Meet Australia's Breakthrough Speaker of the Year

Named Australia’s ‘Breakthrough Speaker of the Year’ in 2018, Mykel Dixon is a musician, author and fierce non-conformist. And, he's appearing at Melbourne LIVE.

‘Breakthrough Speaker of the Year’ is awarded annually by The Professional Speakers Association of Australia to a speaker who has found breakthrough success by demonstrating a fresh, progressive and nationally well-received approach.


One of Mykel’s approaches involved the adoption and advocacy of artisan thinking and enterprise artistry.

Artisan thinking is a fairly simple concept, but a challenging idea. Normally, when we create something, be it a piece of writing, an exceptional meal or a visitor experience, we are used to focusing on the end user, and designing and delivering a product or service that matches their needs. We call this design thinking. Artisan thinking is quite literally the opposite. It encourages you to explore your own experiences and influences, and channel those into what you are creating.

“Artisan thinking consciously allows for and encourages individualism and personality to be infused into the product or service, resulting in a more human and ultimately meaningful product or service for both the producer and the consumer” says Mykel.

“Enterprise artistry is the living manifestation of an entire organisation of artisan thinkers.”

At Melbourne LIVE, Mykel will encourage organisations to accept that thinking needs feeling, and that the maker matters just as much as what is being made.


In 2014, he wrote, recorded and released a song every week for 50 weeks. In 2015, he wrote a spoken word piece every week for 50 weeks. These and other challenges resulted in a book called: ‘Just do 5omething: A handbook for turning dreamers into makers’.

Mykel told us more about this process and its results.

“My daily, weekly or yearly challenges are conscious attempts to engineer rituals and spaces that keep me making and growing. The process has proven to be essential for overcoming the fear and procrastination so often associated with creating. Fear that is amplified in an age of social media. Just doing 5omething saved my creative life many times over and continues to have a startling and lasting impact on those who follow and fullfil on its promise”.


Mykel describes the 21st century as a renaissance. Renaissance literally means rebirth, and for Mykel he believes that multiple ideas and concepts are experiencing a resurgence in the 21st Century.

“Humanity. Beauty. Sensitivity. Empathy. Serendipity. Wonder. Enchantment. We are leaving the age of efficiency and entering the age of enchantment.” 

For businesses to stay relevant in a 21st century renaissance, Mykel identifies some areas that need thought and consideration, and he'll be talking about this at Melbourne LIVE.

“They need to accept that the vast majority of skills we use to succeed in business until now, will soon be done, primarily, by smart machines. To find a differentiated edge and remain relevant in an age of algorithms is to enhance everything about you and your company that is inherently human” he said.

“Feeling, sensing, appreciating, and making meaning, are all qualities that define our humanity. Curiosity, empathy, intimacy, and belonging are more examples of the unique characteristics and desires of humans. Developing them personally and professionally and infusing them into our products and services is the smartest thing we can do to stay relevant.”

Meet Mykel Dixon at Melbourne LIVE 2018. 31 May, at Arts Centre Melbourne. Bookings close 24 May at 5pm.

Proudly presented by Destination Melbourne with partners, Visit Victoria, Transport for Victoria and Arts Centre Melbourne.