• Phillip Adams

    Phillip Adams

    Phillip Adams is a prolific and sometimes controversial broadcaster, writer and film-maker. As presenter of Late Night Live on ABC Radio National, he has interviewed thousands of the world’s most influential politicians, historians, archaeologists, novelists, theologians, economists, philosophers and sundry conversationalists. Phillip’s laid-back approach has become a trade-mark for Late Night Live, as has his humour, curiosity, his ability to flesh out rare insights from his guests, and his amazing store of anecdotal knowledge.

    Phillip is the author of over 20 books, including The Unspeakable Adams (1977), Adams Versus God (1985), Talkback (1997), Retreat From Tolerance (1997) and A Billion Voices(1997). His writing has appeared in many of Australia’s most influential publications and he has been a contributor to The Times, The Financial Times in London, and to the New York Times.

    As well as two Orders of Australia, Phillip was Australian Humanist of the Year (1987), Republican of the Year 2005, and received the Longford Award; the film industry’s highest accolade, in 1981, the same year that he was appointed Senior Anzac Fellow. He is a recipient of the Henry Lawson Arts Award (1987) and in 1998, the National Trust elected him one of Australia’s 100 Living National Treasures. He has four honorary doctorates: from Sydney, Griffith, Edith Cowan and the University of South Australia.

  • kristinalford

    Dr Kristin Alford

    Director, Science Creativity Education Studio

    University of South Australia

    In her role at UniSA, Kristin is responsible for the successful establishment, development, and ongoing leadership and management of the Sci.C.Ed Studio. This new centre aims to inspire young adults about the place of sciences, the arts and creativity in creating shared futures.

  • alializadeh

    Dr Ali Alizadeh

    Author and lecturer

    Monash University

    Ali’s latest book, Transactions (2013), has been described as ‘twisted’, ‘vicious’ and ‘remarkable’. His new novel, The last days of Jeanne d’Arc, will be released in 2017. He is currently researching the French Revolution.


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    Waleed Aly


    School of Social Sciences, Monash University

    Waleed Aly is a columnist, radio host, televison presenter and most recently, Gold Logie winner. He is also a lecturer in politics at Monash University, primarily within the Global Terrorism Research Centre. He is widely recognised in the community as an advocate for religious tolerance,  the elimination of violence against women, was Victorian’s Local Hero  in the Australian of the Year Awards in 2011.

  • helenbarrie

    Dr Helen Barrie

    Deputy director of the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre

    University of Adelaide

    Helen’s research has focused on Australia’s changing population and the implications of this for society and communities. Much of this work involves an examination of population diversity with the interaction between the built environment and ageing populations.

  • michaelbauwens

    Michel Bauwens

    Founder and director

    P2P Foundation

    Michel works in collaboration with a global group of researchers in the exploration of peer production, governance and property. He also is research director of CommonsTransition.org, a platform for policy development aimed toward a society of the Commons enabling a more egalitarian and environmentally stable post-capitalist world.

  • markbeam

    Mark Beam


    beaming.com, USA

    Mark is a social architect, entrepreneur, impact investor and cultural theorist. With experience in Wall Street, Silicon Valley and as a pioneer in the creation of Impact Investing, he shows how we can develop a new postcapitalist world paradigm based on knowledge sharing and regeneration. His new book INTEGRITY: The Search for Me in the Age of We will be published in 2017.

  • jeffreybleich

    Jeffrey Bleich


    Dentons Diplomatic Solutions, USA

    Jeffrey served as the U.S. Ambassador to Australia from 2009 to 2013, and as Special Counsel to President Obama in the White House. In 2016 he was named one of the United States’ 500 most influential lawyers by the LawDragon 500. Based in Silicon Valley, he specialises in resolving complex international disputes and advising institutions on cyber-security and technology issues.

