For the last two hundred years, Sydney has been at the forefront of global trade. During the 1800s trade in wool transformed Sydney from a prison settlement into a thriving trade hub – which accelerated with the discovery of gold. The prolonged mining and resources boom of the Twentieth Century was supplemented with the in- and out-flow of global capital, but the first decade of the Twenty First Century has seen ever greater focus on the exchange of value, of ideas and innovation.

Later this week, XMediaLab: Global Media Ideas to be held at the Sydney Opera House is the first in what is planned to be an annual summit. Part of Vivid Sydney, it promises to be a chance for sharing and collaboration, combining creative ideas with technology, and business with culture. It’s a day of keynotes and presentation, followed up with a weekend full of mentoring and workshops. It’s idea exchange, mentoring, culture swapping and networking all rolled into one.

There are speakers such as Amin Zoufonoun from Google, Robert Tercek from the Oprah Winfrey Network and Steve Jang who has been an advisor to some of my favourite Web 2.0 groups (like Animoto and StumbleUpon). It promises to be a fascinating conference/workshop weekend. I’m looking forward to the #xmedialab tweetstream coverage!