The Official Bio
Simon Banks, Not your ordinary keynote speaker
Creative, Experienced, Engaging.
If you want your audience engaged, the energy high and your people raving about your event, Simon’s for you.
Simon is an international keynote speaker and author on creativity and innovation and a recovering artist. He has delivered over 1300 events across the globe.
His book, A Thousand Little Lightbulbs: How to kickstart a culture of Innovation in your Organisation, is out now and providing a tool to leverage the greatest innovation tool in your business: your people.
Simon describes his geek out spot as the intersection of creativity and design, people, learning and passion which he sees as essential building blocks for innovation.
Simon’s big why? To build a more creative world and enable people and business to thrive in the modern age.
Never have creativity, curiosity and imagination been more important than they are today.
As the world around us changes at a rapid pace, business models are upended, 2019 thinking will not provide the answers we need in 2020 and beyond. As automation continues to take away the repeatable and mundane, they are essential human skills we need more than ever to succeed.
In Global Surveys, CEOs list creativity as the most essential skill they need in their organisation (and this was pre 2020. This stuff matters!)
If you want to kickstart a culture of innovation in your company, create a constant stream of fresh thinking and break through the business-as-usual or ‘heard all this innovation stuff before’ boredom, then you need Simon’s book in your life.
Click below to find out more about A Thousand Little Lightbulbs.
What magic does Simon weave for you?
Simon speaks at and emcees conferences and events and facilitates a large variety of innovation and design programs, including innovation hackathons, visual storytelling programs, design sprints, and creativity and design thinking workshops.
His solutions cover both digital and face to face solutions and online and offline programs and events.
He works with companies who want to develop a culture of innovation every day, everywhere and nurture market leading thinking, great ideas, products and results by putting people and creativity at the heart of their innovation strategy.
Simon knows that if you’ve got a problem, you’ve got the solution, too. You might just need help to bring it to life.
Take a look at Simon’s showreel to see him in action:
Creating a culture of innovation doesn’t happen by accident. Nor does it happen by endlessly throwing around the latest buzz words in meetings.
You need someone who knows the terrain to help your people forge their own path to innovative, creative solutions that fit your company’s quirks like a bespoke suit.
Simon’s unique blend of energetic enthusiasm, creativity and humour is your guarantee for a program or event that lives on in the memories of your people, for all the right reasons. With his authentic passion, he engages audiences instantly; they’re along for the ride and unlocking great ideas.
He marries his creative abilities with his knowledge of the corporate world to ignite fresh, innovative thinking in his audiences… and provides a roadmap to ensure that creativity lasts long after the event is over.
He’s worked to bring fresh thinking and innovation out of teams with companies that include: EY, The Federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, BHP Billiton, Sportsbet, Geoscience Australia, NAB, Carat Media, Macquarie University, The QLD Government, and Volkswagen, to name a few.
Simon’s spoken at and facilitated an enormous range of events, running 1300+ across Europe, Asia, America and Australia, including:
After a successful career as an artist and then a solid stint in corporates, Simon brought together his two specialities to create VisualFunk, his company that brings creativity and fresh thinking to organisations that want to grow, develop and foster a culture of innovation in their teams to produce great ideas, products and results.
With a high-energy, savvy approach that engages audiences instantly, Simon is a consummate, unflappable professional, without compromising on the fun. Many event clients say he’s the easiest person they have ever worked with.
Watch Simon’s evolution from artist by night and corporate worker by day to sought-after innovation and creativity thought leader in the video below:
Now based in Sydney, Simon loves to travel and live life to the fullest. When he’s not presenting, he can often be found chasing his three young kids, creating and illustrating in his studio, surfing and finding new adventures with his family.
If you want to make sure you fulfil the innovation potential in your organisation and that your event, conference, training day or keynote are remembered for all the right reasons, you need Simon – or his book!
Get in touch with Simon today to have a chat about how he can bring out the best in your people at your event.
The unofficial bio
Hi, I’m Simon.
I’m an author and speaker (and a little bit different) as you might have gathered. I don’t want to be a boaster but I like to subscribe to the ‘mighty fine online’ theory as well.
If you’re an event planner, you may be here because you want a speaker for your event or program who understands how important a well-run event is, isn’t a pain in the arse, connects with your audience and is fun to work with.
I’ve been on your side. I know that hiring the right person for your event is mission-critical.
You just want your event to run smoothly, your people to be engaged, and if everyone raves about it for a long time afterwards? That’s the gold standard, but you’ll take that too! (Who wouldn’t?)
If you’re a leader, you may want to talk to someone who knows how to inspire your people about new thinking, ideas & innovation, even if they think they’ve heard it all before. In 2020, that’s more important than ever before. You may be wondering how to even get started with a culture of innovation in your organisation that isn’t lost in more change rollout jargon or lost in all the noise.
You may be thinking about how your team can continue to thrive in the 21st Century as disruption shapes our landscape in new ways every day. (And hasn’t disruption taken off in a way that we never expected recently?)
Well, good news! I think you’ve landed in the right place!
I come from two very different backgrounds: creative and corporate. I really like to have fun as well. Whilst I didn’t realise it at first, my left of centre mix has been a great blessing.
I know a LOT about ‘doing’ creativity and about how to get it working in a corporate setting, without scaring anyone off.
I’ve even written a book about it.
Why? Let me tell you…
We all come to a stage in our lives when we know that we need to do something different.
We need to break the mould.
Break out of the routine.
Maybe do something slightly rebellious or outrageous.
Some may call it a mid-life crisis. Spoiler: I got to that point too.
I couldn’t afford a Ferrari and I’m far more attracted to a Moped over a Harley Davidson, so I chose to write a book instead.
Logical? Nope. Satisfying? Well, maybe.
Whilst I wondered about the Harley Davidson vs Moped and riding into the hills, I’m glad I stuck with the writing.
Now it’s out and at large in the world, I’ve got a lot to share.
My big why? To build a more creative world and enable people and business to thrive.
The problem is, 95% of people I work with think they don’t have any creativity at all. NONE.
That’s why I love bringing fresh thinking out of a crowd; enabling a roomful of people to realise that they ARE innovative thinkers, even if their jobs and lives have told them otherwise so far.
There is just so, so much hidden potential that people can ignore.
That potential shouldn’t be – and in today’s world just can’t be – wasted.
Once a team can develop creative confidence, to try new things and back their ideas, watch out as this is when positive change happens at pace.
I have a foot in both the creative and corporate worlds. I truly understand the pressures of corporate life. I know that building a team of fresh thinkers and constantly improving and adapting may be the end game, but it’s tough when you have immediate benchmarks and KPI’s to meet, and a team has heard all this innovation mumbo jumbo before.
It’s also hard when you’re up against a culture that might not be so supportive.
Using a very active and hands-on approach, I help teams rediscover their long squashed creativity, design and problem-solving skills so that they can develop market-leading products, services and ways of working that delight their clients and can make a real difference.
Absolutely, each organisation is different, but I have never met a team who doesn’t want to develop the very human skills they need to thrive in the 21st Century.
I believe that innovation is EVERYONE’S job – everyone, every day, everywhere.
We all have a role to play in making the world a better place.
If you’d like to talk to me to figure out how your online or offline event can have your people raving and really shift the innovation capabilities in your organisation give me a call or contact me today.
Here’s to your next event, function or keynote address knocking the ball out of the park and being the experience you’ve always dreamed it could be!