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‘Shark’ calls for councils to challenge assumptions

Naomi Simson, RedBalloon Founding Director

Naomi Simson, RedBalloon Founding Director

RedBalloon Founding Director and ‘shark’ on TEN’s Shark Tank, Naomi Simson will highlight the benefits of creativity and innovation to councillors and council staff from across the state when she presents at the 2015 Rural Summit in Halls Gap next month.

“Assumptions are the biggest creativity killers, so I’m going to be challenging the audience to look at what they take for granted in their organisations and begin to challenge it,” Ms Simson said.

“I’ll be telling councils that a creative workforce brings benefits to their business,” she said.

Ms Simson made headlines when she ate pet food as part of the Shark Tank program, declaring it was done in the interests of customer experience. RedBalloon is a brand that has been built on customer experience.

Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) Chair, Cr Rob Gersch said council teams were always looking for ways to improve their customer experience as part of working smarter to meet their communities’ needs.

“Hearing about Ms Simson’s entrepreneurial journey will no doubt be thought provoking and inspiring for councils. Many have been using creative approaches and introducing innovative practices as they have realised they have to change to keep pace with community expectations and government requirements,” Cr Gersch said.

“The Rural Summit is also open to anyone in the community who would like to attend. Rural communities are already home to many entrepreneurs who think outside the box and they add value to small towns,” he said.

This year’s Rural Summit theme explores what makes rural communities successful – Standing out from the flock: is difference the key to success in rural communities?

This year’s speakers and panel sessions feature:
• Sir Bob Parker, former Christchurch City Mayor
• Matthew Evans, SBS presenter, chef and local food advocate
• Prof Elizabetta Barberio, scientist presenting on dark matter
• Emma Dean, former town planner and Masterchef winner

The Rural Summit is an annual event of RCV.

RCV is the alliance of Victoria’s 38 rural councils. It supports and promotes sustainable, liveable and prosperous rural communities, including a program of activities focussed on developing practical solutions to issues shared by the state’s rural councils and communities.

You can learn more about the Rural Summit and book your tickets here.

The Rural Summit is proudly supported by Rural Councils Victoria with funding from the Victorian Government’s $3.3 million Networked Rural Councils program. This year’s event will be hosted by the Northern Grampians Shire Council from 15 to 17 April in Halls Gap.

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