  • erinbrokovich

    Erin Brockovich

    Environmentalist, Consumer Advocate


    After gaining international recognition in 1996 for her courageous efforts to expose the contamination of community drinking water by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Erin has taken on environmental projects worldwide on behalf of local communities.


  • nickbrodie

    Dr Nick Brodie

    Independent author and historian

    Currently lecturing at the University of Tasmania

    Nick is a self-confessed history nerd and archaeologist. As well as academic papers, he has published two acclaimed books on Australian history and appeared on ABC radio and television.

  • alexbrown

    Prof Alex Brown

    Theme Leader

    Aboriginal Health Research, SAHMRI

    An Aboriginal medical doctor and researcher, Alex has established an extensive and unique research program focused on chronic disease in vulnerable communities. He leads projects encompassing cardiometabolic epidemiology, chronic disease research and mixed methods health services research.

  • victoriacornell

    Dr Victoria Cornell

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow

    School of Social Science, University of Adelaide

    Victoria has a strong belief in social justice and an understanding of how older people are often overlooked in terms of their aged care and housing needs. Her current research is focused on issues of ageing, aged care provision and housing for vulnerable groups.

  • carolyncurtis

    Carolyn Curtis


    The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI)

    Carolyn leads TACSI’s vision for systems that deliver sustainable social outcomes. She was founding director of their multi-award–winning Family by Family program. Carolyn is currently a Director of the international Social Innovation Exchange.

  • pallavedasari

    Dr Pallave Dasari

    Australian Breast Cancer Research Postdoctoral Fellow

    University of Adelaide

    Originally from Darwin, Pallave’s research investigates how the immune system in the breast can switch off so it can’t destroy any lurking pre-cancerous cells, thereby allowing breast cancer to develop.

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    Paul Davies


    Arizona State University

    Paul Davies is a British-born theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and best-selling author. He is Regents’ Professor and Director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, Co-Director of the Cosmology Initiative, and Principal Investigator in the Center for the Convergence of Physical Science and Cancer Biology, all at Arizona State University. Previously he held academic appointments at the Universities of Cambridge, London and Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK, before moving to Australia in 1990, initially as Professor of Mathematical Physics at The University of Adelaide. Later he helped found the Australian Centre for Astrobiology. Davies’s research interests are focused on the “big questions” of existence, ranging from the origin of the universe to the origin of life, and include the nature of time, the search for life in the universe and foundational questions in quantum mechanics. He helped create the theory of quantum fields in curved spacetime, with which he provided explanations for how black holes can radiate energy, and what caused the ripples in the cosmic afterglow of the big bang. In astrobiology, he was a forerunner of the theory that life on Earth may have come from Mars. He is currently championing the theory that Earth may host a shadow biosphere of alternative life forms.

  • sharidavis

    Shari Davis

    Director of Strategic Initiative

    Participatory Budgeting Project, USA

    As Director of Youth Engagement and Employment for the City of Boston, Massachusetts, Shari launched Youth Lead the Change, the first youth participatory budgeting process in the US, which won the US Conference of Mayors’ City Livability Award.

  • scottdelahunta

    Scott Delahunta

    Senior Research Fellow

    Centre for Dance Research Coventry University, UK

    Scott has worked as writer, researcher and organiser on a range of international projects bringing performing arts, with a focus on choreography, into conjunction with other disciplines and practices. Other roles include Senior Research Fellow at Deakin Motion.Lab, Deakin University and co-director of Motion Bank Institute, Frankfurt.

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    Moira Deslandes


    Moira Deslandes Consulting

    Moira works with systems, communities, networks and leaders to get results. She has worked from the kitchen table to the cabinet table.

