5 minutes with…Warwick Powell, Founder and Director, Sister City Partners

Warwick Powell is the founder and director of Sister City Partners (SCP), an organisation that works with communities to rebuild regional economies via a not-for-profit regional investment banking model.

Passionate about the challenges and opportunities of Australia's regions, Warwick is also a director of a number of companies in Australia and Hong Kong involved in investment banking, big data analytics, renewable energy and agribusiness services.

Warwick’s specialties include decentralised ledger technologies, blockchain, digital token design and implementation; industry and community development innovation and finance; funds management; trade and investment implementation in food, travel, wellness, natural resources and energy; and public policy impact analysis.

Here's what he had to share. 

What is some exciting news in your sector that you’d like to share with local government?

Decentralised ledger applications are emerging with significant implications and opportunities for governance, social inclusion and regional economic rejuvenation.

Why do you think collaboration is important in the local government sector?

Knowledge transfer and connectivity to global flows of know-how are critical to regional prosperity.

What do you think are the best outcomes of collaboration?

Knowledge transfer and capacity building. You don’t know what you don’t know. Regional labour markets are shallow and narrow. Thick labour market effects are centripetal in nature; therefore, peripheries need to find pathways to connection.

Do you see/perceive there are any differences between how metropolitan groups collaborate compared to non-metro areas?

Labour market thickness and general atmospherics differentiate centres from peripheries. Creating focal places, events and activities is key to creating the right collision of energies. Regional centres paradoxically are too “tight”, which can contribute to inward-looking attitudes and suspicion.

What are you most looking forward to when coming to Canberra and the Regional Forum in June?

The opportunity to share knowledge and experiences.


Warwick will be presenting in the Regional Showcase session at this year’s Regional Cooperation and Development Forum, giving examples of successful collaborations and opportunities for local government.

Find out more about what will be discussed at the Regional Forum, and register, at this link.