Innovation Lab / Telstra

Innovation Lab / Telstra

The Semi-Permanent x Telstra Innovation Lab was a unique opportunity to connect, inspire and create meaningful collaborations with the next generation of emerging creatives. The brief was to find 100 enthusiastic candidates, put them in a room with 16 of the world’s best creative mentors and provide them with the tools needed to turn an idea into a solution. 

Telstra Innovation Lab

“The exciting thing about Innovation Lab is that it offers so many opportunities. All the lessons the participants take from this experience can be applied to almost every facet of their lives. From starting a business to the way in which they communicate with their colleagues, it’s about being able to connect with your peers, collaborate with your mentors but also have an open, honest dialogue about the issues or problems you or your society might be facing. I wish I had this opportunity when I was younger.”

Murray Bell - Founder of Semi Permanent

We cast the net wide to a global creative audience where candidates were invited to submit an application and share their ideas about what issues and challenges they believe millennials and Gen Y face today.

Successful candidates were selected based on their age, skills, background, ideas and enthusiasm for the project. They were then placed into teams of 10, with skills ranging from graphic designers and architects, to biomedical students, professors and psychologists. The workshop was thriving with diversity. 

Lead mentor
Billy Sorrentino

Jay MorganJames BoyceGlen Barry, Johnny Rogers, Arturo Escartin, Jack Moggach, Richard DavyMichael KleinmanAnnabelle Yoon and Suzanne Boccalatte

Floating mentors
Jason DaveyRussell PrivettSusan StewartCharbel Zeaiter and Robert St. Clair 

The Semi Permanent / Telstra Innovation Lab
The Lab's lead mentor, Billy Sorrentino, Executive Creative Director of WIRED
The Semi Permanent / Telstra Innovation Lab
The Semi Permanent / Telstra Innovation Lab
The incredibly passionate founder of Velvet Onion, Charbel Zaeiter and David Ho from group B
The Semi Permanent / Telstra Innovation Lab
Team G

“The labs were an incredible opportunity for the meeting of minds, from all walks of life to discuss the issues and problems facing a generation and working through practical solutions. The collaborative spirit was fantastic and inspiring!”

Jay Morgan - Digital Creative Director, J. Walter Thompson Mentor

Elicia Varley, Grace Palos, Jane Burhop, Joanne Rose, Jonathan Ke, Keith Parry, Orson Heidrech, Raymond Yang, Vanessa Cancino, Amber Marshell, Cohan Banfeld, Daniel Nutman, David Ho, Jenny Liu, Luke Watson, Michaela Upton, Rebecca Kennedy, Reese Geronimo, Bianca Schurman, Emma Hartwig, Erin Dullard, Jamika Bell, Jeremy Malouf, Ken Attard, Matthew Thorne, Rachel Gorman, Tom Osbourne, Alex Sillan, Jasper Sadubin, Jess Mitchell, Josie Young, Kristian Bonitz, Luca Tettoni, Nick Hunter, Sam Hornitzky, Seeta Townsend, Ellen Fraser, Enrico Becker, Leanne Bock, Lily King, Rico Minten, Thomas Pranadjaja, Tina Lee, Andy Hatton, Bettina Tan, Chris Dale, Lorraine Chung, Mike Gunadi, Monet Robertson, Christopher Croker, Felicity Kear, Lucy West, Marcus Woodfeld, Matt Pike, Saskia Essex, Thiago Nogueira, Gizelle Bautista, Livio Tobler, Michael Noone, Michaela Skovranova, Molly Freeman, Pei Wen Kwang, Taras Woronjanksi, Tim Noakesmith, Victor Caringal, Bruno Duval, Catherine Tsang, Celia Garforth, Charley Liu, Irnin Khan, Jarmaine Stojanovic, Kara Agostinho, Nikola Spadina, Pete Foley, Andrew Anthony, Georgie McCarthy, Jack Hubbard, Sarah Baker, Sven Pham and Tessa Walkenhorst 

Semi Permanent / Telstra Innovation Lab
Semi Permanent / Telstra Innovation Lab
Semi Permanent / Telstra Innovation Lab

Brainstorming and condensing the needs of an entire generation is no easy task. After two full days of discussions and collaboration, teams were given just five minutes to present their solutions.

From digital applications and ethical marketing, to physical spaces within the community and sustainable hubs, the presentations were as diverse as the groups that developed them.

Team F used acting as a way of translating a complex idea and engaging the audience, while Team A passed a clever prototype around the audience, instantly creating a tangible connection with their solution. Overall, each idea was unique, inspiring and engaging. 


“I think one of the most amazing things about this whole experience is taking the minute - in fact taking a long time - to talk about real issues together. To see a large company like this invest so heavily in creativity and empower the youth to be part of that, it’s really inspiring.”

Billy Sorrentino - Executive Creative Director, WIRED

Innovation Lab was never about finding a solution. It was about bringing 100 creative minds together from a variety of different backgrounds and disciplines and allowing them to share ideas, listen and learn from one another and catalyse innovative solutions to the issues and challenges faced by our younger generation today. For emerging creatives, it was an opportunity to not only connect with peers and industry leaders, but also learn how to apply methodologies like the design thinking process to everyday tasks and projects.

For creative mentors, it gave a direct line to the next generation of changemakers; an opportunity to exchange skill sets, impart wisdom and provide support when developing ideas and concepts.

For Semi Permanent, Innovation Lab exceeded all our expectations. It helped us develop a strong understanding of our hugely diverse community; what they’re interested in, how they interact with one another, but more importantly, how much they all want to make a big difference in the world. 

Robin Patrick, Ben Cutler, Freya Harvey, Lewis Evans & Matt Langler @ Telstra
Marty Wirth @ Present Company
Sonia Killmore @ The Plantarum
Myles Sharpe and Paul Mckie @ Autumn Co
We are Triibe and Koskela Furniture
Billy Sorrentino and Scott Dadich @ WIRED
All our incredible mentors and volunteers

Photography: Toby Peet
Filming: Patrick De Teliga


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