Harnessing Digital Talent to Solve Crises with Courtney Brown from WHO & The Millennial Group


    About Courtney:
    Courtney Brown started her career within Australia’s first digital banking proposition, ING Direct. She is dynamic and performance oriented, always seeking to exceed expectations through accountable delivery. Passionate about a legacy for the next generation and those yet to come, her drive is to disrupt systems and business models whilst also advising Boards and Executives for how to prepare for the future. This future where IT security is like currency and where distributed ledgers and open-source systems will be the way Millennials will soon demand to work.

    Reporting to a Board of Medical Practitioners from the age of 25, Courtney has an entrepreneurial mindset having established and grown digital sales within numerous organisations. She has an advanced understanding of governance, commercial strategy, financial services compliance and will always remain an advocate for the customer of today and the customer of the future.

    She performs at her best when facilitating negotiations of difficult conversations. Or, to develop the best strategy considering all risks and angles. Her management approach is stewardship. The Millennial Group’s immense talent pool as a collective has no organisational structure and she encourages collaborations across borders and with partners to tackle emerging and known technology challenges.

    Helping boards to communicate the ‘why’ for adoption of emerging tech and the need to be the leader or first follower rather than the disrupted is why Millennial came about.

    And having returned to Sydney after years abroad and interstate, Courtney is preparing to deliver value back to her hometown and the Australian economy. It is her belief that from afar Australia can become an economic powerhouse leveraging our distance and destination draw cards for collaborative success.

    About Millennial Group
    Operating for 11 years we are a collective of digital specialists. As independent contractors we come together for meaningful work, creating meaningful impact. App developers, web developers, full stack integration & analysis to boost your platform capability. We are most passionate about distributed ledger technology & with these finite skills can support your organisation to maintain a digital edge.

    Show notes:
    Millennial Group website: https://themillennialgroup.com.au/
    Courtney's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/courtneybrowndigital/
    Previous episodes: https://www.qualio.com/from-lab-to-launch-podcast

    Apply to be on the show: https://forms.gle/uUH2YtCFxJHrVGeL8

    Music by keldez


    Transcript is automatically generated. Please kindly excuse any grammatical and spelling errors.   

    Hi there, welcome to the from lab to launch podcast by Qualio, where we share inspiring stories from the people on the frontlines of Life Sciences. Tune in and leave inspired to bring your life-saving products to the world.

    Kelly Stanton  0:16 
    Hey, everyone, thanks for joining the show today. I'm Kelly from Qualio. And I'm your host here at from lab to launch. If you haven't already, please subscribe and give us a review on Apple or Spotify. We'd love that. And if you want to be on the show, please see the application linked in the show notes. We've had a lot of people reach out and it's been a pleasure connecting with you. Today. Joining us all the way from Australia is Courtney Brown, founder of the millennial group. You can read the full bio in the show notes but a quick summary. Courtney has been the CEO of the millennial group since its founding in 2008. She is also a contributing expert of digital health technical advisory group for the World Health Organization. She has decades of experience across customer cyber risk marketing technology and digital transformation within financial services, government and health.

    Good morning to you, Courtney,

    Courtney Brown  1:06 
     Good morning Kelly.

    Kelly Stanton  1:08 
    It's nice to chat with you today. And thanks for thanks for joining us. We love hearing how companies launch Can you tell us about the reason behind the founding of the millennial group?

    Courtney Brown  1:18 
    Absolutely Kelly. So to share a little bit about millennial group really starts with my personal why. And that's all to do with my mission to create better lives. Through the use of technology, I really realized that there was a gap in the market a very long time ago, before we were working virtually from anywhere in that there is so many talented digital natives that actually want to work as a lifestyle, not as a job, what we do is not necessarily who we are. But we can actually do that from anywhere I was coming across great digital talent, who were probably been underutilized, maybe not necessarily fully acknowledged, in their full time, day to day, and who were really creative out of the box thinkers. So it was really about starting a movement and building a crowd that could do meaningful work from anywhere. That's millennial.

