Go to previous page Conference 2019Society 4.0 Forum

Society 4.0 Forum

Discover. Contribute. Act.

We define Society 4.0 as the societal implications of living with, adapting to, and securing wellbeing in, the digital economy.

The digital economy includes high-level data analytics, automation, AI and machine learning. It is changing employment and the nature of work. It is escalating forces of corporatisation as, only large organisations will have capacity for data literacy, computing power and connections to generate the data used to report on and automatedly organise, the digital economy. This leaves civil society and potentially the achievement of ‘a good society’, vulnerable.

Launched in 2018, our Society 4.0 initiative includes a yearly event – the Society 4.0 Forum (held in Melbourne) – and a program of research and development with partners to activate a positive future for society.

For the community, civil society, humanitarian, human services and government sectors, we seek to promote, probe and innovate with ideas and practices of working with data, data analytics and technology. This ‘digital and data social innovation’ work also involves partnerships with corporate and industry partners, where this is responsible, ethical and oriented to equity.

Alongside our interest in digital equity, our second key concern in Society 4.0 is employment trends, the nature of work and wellbeing at work. Our concern is that increasing automation of processes negatively affects jobs and human wellbeing. We seek to re-orientate these disruptions towards good outcomes at individual, community and society levels.

Further, aspects of the computerisation, automation, intensification and casualisation of work (together with policy responses) to date have been associated with rises in poor wellbeing. How do we best respond to these challenges in the future?



Date: Wednesday 30 October 2019
Time: 9am-5pm
Location: Hawthorn Arts Centre, 360 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn, VIC
Fee: $132 (inc GST)




Communities Powered with Data

Discover the power of Data Collaboratives (pooling and applying data for public value) and learn how you can tap into this growing international phenomenon. From these discussions we hope to excite you to create, co-operate in, or apply a data collaborative.


Public Interest Technology

Unlock the key to empowering communities through Public Interest Technology (the use of technology for social good) by understanding the methods, technology and drivers involved.


Work and Wellbeing

Examine the future of work and gain an understanding of the implications of Industry 4.0 for employers, employees and educational institutions and explore what you can do to make things better.




Download a copy of the Society 4.0 Forum - Schedule (147KB)




Our speakers who are driving the change for good.

Patrick Atwater, ARGO Labs (USA)



Patrick Atwater
Founder and Executive Director

Patrick Atwater is the Founder and Executive Director of ARGO Labs, a startup nonprofit that provided the data infrastructure for this California water data initiative and other public services, including street maintenance, human education and homelessness abatement. He has worked as a consulting data engineer for a multi-million dollar venture-backed startup, ran the numbers for the State Water Contractors on Governor Brown’s Delta Fix project and co-authored the feature June 2015 American Water Works Association article on how data science can help water utilities adapt to climate change. As part of Team ARGO, his civic data science work has been featured by the Knight Foundation and Fast Coexist. He studied mathematics and PPE at Claremont McKenna College, holds a master’s degree in urban informatics from NYU CUSP. He currently serves on the board of the Los Angeles Education Partnership and has written extensively on California, technology and the future of government operations. 

See Patrick chat about the collaborative here on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVZ-JSJNATc

Nicolette Barnard, Siemens (AUST)



Nicolette Barnard
Head of Human Resources

Nicolette is the Head of Human Resources for Siemens in the Pacific Region and also the Human Resources Regional Speaker for Siemens ASEAN‐Pacific. Nicolette began her career in HR in 1994, however joined Siemens in July 2001 in South Africa where she held various Human Resources functions with her last function being the Head of HR for Africa. She then relocated to join Siemens Australia in June 2011. Nicolette holds tertiary qualifications in Human Resources, Commercial Practice and Management. During her tenure at Siemens she has implemented multiple best practice projects, both local and international, in various disciplines within the Human Resources value chain.

Olivia Brown, Global Village Co. (AUST)



Olivia Brown
Global Village Co.