  • Anne_Deveson_2013

    Anne Deveson

    Writer, broadcaster and filmmaker Anne Deveson has been on the leading edge of social change throughout her varied career. Through her television and radio documentaries, books and articles, and her membership of numerous boards and organisations, she has illuminated social issues and influenced policy in areas from poverty and aging to child abuse and disability. She is perhaps best known for her work on mental illness – an area she became involved in after her son developed schizophrenia. Her films have won three UN Peace Awards and her books have been widely praised. Anne was made an officer of the Order of Australia for her work in community health and for increasing the public awareness of schizophrenia. Anne’s appointments include: Executive Director of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School; Commissioner with the Royal Commission on Human Relationships; founding member of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board and Chair of the Commonwealth Governments Advisory Committee on Homelessness. She is currently a member of the NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal, the NSW Medical Tribunal and the NSW Expert Advisory Group on Drugs

  • ivydiegmann

    Ivy Diegmann

    Head of Innovation Incubator

    ACH Group

    Ivy is a connector of ideas and people, co-creating new good life opportunities for people looking to stay well and keep sharp. Having worked across non-government and local government sectors spanning housing, residential, community and health services, she was lead designer of the first Consumer Directed Care pilot in Australia.

  • nickdrake

    Nick Drake

    Poet and screenwriter


    Nick’s The Man in the White Suit won the Forward Poetry Prize for Best First Collection. His most recent collection is The Farewell Glacier. He wrote the screenplay for Romulus My Father, adapted from Raimond Gaita’s memoir.

  • timdunlop

    Tim Dunlop

    Writer, academic and author

    Centre for Advancing Journalism, University of Melbourne

    Tim has a PhD in political philosophy, and has written and broadcast extensively on US and Australian politics, the media, and the future of work. His new book is Why The Future is Workless.

  • alicobbyeckermann

    Ali Cobby Eckermann

    Writer and poet

    Ali’s verse novel Ruby Moonlight won the 2012 Deadly Award for Literature, the 2013 Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize and NSW Premier’s Book of the Year. In 2014, she performed at the Ledbury Poetry Festival in England, and attended the International Writers Program at the University of Iowa.


  • Susannah Elliot


    Science Media Centre

    Susannah Elliot has a PhD in cell and developmental biology from Macquarie University, a Graduate Diploma in Journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and nearly 20 years of practical experience in science communication with the science-media nexus as her primary focus. In 2000, Susannah moved to Stockholm, Sweden as Communications Director for the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), an international network of scientists working on global environmental change. She is currently CEO of the Australian Science Media Centre, an independent not for profit organisation that she helped establish in 2005 and that works with the news media to inject more evidence-based science into public discourse.

  • bridgetteengler

    Dr Bridgette Engeler

    Faculty of Health, Arts and Design

    Swinburne University of Technology

    Bridgette is a “pracademic” working across design, foresight and innovation at Swinburne University. Her work combines prospective thinking, research and strategy at the nexus of culture, futures, design and technology.

  • rebeccaevans

    Rebecca Evans


    European and Australian Decorative Arts, Art Gallery of SA

    Rebecca is a curator at the Art Gallery of SA. Previously an Assistant Curator at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, she brings a passion for fashion and textiles, and a desire to make decorative arts sexy again.

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    Tim Flannery

    Professor Tim Flannery is an Australian mammalogist, palaeontologist, environmentalist and global warming activist. Currently a Professorial Fellow at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne, he is former director of the South Australian Museum and former professor at Sydney’s Macquarie University. He became Australia’s first Chief Commissioner of the Climate Commission, a Federal Government body providing information on climate change to the Australian public but in September 2013 he announced that he would join other sacked commissioners to form the independent Climate Council, that would be funded by the community. He is chairman of the Copenhagen Climate Council, an international climate change awareness group. In 2002, he became the first environmentalist to deliver The Australia Day address to the nation. In 2005 he was honored as Australian Humanist of the Year and, in 2007, he was named Australian of the Year.

    A regular contributor to The New York Review of Books and The Times Literary Supplement, Tim also contributes to ABC Radio, NPR and the BBC. In addition, he has also written many books, including, The Future Eaters (1994), The Weathermakers (2005) and Here on Earth (2010), as well as hosted several Documentary Channel specials, such as The Future, and Islands in the Sky.

