The International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD) is the premier global scientific symposium dedicated to the exchange, advancement and dissemination of the latest research on the pneumococcus, one of the world's deadliest bacterial pathogens. Since the first ISPPD was held in 1998, substantial progress has been made to control pneumococcal disease, for instance, more than half of surviving infants (78.6 million) from 143 countries now have access to the life-saving pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV). The 11th ISPPD (ISPPD-11) was held in Melbourne, Australia in April 2018 and the proceedings of the symposium are captured in this report. Twenty years on from the first ISPPD, there remain many challenges and unanswered questions such as the continued disparity in disease incidence in Indigenous populations, the slow roll-out of PCV in some regions such as Asia, the persisting burden of disease in adults, serotype replacement and diagnosis of pneumococcal pneumonia. ISPPD-11 also put the spotlight on cutting-edge science including metagenomic, transcriptomic, microscopy, medical imaging and mathematical modelling approaches. ISPPD-11 was highly diverse, bringing together 1184 delegates from 86 countries, representing various fields including academia, primary healthcare, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, policymakers and public health.