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Urban Futurist & Leading Expert on the Future of Work and Living

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The Future of Living is not about the latest technology, it’s about people and connection.


Lucinda Hartley is an award-winning urban designer, a cofounder of world-leading social analytics company Neighbourlytics, and a globally recognised expert in the future of work and living.

Named as one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women by the Australian Financial Review, Lucinda is an ‘urban futurist’ who will challenge the audience to think differently about what the future holds. She is a technology leader who offers inspiration and practical advice on navigating some of the biggest questions of our time: what will the future of living and the future of work look like? and how can technology be a force for good in turbulent times?

As a co-founder of the social analytics company Neighbourlytics, Lucinda draws on the latest lifestyle data trends to provide actionable insights for creating workplaces that will attract the top global talent and communities where people are happier and healthier.

She also draws on a decade of experience pioneering innovative solutions to creating cities to provide the audience with practical examples of innovation and technology in action: from helping create the UN Sustainable Development Goals for cities (Goal 11) to advising Google on city-shaping projects in North America to delivering more than 100 neighbourhood improvement projects across Australia through her social enterprise CoDesign Studio. of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Singularity University.

Lucinda’s passion for cities and neighbourhoods began in childhood, growing up in Kenya, Zimbabwe and a host of other countries where she saw first-hand how your postcode is as likely to affect your life expectancy as your genetic code. As a result, she does not separate work and personal life: first, we shape our cities, and then they shape us.

Current Work:

As an urban futurist, Lucinda advises government, business, and technology leaders on innovation strategies for smart cities. She has worked with Google, UN-Habitat, Planning Ministers, MPs and major Property Developers to shape some of the world’s most significant urban renewal projects.

Lucinda is a Co-Founder of Neighbourlytics, a social analytics platform for neighbourhoods. Neighbourlytics’ proprietary technology taps into the digital footprint of a neighbourhood to understand its lifestyle and well-being. Neighbourlytics has scaled rapidly across 2000 neighbourhoods in 12 countries. Neighbourlytics was named as one of 20 Start-ups to Watch by Smart Company, and listed in the Deloitte Fast 50.

Lucinda is a regular media commentator and one of Australia’s sought-after voices on cities and social change. She has been featured regularly in the ABC, Sydney Morning Herald, Qantas Magazine, Vogue Magazine and The Age where she was named one of Melbourne’s Top 100 Most influential people.

Previous Work
Prior to co-founding Neighbourlytics, Lucinda founded the placemaking social enterprise CoDesign Studio. Between 2014-2017 CoDesign was Australia’s largest placemaking consultancy, delivering over 100 neighbourhood improvement projects from community gardens to pop-up parks.

She served as an elected youth advisor for UN-Habitat for 5 years, advocating for the inclusion of young people in the development of the Sustainable Development Goals. The direct references to women and youth in SDG 11: Cities are directly attributable to her work.

Awards and Recognition:
PropTech Association Australia Most Innovative Scale-Up in Data, Analytics, Insights & AI
PropTech Association "Best of the Best" PropTech of the Year Award for Commercial PropTech
Telstra Best of Business Awards State Finalist (2022)
Veuve Clicquot Bold Women Award Finalist (2021)
Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence (2019)
Deloitte Fast 50 Rising Star (2019)
Myer Innovation Fellow (2018)
Westpac Social Change Fellow (2018)
iAwards Startup of the Year, Australian Information Industry Association (2018)
Planning Institute of Australia, Awards for Excellence (VIC Winner (2017)
Westpac Business of Tomorrow (2017)
Place Leaders Award, Place Leaders Asia Pacific (2015)
Social Enterprise of the Year, Social Traders (2015)
Melbourne Design Awards, Winner, Community Category (2014, 2015)
Planning Institute of Australia, Awards for Excellence VIC Winner (2014)
Planning Institute of Australia, Awards for Excellence WA Winner (2014)

Talking Points

Work Culture and Lifestyle: Strategies to thrive during change

We’ve lived through greatest digital transformations of our time and no area is impacted more than how we work. Cities around the world are now questioning their purpose and function as employees work from ‘anywhere’. Business leaders across all sectors are asking for solutions for how to attract people back to the office, or whether to abandon offices completely. This reset on where and how we work is one of the biggest questions cities will face this century.

The latest lifestyle data shows that central business districts remain 20% below pre-covid activity levels while suburbs are booming. How will these lifestyle shifts change the face of cities and workplaces?

In this keynote, Lucinda will cover:
- What successful cities around the world are doing to attract the best talent and investment - and the results may surprise you.
- How to look beyond the quick fix solutions of office fit-outs and workplace activities to look at what will really help create sustainable and thriving workplaces of the future.

Key Takeaways:
- Understand what the latest data says about urban activity
- Learn from global case studies about tactics for attracting talent and investment
- Actionable strategies for ‘earning the commute’ and embracing hybrid work

Lifestyle Trends: The new rules for living

The way we live has changed. Technology is rapidly transforming how we travel, where we shop, and where we spend time. We no longer live in a neighbourhood, work in an office and shop at a local mall. We’re navigating complex lifestyle changes with remote work, online retail and social media - but are we happier?. We need a new set of rules for living.

In this keynote, Lucinda will cover:
- The latest data on lifestyle shifts occurring in local neighbourhoods such as: where did all the people go? How are lifestyles changing? What do people value?
- Explore the impacts of changing lifestyles on wellbeing and social connection
- Unpack the new ‘Rules’ for living and what the research says about living happier and healthier.