    In 2006 Tim Co-Founded the Copenhagen Climate Council, and chaired the organisation until 2010, advising governments and businesses on environmental policy. He is a member of the Wentworth Group of scientists. A man on a mission, Flannery believes that human activity is drastically altering the earth’s climate, and that before too long these changes will have a devastating effect on life on this planet. He wants to mobilize the social and political will to address this problem before it’s too late. His book The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth debuted on The New York Times bestseller list, has sold over a million copies worldwide, and is proving to be one of the most pivotal and influential texts in our understanding of global warming.

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    Prof Raimond Gaita

    Professorial Fellow

    Melbourne Law School and Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne

    In 2009 the University of Antwerp awarded Raimond the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa ‘for his exceptional contribution to contemporary moral philosophy and for his singular contribution to the role of the intellectual in today’s academic world’. Raimond is also Professor Emeritus of Moral Philosophy at King’s College London.

  • nicholasgruen

    Nicholas Gruen

    The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI)

    Nicholas is a policy economist, entrepreneur and commentator on our economy, society and innovation. He formerly chaired Innovation Australia and the Federal Government 2.0 Taskforce.

  • guildhouse


    South Australian crafthouse

    Supporting and creating connections for creative practitioners

    Guildhouse presents highlights from the Creative Time Summit using visual observation, practical judgement, and a performative intervention without the aid of instruments or a plan.

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    Georgia Heath


    Yup Yup Labs

    Social entrepreneur, strategist and innovator, Georgia left her role as a public servant to help government and NGOs solve some of our biggest social challenges using start-up thinking, human centred design, smart cities and open data.

  • joannahowe

    Dr Joanna Howe

    Senior Lecturer of Law

    University of Adelaide

    Joanna is the leading Australian expert in temporary labour migration. She has written three books: Temporary Labour Migration in the Global Era, The Regulatory Challenges and Rethinking Job Security. She is currently researching the experience of international students in the Australian labour market and labour supply options in the Australian vegetable industry.

  • Pic: Firdaus Latif

    Anwar Ibrahim

    Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (born 10 August 1947) is a Malaysian politician. He is a founder and leading figure of the People’s Justice Party (Parti KeADILan Rakyat). Anwar served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia from 1993 to 1998 and Finance Minister from 1991 to 1998 when he was a member of UMNO, the major party in the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition. However, he was removed from his post by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and jailed. His prosecution has been criticised by human rights groups and several foreign governments, including the US, UK and Australia. Following his release in 2004, Anwar became the leading figure in the opposition and helped coalesce the opposition parties into the Pakatan Rakyat, which contested the 2008 and 2013 general elections. In 2015, Anwar was again jailed for five years. Anwar Ibrahim is a widely respected leader for human rights, religious tolerance and democratic reform. He has worked widely in the not-for-profit area and held teaching positions in major universites around the world.

  • pauljames

    Prof Paul James


    Institute for Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney

    Paul James is author or editor of 33 books, including Globalism, Nationalism, Tribalism. Among his many responsibilities, he is Scientific Advisor to the Senate Department for Urban Development in Berlin.

  • barryjones

    Prof Barry Jones

    Professorial Fellow

    University of Melbourne

    Barry is a politician, writer, teacher, quasi-diplomat, lawyer, heritage administrator and public intellectual. He is also the only person elected Fellow of all four Australian learned academies. A former state MP, then federal MP for Lalor, Barry was Australia’s longest serving science minister.

  • janejose

    Jane Jose


    Sydney Community Foundation

    Cities, people and city life fascinate Jane. She has written, shaped and informed public policy to make great public places in cities across Australia. Her book Places women make won the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2016 Bates Smart Award for Architecture in the Media.

  • gabriellekelly

    Gabrielle Kelly


    Wellbeing and Resilience Centre, SAHMRI

    Gabrielle has a lifelong commitment to understanding human behaviour and systems change. She ran the Adelaide Thinkers in Residence program, leading significant implementation of change in city design, advanced manufacturing, early childhood education and positive psychology.


