Past events

SpeakEasy: How Smart Data is shaping our identities

You are viewing a past event.

Date: Friday, 15th November 2019.
Venue: MPavilion, Saint Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC (Opposite NGV & The Arts Centre on St Kilda Rd)

Add to Calendar


Join Institute Director Professor Mark Burry and Nicholas Gruen, CEO of Lateral Economics, as they discuss key issues in urban design decision-making with Associates from the Smart Cities Research Institute.

Smart data now surrounds us all, from embedded sensors hidden in our familiar spaces to massive social profile datasets churning in server farms. As citizens we have little effective control of this data – its provenance, its analysis, its storage – through which we can decide and direct our urban collective characters. Instead, we are often granted only a ‘worm’s eye view’ of our actions within these complex data systems which can result in negative and unexpected long-term outcomes, such as the social division and polarisation that may emerge from the combined actions of individuals acting in their own interest within a flock of social media users.

Can citizens be empowered to themselves create better outcomes for our societies and shared identities? Can we, as a society, crowdsource decision-making and leadership, and be more capable of anticipating the unanticipated? Can we together encourage and ensure broad participation by every demographic group across all areas of Australia’s governments and services? What would these reimagined urban identity-scapes look like, who should design them, and how would they operate?

This public forum will specifically tackle urban design decision-making, particularly how we might all improve the options for designing cities with rather than for its citizens. Join us as respected academics, economists, and others analyse the potential of evolving technology to bridge the gaps between experts and non-experts, government and communities, to produce fruitful collaboration and robust shared identities out of competing demands and scenarios.

To see MPavillion's location please visit their website HERE.