Discover the latest tech predictions of 2023

1 August, 2023
Discover the latest tech predictions of 2023 | News | Pause Awards
George Hedon, founder and CEO, Pause Fest & Awards
George Hedon
1 August, 2023

Delivering the top tech trends and forecasts for the rest of 2023 from the leading industry experts. Delve into the exciting domains of AI, VR/AR, ethical innovation, and sustainable business models, all under the spotlight of our illustrious panel.

Hold onto your hats, folks! As we rocket full-throttle into the second half of 2023, a tech tsunami is upon us. From AI and VR going mainstream to a more conscientious approach towards the environmental and ethical impacts of innovation, the world of tech is taking a quantum leap forward. 

We’ve curated insights from a cavalcade of industry connoisseurs – the real movers and shakers from the likes of The Guardian, Amazon, LinkedIn, Kmart Australia, and more. They’ve put on their futurologist hats to predict what’s in store for us in this exhilarating year of transformation.

The Pause Awards program is fast approaching Late Entry submissions on 18 August, so do not hesitate much before you get in front of these champs.

Jocelin Abbey, the Director of Growth at The Guardian AU/NZ, believes that “2023: the year that AI goes mainstream.” Echoing her sentiments, Kate Gooden, the Head of Product – Alexa ANZ at Amazon, emphasises the importance of ethical considerations amidst rapid tech innovation. Simultaneously, Tori Benzie from LinkedIn foresees AI-induced efficiency transforming businesses, yet warns of looming issues around algorithm bias and transparency.

“We’re going to see tech innovation on a scale not seen before – but while founders run fast, they’ll be more cognizant of the ethical and environmental impact of their products than ever before.” 

Kate Gooden, Head of Product – Alexa ANZ, Amazon

Brace yourself for the VR/AR revolution too. As Fabio Oliveira, the National Innovation Manager at Kmart Australia, puts it, “VR/AR goes mainstream, pushed by Apple’s launch.” And if you’re thinking of investment, Ben Flint, Principal at Supernormal Agency, suggests that “Seed investing equals the best performing asset class.”

“Seed investing equals the best performing asset class.”

Ben Flint, Principal, Supernormal Agency

Lisa Chesterfield from Deloitte suggests that savvy retailers will adapt to customers’ financial concerns and reduce consumption, by investing in Omnichannel CX, digital capabilities, and supply chains. This is echoed by Fiona Triaca, the Founder and CEO of Naked Ambition, who believes that the companies left standing after the AI rush will be those that have built real advantages.

“Savvy retailers will adapt to customers’ financial concerns and reduce consumption, by investing in Omnichannel CX, digital capabilities, and supply chains.”

Lisa Chesterfield, Director Strategy, Innovation and Ventures, Deloitte 

Let’s not forget the profound changes AI is set to introduce to the workforce, with Judy Sahay, CEO of Crowd Media Group, predicting “AI will have taken over 60% of the workforce.” These tech advancements are bound to reshape industries, as Tanya Christie from Fullstack Advisory suggests, “AI and remote work adaption will create competition and accelerate growth significantly in most industries.”

But hey, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, right? Fear not. Kirsty Dare, COO of evee, makes a bold prediction: “The Matildas will win the World Cup!” Now, that’s something to look forward to!

From crowdfund equity outshining the ASX, as predicted by Kate O’Keeffe, to Australia experiencing its hottest summer on record, courtesy of Yish Koh of Kit, x15ventures, we’re in for quite the roller-coaster ride this year.

So, buckle up, tech enthusiasts! 2023 is set to be another charmer, full of innovation and radical change in the tech world. Let’s embrace the upcoming challenges and breakthroughs with open arms, hearts and minds. And let’s enter into Pause Awards too!

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Category tracks

The Culture track seeks entries that exemplify the development of an inclusive and collaborative workplace culture, crucial for organisational success and growth. Submissions should illustrate transformative strategies implemented across core business functions, reflecting expertise, leadership, and a clear vision. These strategies should demonstrate a positive impact on the business, its employees, stakeholders, and customers, showcasing how a nurturing culture contributes to overall growth and innovation.

The Excellence track celebrates businesses that have demonstrated remarkable success and impact within their industry, regardless of their size. Entries for this category should illustrate how the business's strategic execution, guided by visionary leadership and exceptional expertise, has significantly influenced the industry. The focus will be on the tangible outcomes of these strategies, highlighting the company's ability to innovate, lead, and leave a lasting impression in its field.

The Good track is focused on recognising companies dedicated to their mission of creating a positive societal impact. Entries should highlight innovative solutions aimed at addressing global challenges such as environmental sustainability, social equity, and community well-being. Successful submissions will demonstrate how their initiatives contribute to significant changes, tackling issues like gender inequality, social imbalance, and injustice, thereby setting a precedent for responsible and impactful business practices.

Awarded to a single entry in a category, Grand Prix is the top accolade in that category. To win the Grand Prix, the entire Judging Board must unanimously agree that the entry deserves the accolade of being the best in that category.

