Premier Campbell Newman today announced the Queensland Government had become the major partner in Brisbane’s G20 curtain-raiser, the Brisbane Global Cafe at City Hall on 12 and 13 November.
In a joint statement, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the global cafe was a major opportunity to capitalise on the international spotlight from the G20.
The stellar line-up of more than 70 speakers will include one of the world’s leading scientific minds, Michio Kaku, and international digital identity Alexis Ohanian, who will ‘beam in’ to the Global Cafe on the event’s giant 45m screen and take part in a global interactive discussion on November 12.
Australian television legend Ray Martin and prominent science commentator Bernie Hobbs will host and moderate some of the key sessions.
“The eyes of the world will be on Brisbane for the G20 and the global café will show we’re tackling the most important issues facing Queensland and the world,” Mr Newman said.
“The world’s most important leaders and most innovative thinkers are heading to Brisbane. This is an incredibly exciting time for the city and a great opportunity to show what Queensland is about to the rest of the world.”
Dr Kaku is one of the most widely-recognised figures in the scientific world today with more than two million Facebook followers and is widely acknowledged to be the inspiration for Johnny Depp movie Transcendence.
His goal is to complete Einstein’s dream of a ‘theory of everything’, to derive an equation, perhaps no more than one inch long, which will summarise all the physical laws of the universe.
He is also an internationally-recognised authority in predicting trends affecting business, commerce and finance based on the latest research in science.
Cr Quirk said Brisbane would effectively be the ‘capital of the world’ for the week of the G20 and the global cafe aimed to ensure Brisbane shone in the spotlight.
“Ray Martin will moderate the Cities of the Future segment of the Brisbane Global Cafe, sharing the role with Haslinda Amin, a Singapore-based news correspondent and anchor for Bloomberg Television,” Cr Quirk said.
“To attract professionals of this calibre is a measure of the excitement that is building for this ground-breaking event that will be a first for a G20 host city and one I expect will be adopted by other cities in future.
“Ray Martin is a legend of the Australian media landscape and Ms Amin has reported on financial and political developments including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forums, anti-government clashes in Thailand and US President Barack Obama’s first visit to Asia.”
Alexis Ohanian is the co-founder of reddit, a platform for online communities to share links and discussions and one of the 50 biggest US websites.
Having sold reddit to Conde Nast, Mr Ohanian now sits on the board of reddit. His other brands include Breadpig and hipmunk, and he mentors and advises young start-ups in his investment portfolio.
He is the author of the bestselling book Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made not Managed and is a passionate fighter for internet freedom through projects such as the Declaration of Internet Freedom, Internet Defense League, and the Internet 2012 Campaign Bus Tour.
Mr Newman said the Queensland Government had become the major partner for the Global Cafe, supporting the themes: Improving Human Life, Digital Age, Tourism and Asian Century.
“The Brisbane Global Cafe will explore themes that are of vital interest to Queensland and our future vision for the state,” Mr Newman said.
“The strong speaker line-up will allow the event to advance global thinking on vital issues and help advance our thinking and ambitions.”
Bernie Hobbs is a popular presenter on the the ABC’s New Inventors program.
Martin will also host the Brisbane Global Cafe Gala Dinner on Thursday 13 November and conduct interviews during the evening.
The Brisbane Global Cafe is an initiative of economic development board Brisbane Marketing. It will be live-streamed online and broadcast outside City Hall in King George Square for public viewing.
For more information about the Brisbane Global Cafe, speakers, the program and tickets, visit globalcafe.com.au
During the two days of the Global Cafe the CBD will be operating normally with transport corridors open, public transport working and only minor impacts in a small number of streets.