Olivia Brown is the Co-Founder of Global Village Co, a social enterprise dedicated to help people achieve emotional wellbeing though a peer-to-peer marketplace for emotional support. Olivia has 17 years of business experience including 15 years at Mercedes-Benz Australia.  For part of her tenure at Mercedes she led digital and data driven marketing, responsible for data privacy and is passionate about the integrity of personal data and how organisations can go above and beyond data regulations to achieve ethical data management.

Nick Byrne, TypeHuman (AUST)



Nick Byrne
Co-Founder & CEO

Nick is the CEO and co-founder at Type Human, and a recent fellow of Intersticia Foundation. Nick founded TypeHuman because of a belief that we need to accelerate the adoption of Web 3.0 technologies in order to bring about a more human centric web.

TypeHuman now operates as a Blockchain Venture Studio, and is working with leading organisations across Australia, including RMIT University and Red Cross Australia. Prior to TypeHuman, Nick has found himself involve with startups, traveling the world, rowing surf-boats, working for engineers without borders, and dreams of one day joining the van life movement.

Jo Cavanagh, Family Life (AUST)



Jo Cavanagh
Family Life

Jo has worked within the community services sector for more than 40 years and has been CEO of Family Life since 1996. In this role, she has led an innovative program of change driving substantial organisational growth. With a reputation for knowledge and understanding of the complex social services sector, Jo’s position allows her to impact policy and drive research through her affiliation with Swinburne University. Jo is passionate about empowering vulnerable families, children and young people and contributing to movements for social change.
Over the course of her career she has served on boards, ministerial councils for the Australian Government and presented at various national and international conferences for progressing the rights of children and disadvantaged communities. Jo has been recognised for her social justice and entrepreneurial efforts, having been the recipient of an Order of Australian in 2013 and Women of Influence Award for Social Enterprise/Not-For-Profits in 2014.


Tom Dawkins, StartSomeGood (AUST)



Tom Dawkins
Co-Founder and CEO

Tom Dawkins is an entrepreneur, speaker, trainer and Co-Founder and CEO of StartSomeGood.com, a crowdfunding platform for social enterprises, non-profits and community initiatives globally. He was previously the founder of Australian youth non-profit Vibewire, the first Social Media Director at Ashoka, a global NGO fostering social entrepreneurship based in Washington DC, and the founding Director of the Australian Changemakers Festival. He has supported numerous non-profits, governments and businesses to better engage their community using technology and been recognised with awards and Fellowships from the World Summit Youth Awards, International Youth Foundation, Nexus Summit, The Future Summit and the Australian and New Zealand Internet Awards.


Jane Farmer, Swinburne University of Technology (AUST)



Jane Farmer
Social Innovation Research Institute
Swinburne University of Technology

Professor Jane Farmer has an impressive track record of research in rural health services, workforce, health technologies, community participation, co-production and social enterprise.

Jane was formerly Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) in Science, Health and Engineering at La Trobe University, Melbourne. Prior to that, she was Head of the La Trobe Rural Health School from 2010.

She has held distinguished roles in Scotland, including as Director of the University of the Highlands and Islands Centre for Rural Health Research and Policy.


Sean Gallagher, Swinburne University of Technology (AUST)



Sean Gallagher
Centre for the New Workforce
Swinburne University of Technology

Dr Sean Gallagher is the inaugural Director of the Centre for the New Workforce at Swinburne University of Technology, a research centre focused on workforce transformation arising from digital disruption. Its mission is to empower people and organisations through learning in a technology transforming world. By investigating emerging futures of work with industry partners, the Centre designs and implements the learning to succeed at work in these futures. Dr Gallagher's experience spans establishing and leading research and education initiatives, including the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. He has led workforce initiatives focused on experiential learning to prepare students for the global marketplace.



