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10365568_10152167807135698_6398200924495461744_oI was sitting quietly at my desk last Wednesday… going through some emails, being intentional about getting back to people as soon as I can when I get an email from Pip Marlow – Microsoft Australia Managing Director. I don’t know Pip so it was unusual to hear from her. With interest I read the missive headed up “Joined- Up Innovation.”

Dear Naomi

I wanted to let you know that tonight Microsoft will proudly recognise you at an event being held in Canberra to celebrate Australia’s innovation history.

Microsoft believes that Australia needs to better celebrate our innovation success stories, to champion role models for future innovators and to reduce the perception of risk. This was one of seven findings of the Joined-Up Innovation discussion paper we launched in April.

Our conviction to Joined-Up Innovation comes from a belief that innovation and productivity are co-dependent, and focuses on the potential for gains in Australia’s small and medium-enterprises. By joining-up all parts of Australia’s innovation ecosystem, we will create a better environment for all Australians to innovate and for our nation to prosper.

The Australian Innovators recognised at our event include:

·         Professor Fiona Wood AM, Spray-On Skin
·         David Unaipon, Sheep-Shearing Comb
·         Professor Graeme Clark AC, Cochlear Implant
·         John Flynn OBE, Royal Flying Doctors Service
·         Dr Ann Moffatt, Teleworking
·         Lance Hill, Hills Hoist
·         Dr David Warren AO, Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder
·         Ben Lexcen AM, Winged Keel
·         Naomi Simson, RedBalloon
·         Dr David Robinson AO & George Kossoff, Grey-Scale Ultrasound Scanner
This is a very simple way of the celebrating your contribution to Australia’s innovation history as well as building a positive environment for the next generation of Australia innovators.

I had not heard about the program, and was duly humbled to be put in the company with the highest profile Australian innovators and inventors which demonstrates that innovation comes from everywhere. Sometimes I think we can over engineer the solving of problems – having a different view from another field can give us a perspective that is not obvious to us. As Albert Einstein is quoted “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

Here is a clip which gives more insight into what they are setting out to achieve.


Reader Interactions


  1. Congrats Naomi! it’s excited to be recognised for your contribution and the innovative way that Red Balloon has impacted the gift, engagement and experience online space.

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