The Growth track is about showcasing how businesses have enhanced productivity and execution to make a significant impact in their market. Entries should highlight innovative strategies that have optimised the customer journey, leading to increased engagement and commercial success. This track is for those who have effectively used their understanding of the market and customer needs to scale their business and achieve notable growth.

The Operators track seeks entries that showcase leadership in fostering innovation within their ecosystems. Ideal submissions will highlight how your initiatives have catalysed the creation of new products or services, bolstered by a culture that uplifts internal teams and the wider community. This track celebrates those who drive progress by empowering voices and forging transformative connections in their industry.


  • Always Evolving New

    Acknowledges a culture of continuous learning and improvement within a company, encourages employee development, and always looks for ways to optimise and innovate operations.

  • Big & Mighty Culture New

    Recognises companies (51-1000 employees) for their exceptional efforts in cultivating a culture that champions innovation.

  • Diverse Co.

    Celebrates workplaces dedicated to fostering innovation through a vibrant tapestry of diverse talents and perspectives.

  • Small & Mighty Culture New

    Applauds small teams of fewer than 50 employees for their remarkable ability to foster innovation and set new benchmarks in their domain.

  • Work Sweet Work

    Acknowledges companies that have achieved extraordinary employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention, creating an exemplary workplace culture.

  • Company of the Year

    Honours an outstanding company that not only showcases exemplary leadership and resilience but also demonstrates a clear, quantifiable impact over the past year.

  • Customer Obsessed New

    Applauds prioritisation, understanding and meeting the needs and expectations of their customers, including feedback, personalised services and ensuring high satisfaction.

  • Defiant Ones

    Recognises firms that lead technological innovation, setting new standards and defining the future of their industries.

  • Hammer

    Celebrates companies that have not only defined success on their own terms but have also concretely demonstrated their triumphs over the past year.

  • I Wish I'd Done That

    Applauds ingenious, simple solutions in niche markets that spark a universal sentiment of admiration.

  • On the Rise

    Celebrates early-stage startups, under 4 years, that have shown remarkable progress and success in their initial years.

  • Prodigy

    Recognises young visionaries under 30 with outstanding talents and achievements, setting them apart in their fields.

  • Singularity

    Highlights AI-driven companies that are pioneering new services or integrating AI to create innovative products.

  • Women in Business

    Celebrates female entrepreneurs and leaders who are forging paths for future generations by creating more equitable opportunities.

  • B-Good

    Recognises businesses that redefine commercial success by positively transforming our economic system for the benefit of all stakeholders.

  • Circular Pioneer

    Celebrates companies at the forefront of circular economy practices, making substantial and sustainable differences.

  • Ethical Leadership New

    Commends companies exemplifying leadership in environmental and social governance, setting standards in corporate responsibility and ethical practices.

  • Going Green

    Acknowledges companies leading large-scale sustainable initiatives, addressing critical areas like clean energy and environmental justice.

  • Collab New

    Honours strategic partnerships and alliances with other businesses to leverage complementary strengths, access new markets, and share resources for synergistic growth and innovation.

  • Design First

    Celebrates companies where design is the heartbeat of innovation, engaging the whole team in crafting groundbreaking products.

  • Going Global New

    Applauds companies that have expanded their reach globally, showcasing exceptional growth and international success.

  • Great Pivot

    Acknowledges companies that adeptly navigate change, leveraging insights to pivot towards delivering outstanding products.

  • Movement

    Recognises unforgettable event experiences that resonate emotionally, drive social change, or achieve viral status.

  • New Model

    Honours businesses revolutionising markets with elegant and disruptive business models.

  • Next Level New

    Applauds companies which had successful strategic acquisition and integration of another entity, staff or an asset that allowed them to further grow and scale their services.

  • Wildfire

    Celebrates companies that have rapidly and significantly impacted their marketplace, online and offline, setting new standards for success.

  • Angel

    Honours visionary angel investors who've significantly contributed to early-stage startups, guiding them toward success.

  • C-Suite

    Recognises exceptional leadership qualities in high-ranking executives, showcasing their management and interpersonal excellence.

  • Creative Maverick New

    Honours unconventional thinkers with exceptional abilities to execute typically unimaginable initiatives, expertly coordinate teams, secure funding or successfully launch multiple ventures.

  • Ecosystem Star

    Celebrates individuals who energise and nurture their communities, fostering engagement and advocacy.

  • Future Builder

    Recognises the determination and resilience of founders who've embarked on the challenging journey of starting their own ventures.

  • Quiet Achiever New

    Applauds the unsung heroes whose behind-the-scenes efforts have led to flawless project executions and exceeded expectations.

  • Splash Down Under New

    Acknowledges international companies making a noteworthy entrance into the Australian market, enriching the local business ecosystem.

  • TopCoder

    Recognises developers for their outstanding technical skills, clean code, and collaborative spirit.

  • Venture Cap

    Salutes venture capital firms with a track record of backing transformative businesses, contributing significantly to Australia's economic growth.

  • Visionary New

    Recognises effective leadership by setting a clear vision, motivating the team, and making strategic decisions that guide their business towards its goals.

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