ThoughtWorks Live Series - Executive Breakfast Events
ThoughtWorks Live Series - Executive Breakfast Events

The event series for business leaders and technology innovators

MELBOURNE, Tuesday 13 February

SYDNEY, Thursday 15 February

About the ThoughtWorks Live Series

Technological innovation continues to grow at an exponential rate with disruptors changing the face of many industries for good, forcing organisations to change the way they view the world, the way they use technology to tackle their biggest problems.

With technology augmenting the world around us and where the unimaginable is created in weeks, how can business leaders know what to do, how to start and where to go? How can leaders leverage their current digital foundation to seize the growth opportunities that exist in the realm of possibility?

ThoughtWorks Live is a three-part series that will explore how thriving businesses are taking advantage of this new world by adopting real time strategic planning and enhancing their market agility, focusing on their customers and developing technological excellence at the core.

Events in this series

MELBOURNE, Tuesday 13 February

SYDNEY, Thursday 15 February

Responsive Digital Platform

MELBOURNE, Tuesday 13 February

SYDNEY, Thursday 15 February

Join us for the third event in this exclusive executive breakfast series: Responsive Digital Platform. Until recently, business leaders treated technology as a commodity. Today’s forward thinking, visionary digital leaders place technology at the centre of everything they do. They understand that having a powerful platform is just as important as having a solid business strategy - both are necessary to drive growth. The business needs a clear vision, and the technical foundation to execute and unlock the value of that vision.

A responsive technology foundation is a defining quality of leading digital firms and fuels innovation throughout the entire enterprise. It can also be your ticket to exploring new channels for growth - taking the business in directions you might never have considered before. In the third instalment of this series, guest speakers will talk about responsive digital platforms that are changing the business world.


7:30AMRegistration and coffee
8:00AMWelcome & Introduction Dan McMahon, ThoughtWorks
8:10AMDigital Platforms: Shaping the economy, business and organisation of the futureScott Shaw, Head of Technology, ThoughtWorks and Zhamak Dehghani, Principal Consultant, ThoughtWorks
8:40AMAchieving speed at scale through platforms Tom Varsavsky, Chief Engineer, REA Group
9:10AMResponsive open digital platformRajay Rai, Head of Applied Innovation, Macquarie Banking and Financial Services Group
9:40AMPanel DiscussionRajay Rai, Tom Varsavsky, Scott Shaw and Zhamak Dehghani


Scott Shaw

Head of Technology


Zhamak Dehghani

Principal Consultant


Digital Platforms: Shaping the economy, business and organisation of the future

The rise of the digital platforms is transforming the principles of economic growth, how businesses compete and organisations are formed; essentially reshaping the world we live, work, and play in.

In this talk we will introduce the underpinning characteristics of a digital platform, explain why they both accelerate delivery within organisations as well as creating an ecosystem for positioning the organisation to compete and even shape the connected economy. We will describe the key differentiating approach in building a digital platform, the magic that happens at the intersection of product thinking, the technical pillars of the platform, and the organisational autonomy.

We will share ThoughtWorks’ global experience working closely with clients who are investing in building a digital platform, and we will leave you with a blueprint to establish a platform strategy unique to your business and a few actionable steps towards this.

Scott Shaw is the Head of Technology for ThoughtWorks Australia where he helps to foster and share technical innovation across a broad spectrum of projects. Scott is a member of the ThoughtWorks Technical Advisory Board. This global leadership group collaborates to create the bi-annual ThoughtWorks Technology Radar. This publication investigates the emerging technology trends in the industry.

Zhamak Dehghani works with ThoughtWorks as a principal consultant, with a focus on distributed systems architecture and digital platform strategy at Enterprise. She is a member of the ThoughtWorks Technology Advisory Board and contributes to the creation of the ThoughtWorks Technology Radar. Zhamak has worked as a software engineer and architect for 20 years in the areas of distributed computing communications, as well as embedded device technologies and she has contributed to multiple patents on embedded mobile sensing devices.

Tom Varsavsky

Chief Engineer

REA Group

Achieving speed at scale through platforms

As a fast-growing digital business, REA has maintained a startup mentality as they have matured. Small delivery teams still work closely with the business to build, own and operate their own technology solutions. While this approach has helped REA grow and be flexible, they continue to look for new ways to leverage commonality and achieve economies of scale across the organisation. Tom will share the story behind the development of Colab, a branded platform of technology components that can be shared across the business. Treating this platform as a product helps executives and product managers, as well as developers, understand and embrace the REA technology strategy.

Tom Varsavsky is Chief Engineer at the REA Group. In this role, he is responsible for setting the strategic direction for REA's engineering teams across Australia and Asia. He has more than 17 years experience across a number of technologies as well as business domains.

Rajay Rai

Head of Applied Innovation

Macquarie Banking and Financial Services Group

Building an open digital platform

With consumer expectations continually evolving in Australia's competitive retail banking market, Macquarie has focussed on transforming its digital banking experience to offer customers personalised and intuitive features that are firsts in Australian banking. In 2017 Macquarie launched Australia's first open banking platform which gives customers control over their everyday banking data and the power to securely manage how they want to share it. Macquarie's open platform leverages Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) which allows approved third party providers to connect into their offered services and experiences. Rajay will share his experience in the technologies and strategy used in building an open digital platform to enable the organisation to rapidly adapt its digital services in a world of constant change.

Rajay Rai is currently the Head of Applied Innovation at Macquarie’s Banking and Financial Services Group, where he is responsible for supporting the delivery of Macquarie’s innovative digital banking experience. With more than 27 years industry experience, Rajay’s areas of expertise include Open APIs, Hybrid Transactional Analytical Processing, containers, micro services architecture, event sourcing and building durable, resilient and scalable cloud native solutions for a digital business.

Spaces are limited, please register your interest today.

Event Locations


Metropolis Events

Level 4, Southgate Shopping & Restaurant Precinct, 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank

Tuesday 13 February


Harbourside Room

Level 6, Museum of Contemporary Art

140 George Street, The Rocks

Thursday 15 February