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Central European Business Forum

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Date: Thursday 10 August 2017
Venue: International Chamber House, Level 5, 121 Exhibition Street, Melbourne -->

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Linking Victoria and Central and eastern Europe through innovation

Have you ever seen a Suggestometer? Do you know what Radium is used for? Have you ever heard of the Biro pen or Prezi? These are all innovations coming from Central and Eastern Europe. And today, small and medium sized businesses are more innovation driven than ever.

This year, the Central European business Forum focuses on using innovation as an avenue to connect Victorian SMEs to businesses, markets and other opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe. If you are interested and want to learn more, joining the Central European Business Forum is the right thing for you.

Our event brings you opportunities to network, learn interesting information about Central and Eastern European markets and link with internationalisation experts and advisors.

Our exciting program features:

  • Pre-event future thinking workshop (optional) – to open your mind to future opportunities
  • Expert talk – to inform you about key trends and innovations in Central and Eastern European markets
  • Panel discussion by country experts – to provide you insight and answer your questions
  • Business lounge (with light refreshments) – to meet and discuss business ideas with like-minded business people
  • Business showcase – exhibition of innovation by companies doing business with Central and Eastern European markets.

Program times

Pre-event workshop (limited places available, please register early)

4pm - 5pm: 'Opening your thinking to future opportunities' by Dr Joseph Voros

About the pre-event workshop

Introduction to Futures Thinking: How to bring foresight into your strategic thinking, planning & action

‘Futures Thinking’ and ‘Foresight’ have been gaining in visibility over the last decade or two, and are now increasingly being used in the direction-setting work of corporate, government and not-for-profit sector organisations. But what is Futures Thinking, and how can it and Foresight be utilised in strategic planning, policy development and leadership?

This interactive business forum will explore the foundational ideas of ‘futures thinking’ that underpin the practice of ‘Strategic Foresight’ – the use of futures thinking and foresight methods in organisationally-useful ways. You’ll explore and discover:

  • Key ideas and concepts for thinking seriously about the future
  • Mental models to help cut through the ‘noise’ and find important signals of change
  • How much of ‘the future’ is present in your day-to-day strategic activities
  • How broadly and deeply your organisation thinks about the future
  • How leaders and their organisations can face uncertain futures


Event program

Facilitator: Dr Aron Perenyi, Lecturer, Swinburne Business School, Swinburne University of Technology

 5.00pm Arrival, meet and greet
 5.30pm Welcome and opening of the Smart Hungary Exhibition:
Mr Péter Bakonyi and Ms Rita Vágó, Hungarian Consulate in Melbourne
Ms Janine Shearer, Director, Collaboration & Partnership, Swinburne University of Technology
 5.45pm Keynote speech:
Mr Kevin Magee, Assistant Secretary, Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe Branch, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
 6.00pm AUSTRADE presentations: ‘Innovation in the Australian context’ – Government initiatives to foster innovation, Mr Tim Carroll, State Director Victoria and Tasmania
 6.20pm Panel discussion: ‘What is the innovative advantage of CEE markets and how to build on it?’
Moderator: Professor Bruce Wilson, Director, RMIT EU Centre
Discussants: representatives from key markets in CEE (featuring discussants from Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia)
 7.00pm Closing speech: the Hon Frank McGuire, Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation
 7.10pm Concluding remarks: Dr Aron Perenyi, Swinburne University of Technology
 7.15pm Business Networking: refreshments and drinks provided
 8.00pm Event concludes 

Swinburne and the Hungarian Consulate Melbourne proudly presents this event in partnership with the Small Business Victoria Festival.

Small Business Festival logo    Victorian State Government logo


Contact Information: Dr Aron Perenyi
Email: Tel: +61 3 9214 8078

Previous years' events

2016 event

2016 was the third year we have run the Central European Business Forum.

2015 event

Not sure what to expect? See our 2015 event.

2014 event