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WAS A unique one day conference exploring the radical humanisation of the workplace.

It took place on,

27th March, 2017 : Sydney
31st March, 2017 : Melbourne


And was a wild and untamed success.
Here is what some attendees had to say of their experience...


"Yesterday was incredible, humbling and transformational. This event was personal, it touched me before I walked in the door and is a defining moment in my life. I never thought of myself as being creative or arty - but you challenged that and I needed to hear those words."

"Thanks for the fun, the raw humanity, for giving us the chance to play full out. I realise I've forgotten how to have fun, how to be imaginative and let go. It was the awakening I needed."

"Stunning. Moving. Beautiful. Speechless. Well done on pulling together so many incredible speakers."

"This is for anyone who loves the idea of making workplaces and the world of business more authentic and connected. A brilliant day, superbly curated, full of surprises"

"I’ve never been to an event like that before. It felt like a performance, not a conference. Congratulations."

"When you first told me about this event I had pretty high expectations and you more than delivered on every one. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."


It looked like this

Stay tuned for what's next...




Tim Leberecht

International best selling author of 'The Business Romantic', 3 x TED Speaker, strategic advisor to the world's biggest brands.

'Tim encourages us in a playful yet reflective way to find beauty and meaning in business and shows us how small, everyday actions can help us build a more humane economy’

 — Klaus Schwab, Founder & Executive Chairman World Economic Forum





The Event

The Event


the event

Designed for conscious, influential & innovative business leaders looking to build beautiful organisations & create meaningful work.

Rich in sensory experience, layered with a deep visceral intent, every detail has been architected for beauty, intimacy, serendipity & enchantment. Every speaker, artist, venue & partner has been carefully curated to cultivate an atmosphere of deep enquiry, collective expression & individual embodiment. 

27th March 2017, Sydney
31st March 2017, Melbourne



the intent

"With business as the last grand social system and narrative of our time, it is paramount that we don’t surrender to a reductionist market-based view wanting us to believe that the wonder of life is a simple economic equation.

The bottom line is this: A merely transactionalist and reductionist world view is dehumanizing. A business that wants to stay human and at the same time leverage the full range of its human resources to innovate and compete in the future must remain idiosyncratic and unpredictable, and defy the assumption that only measurable things have value.

Strategy is art. Numbers are feelings. Organizations are relationships. Business is a performance. A Beautiful Business makes meaning, not just money. It discovers to deliver AND delivers to discover.

Sounds daunting? Well, it is. It’s going to be a lot of work — beautiful work."

– Tim Leberecht, Jan 2017

Premier Partner


supporting Partners

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The difference

A Fresh Format

Not just a bunch of ‘experts’ speaking at an audience for 8 hours. Diversity of message & medium, space for emergence & improvisation, intentionally dangerous yet effortlessly entertaining.

The Environment

The physical space for the event encourages full participation & deep immersion with a 360° performance area & movable set design.

More Room For Space

Most events are crammed full of content, overwhelming attendees with information and death by Powerpoint. This event is rich in context, engineered with elbow room, allowing you to sink in, absorb and embody your experience. 

Live Art  

Woven effortlessly throughout the day is a colourful array of opportunities to enjoy or indulge in live art, music, film, poetry, photography & dance.

invitations For Co-Creation

Opportunities to connect, collaborate & contribute to the event and other participants in the lead-up, throughout & follow-on of the experience. 

Unashamedly Beautiful  

We are boldly, courageously and intentionally having the conversations that until now have been laughed or locked out of the boardroom. 



Why Romance

Why Romance


Why Romance?

As our lives become more digital, sanitised and impersonal, as we seek to measure, automate & scale every inch of our experience, something meaningful yet unquantifiable is lost.


We're bringing it back.


At the Business Romantic Event you'll learn;

Cutting edge engagement strategies from some of the world's biggest brands.

New metrics and language, fit for the future of work, to measure and articulate your company's innovation, cultural & engagement capability. 

The distinction between high performance and high engagement,
and how to sustainably attain and balance both.

The sweeping advances in technology, how they are impacting the workplace and where the untapped opportunities exist – from a humanist perspective. 

The power of congruent communication – in the emerging world of work, how information is presented is just as important as the information itself. 


Research released by the World Economic Forum suggests Australian businesses are grossly unprepared for the inevitable transition to an artificially intelligent workforce. 

A recent McKinsey Global Institute report states that the coming digitisation of the workforce requires a sweeping rethink of our organisational structures, influence and control. 

Low engagement continues to cost our economy over $35 Billion annually and The 2017 Elderman Trust Barometer reveals a sharp decline across all sectors of Business, Govt, NFP & The Media.


Against the backdrop of eroding faith in capitalism, a polarising political climate, the impact of globalisation, pervasive technology, and big data, The Australian economic landscape is changing.

What is now required to thrive is a radical humanisation of the workplace.   

Despite our appetite for algorithms & automation, our desire for beauty, intimacy, serendipity, mystery and play are intensifying. The companies who embrace the new rules of enchantment are positioning themselves as market, industry & global leaders.



Showcasing a boutique selection of international & domestic thought leaders, entrepreneurs, philosophers, artists and journalists, this is a rare opportunity to discover emerging global trends from those on the leading edge.