Geri Sumpter, Beyond Blue (AUST)


Workplace Engagement Lead at Beyond Blue ‌               

Geri Sumpter
Workplace Engagement Leader
Beyond Blue

Geri Sumpter is the Workplace Engagement Lead at Beyond Blue; an independent, not-for-profit organisation that provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health.

Through her role, Geri drives Beyond Blue’s engagement activities with a diverse range of stakeholders to support the momentum to improve mental health across all Australian workplaces.

With 20 years background as a certified health, safety and wellbeing professional, Geri has a detailed understanding of the theory and practical application of effective workplace programs that promote positive health, prevent ill-health, and support those who have a mental or physical health condition at both an individual and organisational level.

Natalie Mogford, Global Village Co



Natalie Mogford
Founder and CEO
Global Village Co

Natalie Mogford is Founder and CEO of Global Village Co, a social enterprise dedicated to help people feel less alone though a peer-to-peer marketplace for emotional support. Natalie has previously founded and led two marketing agencies over her 20-year career. A passionate community advocate, for the last 12 years Natalie has been working on projects that have benefited individuals and communities.  Determined to ensure everyone has the opportunity to live the life they choose, Natalie looks for ways and programs that cut-through to create real change. 


Kristi Mansfield, Seer Data & Analytics (AUST)



Kristi Mansfield
Seer Data & Analytics

Kristi is the Co-founder of Seer Data & Analytics.  The Seer Data Platform is designed for non-technical people to use and share data for evidence-based decision making in local communities.  Formerly the Customer Experience & Transformation Director at a global technology company and Managing Director of Fifth Quadrant, Australia’s leading Customer Experience management consulting firm, Kristi has worked with some of the largest businesses and Government organisations across Asia Pacific on innovation strategy and transformation. 

Kristi has a long track record in the philanthropic sector as the former Executive Director of the Sydney Community Foundation and Sydney Women’s Fund, and founder of social and impact investment advisory firm, Greenstone Group.  Through her work in the sector, she has facilitated more than $30million primarily to disadvantaged communities. She is mother to three children.


Alice Martin, New Economics Foundation (UK)



Alice Martin
Head of Work and Pay
New Economics Foundation

Alice is Head of Work and Pay at the New Economics Foundation a UK think tank aimed at transforming the economy so it works for people and the planet. Alice leads projects on the future of work and trade unions and is an advisor to Autonomy - a new institute dedicated to these issues. She is writing a book on the need for revitalised trade unions in the 21st century for Polity Press, and is a regular guest on the NEF Weekly Economics Podcast discussing the 4 Day Week campaign among other topics.

Alvaro Maz, Code for Australia (AUST)



Alvaro Maz
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Code for Australia

Alvaro is an entrepreneur with a passion for public issues, technology and social change. In 2013 he launched his first venture, Creative Suburbs, an online platform to help more people make a difference in their cities. He then co-founded Code for Australia in late 2014 which led to launching Code for Aotearoa.

Alvaro’s background is in international development, philosophy and urban planning, none of which he has really practised. In his spare time, he works on fun projects such as creating a home-brew beer competition and is also cooking plans to go sailing around the world.

Stefaan Verhulst, GovLab, New York University (USA)



Stefaan Verhulst
Co-Founder and Chief of Research and Development
GovLab, New York University 

Stefaan G. Verhulst is Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer of the Governance Laboratory @NYU (GovLab) where he is  building a research foundation on how to transform governance using advances in science and technology. Specifically, he is interested in the perils and promise of collaborative technologies and how to harness the unprecedented volume of data to advance the public good. Prior, he was Chief of Research at the Markle Foundation, Unesco Chair at Oxford University where he also lead a research institute focused on the impact of new technologies on communications policy and law, Senior fellow at Glasgowe University School of Law (among other functions and affiliations.


Co-Founder and Chief of Research and Development 

Contact the Social Innovation Research Institute

There are many ways to engage with us. If your organisation is dealing with a complex problem, then get in touch to discuss how we can work together to provide solutions.

Call +61 (03) 9214 8180