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View upcoming events and read about the outcomes and initiatives from previous events we've held.

Past events



Forged from Fire film screening | February 2019

Commemorating ten years since the Black Saturday bushfires, Forged from Fire is a documentary film about how a community came together to create a life-size memorial tree in the wake of the Black Saturday fires. Written and directed by Andrew Garton (Swinburne Adjunct Industry Fellow), and hosted by the Social Innovation Research Institute. Read more about the screening and community's response to devastation here.   




#MINA2018: Towards a Theory & Practice of Smart Storytelling

November 2018


On 7 & 8 November 2018, the 7th Mobile In & Mobile Creativity symposium and the 8th International Mobile Innovation Screening took place at Swinburne University of Technology.

The Mobile Innovation Network & Association creates connections between communities, creative industries and content producers. The symposium opened with a key note by Prof Kim Vincs exploring Embodies Stories and a panel discussing the prospects and potential of smart storytelling featuring Max Schleser, MINA co-founder, Screening Director and Senior Lecturer in Film & TV at Swinburne University, VR filmmaker Lester Francois (VR arts doc series KINETIC/Rone), Ajax McKerral & Eamon Wyss, who launched the Hoopy app, Diego Trazzi (VFX producer & Unity) online via Adobe Connect and Kim Vincs, Professor in Interactive Media (Swinburne University of Technology). Other sessions included Storytelling in interactive AV, AR, VR with a focus on marginalised communities and how to empower indigenous and queer communities through storytelling. As part of the day AI, Robots and developments towards Creative Arts 4.0 shaped the engaged discussions including international participants from New Zealand and India. A special issue in the Studies of Documentary journal will summarise the day.

The 8th International Mobile Innovation Screening included a panel discussion by smartphone filmmakers, mobile music produces, video art app start-up entrepreneurs, emerging filmmakers and creative producers discussing the trends and directions in mobile, pocket and smartphone filmmaking. Since 2011 Dr Schleser has curated the Mobile Innovation Network & Association screening and festival, which celebrates mobile, pocket and smartphone filmmaking. The annual screening provides an overview of the trends and developments in the international smartphone filmmaking community. MINA’s smartphone film screening focuses on experimental screen productions, moving-image arts and innovative approaches to smartphone filmmaking. In its 8th edition MINA presented 14 smartphone and pocket films in an international category, eight smartphone films in the New Voices category and four mobile cinematic VR projects in the first VR showcase. The screening explores how to use smart narratives to engage communities and drive social innovation. Creativity is the currency to continuously re-define smartphone filmmaking aesthetics and their focus on personal storytelling. MINA expands on formats, breaks the know rules and supports creative experimentation.

View the video here.



Society 4.0 Forum: Shaping the Digital Economy for Good

November 2018

In November 2018 we hosted our inaugrual Society 4.0 Forum to discuss the emerging digital economy - what it may mean for citizens, workers’ rights and wellbeing in a world where data is the new currency, artificial intelligence may be used to drive decisions and automation is the norm.

Discover more about the event




Smart Storytelling Day

June 2018

Using our expertise in digital storytelling using smartphones, tablets, mobile devices and 360° video cameras, the Social Innovation Research Institute demonstrated how it was possible to support low cost, high value and engaging smart storytelling techniques.

Dr Hilary Davis (Senior Research Fellow) and Dr Max Schleser (Senior Lecturer, Department of Film and Animation) facilitated this Smart Storytelling Day on Tuesday 12 June 2018 at the Town Square Agency, Prahan. The event was well attended with representatives from a range of not-for-profit and council groups attending including:

  • Red Cross
  • Oxfam
  • Yarriambiack Shire Council
  • Eastern Community Legal Centre‌.

The team showcased digital stories created by individuals at home, in workshops, and out and about in local communities. Individual representatives highlighted current social issues or problems present in their communities. Collectively we brainstormed how we might address these problems using smart storytelling tools and techniques, to create social impact.

One of our aims at the institute is to build better community connections, particularly with diverse and marginalised community groups, through smart storytelling workshops. With our new partners we intend to create a 'Digital Storytelling Collective' seeking to address social issues through smart storytelling engagement.

Professor Jane Farmer Foundation Director of the Social Innovation Research Institute