Key takeaways:
- Understand the latest lifestyle trend data
- Learn from case studies of neighbourhoods and precincts that are thriving
- Gain a simple framework for making better living choices with the ‘new rules’ for living

Data: Everyone’s talking about it, but we’re doing it different

As we face rapid shifts in the future of living and work, we increasingly need up-to-date information about what’s really going on so we can make decisions based on facts rather than intuition. The challenge is, while there are infinite amounts of data available (90% of the world’s data was created in just the last two years), making sense and drawing actionable insights is a gap for many. Equally, knowing how to measure the right things, not just the things that are easiest to measure is critical.

In this keynote, Lucinda will:
Use case study based learning to explore how we measure what matters. You’ll learn to ask the right questions, find better dynamic data, and interpret the results.

We’ll cover:
- Measuring what matters, identifying the right indicators including the tricky stuff like wellbeing and social connection
- Data options: Knowing which data sets are best for which purpose
- Risks and limitations: Exploring edge cases and risks
- Developing actions: How to develop insights and actions

Key takeaways:
- Data literacy: asking the right questions, and interpreting the results
- Data options: what new sources are out there, and how to access them
- Impact: measuring what matters, not just what’s easy to quantify

Innovation: Unlikely stories of how change really happens

Lucinda was once (almost) arrested for drawing chalk on the road in Sydney. It’s an unlikely beginning for what sparked a movement of placemaking and urban sustainability in Australia. We read about innovation, fast failing, agile and learning but the way it works in reality can be quite different.

Lucinda is a futurist and innovation specialist who has spent her career driving innovation in systems that are really complex to shift - like urban planning, local government and transport policy - and with excellent results.

In this keynote, Lucinda will:
- Share creative stories of how she’s created innovation in complex systems - from housing projects for the United Nations to data analytics for social impact.
- Unpack methods of innovation that work - from real failures and real projects
- Share actionable insights that the audience can apply to problems they might be facing as an intrapreneur, entrepreneur, project manager or business leader.

Key Takeaways:
- Learn about creative case studies of real world innovation projects
- Understand the building blocks of innovation for complex problem solving
- Simple actionable insights into innovation process for your team or project.

Women in tech: Lessons in building purpose-led businesses

Lucinda is a serial founder on a mission to create cities that are healthier and happier. She’s established several for-purpose businesses including leading social analytics company Neighbourlytics and social enterprise CoDesign Studio, which was at the time the largest placemaking consultancy in Australia. It’s been a bumpy road. As a female founder in technology she’s also aware that less than 2% of global venture capital goes to female-led (or female-identifying) businesses.

In this keynote, Lucinda will:
- Share her story as a serial entrepreneur - the successes and failures
- Unpack why you don’t need a technology background to be a tech founder (in fact non-technical founders can make the best technology leaders)
- Share how her companies use a ‘theory of change’ to drive positive social impact and accountability across the business.
- Practical tips on aligning your team and stakeholders around your north star and vision.
- Ideas and inspiration for how to get started on new ideas

Key takeaways:
- Learn from inspirational stories, successes and failures
- The challenges and opportunities of purpose-led business
- Practical tips for getting started on your own new idea or venture.

Urban Happiness: Can cities make us happier?

We’re experiencing an epidemic of loneliness. Only 1 in 3 Australians knows their neighbour and loneliness is as likely to kill you as smoking or heart disease.

When it comes to making choices about where to live, build or buy, most of us make choices based on the wrong criteria. We consider the basics of the physical environment - the price, the location - but we don’t take into account the factors that will affect our wellbeing. We’re changing this.

In this keynote, Lucinda will:
- Unpack some of the factors that influence our sense of social connection (or isolation)
- Research-backed factors that make neighbourhoods happier and healthier
- How to make better housing choices that positively impact your lifestyle and happiness, as well as the bottom line.

Key takeaways:
- Understand the research based factors that make neighbourhoods happier and healthier
- Gain insight into how to make better choices on where to live, build or buy
- Practical tips for building better communities.
Fantastic and engaging session, an interesting exercises in thinking about how we all live into the future. PWC - The Outside

Lucinda is at the forefront of the global urbanism movement, challenging traditional approaches to planning and designing cities.


We absolutely loved having Lucinda as our keynote speaker and part of the panel and Q&A discussions. Lucinda really engaged with the topic - Leading Innovation and offered her unique industry perspective during her keynote as well as part of the panel. One of our key objectives of the Women in Tech Alliance, is to provoke people to think, feel and do something differently and Lucinda’s insights, reflections and tips definitely prompted conversation and commitment to action.


Lucinda was fantastic, the group responded well to her insights, and she tied it back well to the audience and their business background.

Atlas Partners

Everything went really well and Lucinda was amazing. She is such a great speaker and was so inspirational for our group of teachers. The Geography teachers were buzzing all day. Saxton has also been wonderful to work with.

Geography Teachers Association of Queensland

Lucinda's presentation engaged the audience with honesty, beauty and simplicity. She received one of the longest ovations of all our speakers.

TEDx Melbourne

Lucinda was insightful and perceptive to our audience and topic and tailored her presentation to suit. Her professionalism shone through and her engaging manner inspired our delegates.

Asia-Pacific Student Accommodation Association

Let's talk, enquire with Vicki now

Vicki Stone

Senior Consultant - Saxton Speakers

Let's talk, enquire with Vicki now

Vicki Stone

Senior Consultant - Saxton Speakers

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