The Business Romantic is an essential learning and development opportunity for any company committed to thriving in the future of work and the perfect alternative to an expensive & ineffective offsite days.

Join us for series of transformational conversations, designed to disrupt traditional approaches to innovation, culture, engagement, talent acquisition & customer experience and learn how to build beautiful businesses fit for the future of work.






Tim Leberecht

Tim Leberecht is the international best selling author of The Business Romantic, a 3 x TED speaker, & CEO of Leberecht & Partners. Tim helps the world's biggest brands, including Apple, Disney, Amazon, Google, GE, IBM, Ford Motors, Airbus, and Wolff & Olins transform their vision, story and experience. 

A regular contributor to Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Forbes, Fortune, Psychology Today, Washington Post, and Wired. And highly regarded speaker for TED, The Economist Big Rethink, SXSW,  Next, the Silicon Valley CEO Summit, Yale University, and the World Economic Forum. 

Mykel Dixon

Mykel Dixon is Australia's foremost expert on Artisan Thinking, Cultural Architecture & Atmospheric Design. A musician by trade, gypsy by nature, accidental author & fierce nonconformist, Mykel embodies a new wave of entrepreneurial experts showing forward-thinking organisations how to build for the future of work, and the creative visionary behind the dream, design and delivery of these events.

Dr Catriona Wallace

Dr Catriona Wallace is the Founder & CEO of trailblazing FinTech company, Flamingo, a multi-award winning & internationally recognised entrepreneur, and one of the world's most cited experts on the Future of Customer Experience, Artificial Intelligence & Bot Strategy. Known the world over as a high profile philanthropist, human rights activist & mother of five.

Jeremy Donovan

Descendent of the Kuk-Yalanji tribe of far Northern Queensland, Master Storyteller, Internationally Recognised Artist & Australia's most celebrated Didgeridoo player sharing 40,000 years of wisdom & cultural heritage.

jessie williams

Executive Director of The Groundswell Project, a NFP committed to building a more death literate society. Known for deploying innovative arts & health based programs to transform end of life conversations into deep community engagement & social action.

David Leser

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Award-winning Author, journalist, international correspondent, part-time guitarist and quasi anthropologist who has profiled some of the world's most prominent companies & people. From The Dalai Lama to Lady Di, Egon Zehnder to Mark Carnegie. 


Jo Burston

Serial Entrepreneur, Author, Founder & CEO of Job Capital and Inspiring Rare Birds, a global movement committed to empowering one million female entrepreneurs by 2020.

Oli Sansom

International award-winning photographer, global keynote speaker, quintessential art director & relentless advocate that #filmisnotdead

Dr Melis Senova

World leading pioneer of human-centred design, founder of global strategic design consultancy, Huddle, author, advisor & multiple board member.


Flutter Lyon

Flutter Lyon is a performer, author, experiential designer and, most uniquely, the world’s first Ink-Pressing artist. Throughout the event, she'll be translating your human stories into ink-pressing artworks bringing your inner landscape to the surface helping you understand more about the life you're living. 

Phil Ceberano

Phil Ceberano is Australian Rock n Roll royalty. The quintessential hard-workin guitarist, he's spent the last 30 years recording, performing & touring around the world with the biggest names in the biz. He'll be bringing his sound to help Myke sculpt the atmospheric landscape of the event.

Ellana Bobenko

Ellana Bobenko is a professional dancer and Abstract Artist whose work explores the immediate and responsive nature of movement, gesture and impulse. Influenced by folkloric character, colour and music she'll be creating a space for us to collectively express our experience on canvas. 



These speakers are merely conversation starters. The real highlight of this event is who is in the room. Expect a who's who of conscious, influential & innovation business leaders, committed to building beautiful organisations and creating meaningful work.

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occasionally asked questions

What is the event start and finish time?

Registration from 8:30am
Romance from 9:30am SHARP
Released back into the world from 4:30pm

Do you offer a discount for group bookings?

Absolutely! This event is perfect for your leadership team, HR or marketing department, key clients, best friends or complete strangers. For 6 or more tickets you'll receive $145 discount per ticket.

Is the seating allocated?

Nope. The physical space has been carefully designed for intimacy, serendipity, connection & co-creation. There are multiple performance areas, multiple seating options, you will move about throughout the day, making new friends, exploring from different perspectives. 

Do I need to bring my ticket to the event?

Yup. We and the trees would prefer you bring an electronic copy of your ticket. 

Will you be feeding us? And what if I have dietary requirements? 

Of course! We'll be nourishing your head, heart & hunger all day. There will be plenty of deliciousness for all the carnivores, herbivores, gluten & dairy free among us. 

What is the refund policy? Is my ticket transferable?

All tickets are non-refundable, but fully transferable. Meaning, if you can't make it for whatever reason, you can sell or gift your ticket to another.

Who is the organiser and how do I contact for further questions?

Mel & Myke #ftw. For all enquires contact info@talkingsticks.com.au

Can I contribute in some way?

YES! Now we're talking. There will be plenty of opportunities for your self-expression on the day but if you have an idea or intent in the lead-up, pah-lease don't hesitate to reach out.

Is this event going to be unbelievably radical?

Pretty much. 





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