    Kelly Stanton  2:09 
    That's exciting. What has been one of the biggest accomplishments of the millennial group, as of today?

    Courtney Brown  2:14 
    So I think I probably need to speak to most recent events. And most recent events over the last two years have actually included supporting COVID crisis response. So never in this time in our history, have we had more digital transformation in such a short period of time, and essentially, uplifting digital platforms services so that we can really respond to customer needs. So I would say that's the most meaningful, it's probably been the most challenging, but also are the most pertinent work to protect people here in this country. Yeah.

    Kelly Stanton  2:49 
    Definitely. That's, that really has been that the whole idea of scan a QR code to get anything ,right, has been, has really been quite quite a change. It was

    Courtney Brown  2:59 
    It was so 2002 But now it's back.

    Kelly Stanton  3:04 
    Exactly, exactly. Yeah, it's funny, there's still we're still seeing that around the US like in restaurants and such she scan for your menu and and it's it's so cute. I love watching my parents try to figure out the QR code and then pushing to make the menu appear and stuff it's been it has been a while.

    Courtney Brown  3:23 
    Yeah, that digital inclusion piece, I think is something that we really need to consider. In in customer experience. We need to make sure that we bring everyone along and not exclude the older generations. I think it's a really good point. Yeah,

    Kelly Stanton  3:37 
    Definitely, definitely. How do you see the millennial group growing or evolving in the next 5-10 years?

    Courtney Brown  3:44 
    I love that you asked this question because I can't tell you enough. How much Australia is craving digital talent. If you have never been to Australia, get on a plane come and visit us. We are a destination that is beautiful. We've got rain forests, we've got beaches, we've got national parks. But most of all, we have really amazing people with a really laid back culture. If I can say one thing, I am looking forward to greeting talent from everywhere across the world to come back to our country, which has been locked down for the last two and a half years and building really great things together. I guess our growth plans are twofold. One is to attract the right talent and build the right culture. But the other is really to make sure we stay true to our mission, which is selecting meaningful work. So that's something that we always do we fill out the work that we select to deliver throughout value set, which really is about doing meaningful work together.

    Kelly Stanton  4:38 
    Right. So speaking of very meaningful work, I know you're a contributing expert for the Health Technology Advisory Group for the World Health Organization. What's the key aim of that advisory group?

    For those who aren't familiar with the World Health Organization's strategic and Sustainable Development Goals? Basically, there are a number of them and what we're talking about he is the general program of work, and sustainable development goal number three is to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages. One thing I'd really like to do is call out that the World Health Organization actually operates Not, not normally always through paid and contributions. So essentially, applying to the Digital Health Technical Advisory Group is a very stringent process. So there's an application process, a number of World Health contributors actually need to endorse you in but then you actually become a part of a really meaningful group of volunteers. I'm not paid to contribute, there are standing members that are. And then what happens is you're encouraged to contribute as either a peer reviewer, or often to contribute your lens of expertise. I started in eHealth, here in Australia in 2010, which doesn't seem like that long ago. But we were actually on a transformation journey, then to really ramp up telehealth in this country, because it wasn't that advanced, even though it was advanced in the US and other areas. And it actually helped us to almost leapfrog our digital transformation agenda. And so that connectivity in those networks are really powerful, even if you do volunteer. And I can only say that it's built strength for the millennial group at any digital helps work that we've done. And obviously, it's, it's really putting those sustainable development goals on the global stage, which, you know, now in our time, and I'm calling you from the worst weather events that Australia has ever seen. And we were we were there 10 years ago, right? So these sustainable development goals, that they're a charter for how we get past climate change, and how we come together as a global community. So I'm very passionate about contributing, as a volunteer, and I would encourage people to actually investigate it, sells for their own development.

    Definitely, definitely, yeah, when we get down to the end of our conversational, we'll have you tell us more about where we can go find where how can we get involved? Where can we go find these things? So what do you do in your role, specifically as a contributing expert, and how have you been able to make an impact.

