distinguished Talent Visa from the Australian Federal Government and in his first 18 months as a resident, Tom led a key initiative that was adopted by the South Australian Government, which saw Adelaide become Australia’s first gigabit city. The South Australian Government appointed Tom to the role of Chief Innovator of South Australia from 2017 to 2018.

Tom co-founded tomandandy, in 1990, reshaping the role of music in film, television and advertising industries by introducing a new process that lowered music production costs to a fraction of previous levels while improving creative quality. Over the next decade, tomandandy became one of the largest music production companies in the world. He has collaborated with Oliver Stone, U2 and Lou Reed to name a few, he has worked with top brands such as Microsoft and Ford, as well as in film and TV Studios and best of breed advertising agencies worldwide.

Tom has sat on award juries and has spoken, chaired or given keynote speeches at the original TED Conference, CalTech/MIT Forum, DisruptSydney, Pepperdine University’s first Disruption Conference as well as several universities worldwide about strategic innovation and is a member of Sydney University’s Digital Disruption Research Group.

He received a PhD and MFA degree from Princeton University and Presidential MBA from Pepperdine University.

Links: Tom’s profile on LinkedIn.

This research project investigates how transformational festivals, such as Burning Man (USA) or Boom (Portugal), support innovation processes. The project will be informed by surveying and interviewing people who have attended one or more transformational festivals. If you would like to do the survey, click here.

To stay up-to-date with news and information about the project, please subscribe to the project’s blog by entering your details in the box towards the bottom of your screen, or by joining in the conversation in the Facebook group, Culture for business, governments and life.

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