In this episode, I have a great chat with Leanne Kemp, the Founder and CEO of Everledger and Queensland Chief Entrepreneur. Leanne’s company Everledger uses Blockchain technology to track high-value assets such as diamonds, art and wine with the aim of increasing transparency and trust with technology. As the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, her role is to develop the state’s startup ecosystem, attract investment and support job creation. 

You may remember Leanne from Episode 33, way back when we were called the Smart City Podcast. In that episode I interviewed her together with Louise Mercer, then Head of Everledger Australia, New Zealand, now Chief Experience Officer of Everledger and spoke to them both about blockchain, how they use it and why it’s the next wave of the internet. So we’ll link that episode in the show notes, highly recommend you go back and have a listen. 

In this episode, I asked Leanne about what has happened since she was last on the podcast, and she shared a bit about her work as Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur. We talked about the crucial differences between Smart Cities and Smart or Intelligent Communities, as Leanne calls them, and why the move toward community is so important. Leanne talked about the need to be expanding access to digital skills and technology for those that are otherwise likely to be left out, and her passion for circular economy concepts [concepts?? Thinking? Frameworks?]. We discussed the innovation Leanne is seeing from regional areas in Queensland, as well as having more intrapreneurs in government to be encouraging public-private partnerships. Leanne spoke about the ways we are good at collaborating but so far not so good at coordinating, and that coordination piece is the key to effective integration across disciplines, government, industries and academia. We finish our chat discussing the emerging trend of recognising that we’ve so far been too myopic in thinking and the need for systems leadership thinking, as well as the need for more and better public-private partnerships.

Now I need to warn you that in recording this episode we had some tricky technical issues, so there is a bit of background noise in places and some moments where fragments of words drop out, so I apologise for that in advance. We’ve done the best we can to make it listenable and I really wanted to have Leanne on the podcast again because she has so much valuable insight into Smart Communities and in particular Smart Regions. 

As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it.

Listen here: 

What we cover in this episode:

  • Leanne’s background in business and technology and her passion for curiosity
  • What sparked her interest in the Smart Community space
  • An update since the last time Leanne was on the pod all about becoming Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur 
  • Why we need to focus on Intelligent Communities instead of Smart Cities
  • The importance of expanding access to digital skills and technology for those otherwise likely to be left out
  • The work Leanne has been doing across Queensland to support regional and rural communities 
  • Projects such as Men’s Sheds and circular economy initiatives
  • The innovation Leanne is seeing from remote and regional areas all over QLD, as well as intrapreneurs within government seeking more public-private partnerships to solve real problems 
  • Why we need both collaboration and coordination in order to integrate better across disciplines, industries, governments and organisations
  • The emerging trend of recognising that we’ve so far been too myopic in thinking and why we need for systems leadership thinking
  • The need for more and better public-private partnerships


“More and more effort goes into crafting an innovation ecosystem where businesses, governments and institutional partners can create high quality employment, and also meet the desperate social needs of the community. So we need to really be putting more emphasis on expanding access to digital skills and technology for those that otherwise are likely to be left out.”

“Each of the regions has their own special set of knowledge and their own special set of natural resources and intelligence in those communities that could be advantages.”

“We know how to get the right people in the room, but we’re not necessarily enabling how we go through to the coordination effort in an elegant way.”

“We’re underestimating the business model innovations that are occurring and how we as citizens are starting to rethink the promises that we have made to ourselves and even to the next generation.”


Smart City Podcast E33 featuring Leanne Kemp and Louise Mercer

Advance Queensland 

Office of the QLD Chief Entrepreneur


Find the full show notes at: 

Connect with Leanne on LinkedIn or Twitter @leanne_kemp

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My Smart Community

My Smart Community offers consulting and media services with a focus on making our communities more accessible, liveable and sustainable for all. We have a focus on Smart Mobility, Smart project management, Smart technology in regional communities, dealing with disruption and facilitating genuine collaboration. As well as podcast production, communication and media advisory and engagement, keynote speaking, moderating, master of ceremonies and workshop design and facilitation.

The Smart Community Podcast

The Smart Community Podcast is a hub where smart and exciting people from all around the world come to discuss all things Smart City, Smart Town, Smart Region - anything that makes a place more liveable. Together we can create our own Smart Communities.


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