    Courtney Brown  7:08 
    So I have actually been called to do a number of things. One is to peer review a number of documents that then move into policy, and those policies become either investments from the World Health Organization perspective, or they actually inform things like legislation. So really important balance for success that we can flag globally, that is moving towards strategic targets. So you might have seen that ESG risk or, or enterprise strategic risk, actually looking at the Sustainable Development Goals is becoming a real point of discussion for really large corporations. So we used to talk about corporate service responsibility, and contributing back to the community. And now we're actually putting that into writing in terms of risk strategies that organizations can put into place so that they've got green target goals. And those kinds of those are really tangible examples of where we're turning the dial and asking corporates to really be accountable, stand up and actually make change. And so if I'm contributing as a peer reviewer, I might be a little bit lower in the chain than anybody that's influencing at the very top. But that small contribution is actually contributing to a much larger initiative. That's just one tangible example.

    Kelly Stanton  8:24 
    If you could go back and tell yourself something at the start of your career, what would that be?

    Courtney Brown  8:29 
    I love this question. I really love this question. Because I can honestly say that when I was 17, and I graduated from high school a lot younger than anyone else, I was probably in corporate finance, before I even knew how privileged I was, if I'm, if I'm honest, and the opportunity that I was given. But I had these amazing mentors that saw that I was really enthusiastic, and probably a little bit more so than what we'd expect culturally in Australia. So I was really bombastic and I wanted to contribute ideas. And in our, in our culture, here, we have this thing called tall poppy syndrome. And if if you're really bombastic it's actually rewarded in America really, really beautifully. If you're enthusiastic, you're encouraged to keep speaking up. But in Australia, you're actually probably not. So it's, it's a bit like, hold on a minute. Do you think you're a bit big for your boots? Come on. And I guess what, what I would say is, don't be afraid to find your voice early because you will attract mentors into your network that will lift you up. And I'm really, really grateful that I've got a lot of male mentors that notice that enthusiasm, and harness that performance talent. They've opened doors for me, they introduced me to international networks. And so don't be surprised if your mentors may be a little bit different to what your anticipated a mentor would look, because that network of fit in being able to help your career is something that can come from anywhere at any time. So that's probably the one thing, keep your eye out for mentors. And the other is, make sure you speak up and your age should never be a limitation. If you are young, enthusiastic and have great ideas, you can make really, really powerful change happen and create impact. So don't let that be a barrier.

    Kelly Stanton  10:26 
    love that message. I love that message. Yes, as someone who's also a bit bombastic myself, in the quality space, I can relate. But yeah, finding finding the right path or the or a path even where that's an asset. That can be a real challenge.

    Courtney Brown  10:43 
    Yeah, absolutely. And I don't think there is a right path. We shouldn't hold ourselves to those expectations. Because life is almost Snakes and Ladders. So it's a journey in whatever way it manifests in front of you. It's all experience that enriches your, your, your kind of thoughtfulness, I think. Yeah,

    Kelly Stanton  11:03 
    I agree with you. I agree with you. Absolutely. That's, that's a wonderful way to frame that. So where can people go to learn more follow along and connect with you?

    Courtney Brown  11:13 
    Yes. So you can find me as Courtney brown digital on LinkedIn. My Twitter handle is Courtney brown CX. And our company website is themillennialgroup.com.au

    Kelly Stanton  11:26 
    Excellent.  Thank you. Thank you so much for your time today. It's been a real pleasure having a chat with you. We'll look forward to continuing to watch and see the the great changes that the millennial group is bringing about.

    Courtney Brown  11:36  
    Thank you so much, Kelly.

    Thank you for listening to this week's episode of from lab to launch brought to you by Qualio. If you like what you've heard. Please subscribe and give the show a positive review. It really helps us out. For more information about quality to our guests today. Or to be a guest on a future episode. Please refer to the show notes. Until next time.