  • fionakerr

    Dr Fiona Kerr

    Neural and Systems Complexity

    University of Adelaide

    Fiona combines a half time academic role in the areas of Neural and Systems Complexity, with public speaking and consulting to companies, industry sectors and governments. She advises leaders on how to build better brains and businesses as well as Artificial Intelligence and the neurophysiological impact of humans interfacing with both humans and technologies.

  • davidkirsh

    Prof David Kirsch

    Professor of Cognitive Science

    University of California, San Diego, USA

    Receiving his BA in philosophy and economics as well as a PhD from Oxford University on foundations of cognitive science, David spent five years at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab as a research scientist before his current position at the University of California at San Diego.

  • roblachowicz

    Rob Lachowicz

    Baby boomer, community lawyer, performer and musician

    Rob uses music, hip-hop and theatre for education and social commentary.

  • danielslaneburg

    Daniels Langeberg



    Daniels is a dreamer, entrepreneur, urban designer and photographer with a passion for all things cycling. He recently returned to Adelaide and founded EcoCaddy.

  • robynlayton

    Hon Dr Robyn Layton

    Adjunct Professor

    School of Law University of South Australia

    Throughout her legal career Robyn has been an advocate for social justice and human rights issues. She continues to work towards improving the rights of women, children, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, refugees, migrants and the rights of aged persons.

  • jamesleach

    Prof James Leach

    Directeur de Recherche

    CREDO (CNRS-Aix/Marseille University-EHESS), France

    James is a social anthropologist who has worked for 20 years in Papua New Guinea, publishing books and articles on creativity, ownership, kinship and place, and ecological knowledge. He is also an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Western Australia.

  • janelomaxsmith

    Dr Jane Lomax-Smith


    Jane has worked in London, Boston and Adelaide. In Adelaide, she has been elected three times as a councillor, twice as Lord Mayor, twice as a state MP and has been Minister of Education and Tourism. She has written reports on university education and regional urban renewal.

  • johnlong

    Prof John Long

    Strategic Professor in Palaeontology

    Flinders University

    John researches evolution and has authored many influential scientific papers and books. He is President of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and Vice President of the Royal Society of South Australia.

  • davidmabberley

    Prof David Mabberley

    Emeritus Fellow

    Wadham College, University of Oxford, England

    David is a British-born botanist and author of 18 books. With doctorates from Oxford and Cambridge, his roles have included: Dean, Wadham College Oxford; CEO, Greening Australia; Director, University of Washington Botanic Gardens: Keeper, Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

  • kirsteenmackay

    Kirsteen Mackay

    South Australian Government Architect

    Office for Design and Architecture, SA (ODASA)

    A registered architect in SA and the UK, Kirsteen joined ODASA after four years as head of design review at the UK’s Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, and spent 15 years in private practice. As leader of ODASA, Kirsteen provides design support to major projects and advice on public procurement processes.

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    Greg Mackie


    History Trust

    Greg is founder and Chairman of the Adelaide Festival of Ideas. Following 20 years as co-owner of the iconic Imprints Booksellers, he headed Arts SA and became Deputy Chief Executive, Cultural Development, Department of Premier & Cabinet.

  • amritamalhi

    Dr Amrita Malhi

    Director, Intercultural Futures and visiting Research Fellow

    University of Adelaide

    Amrita is an academic interested in identity politics. She is working on a book on the allure of the Caliphate in Southeast Asia, and has also developed contemporary intercultural principles for an Australia that is increasingly enmeshed with Asia.

  • julianmeyrick

    Prof Julian Meyrick

    Professor of Creative Arts

    Flinders University

    Julian has directed many award-winning theatre productions. He has published histories of the Nimrod Theatre and the Melbourne Theatre Company, two Currency House Platform Papers, and numerous articles on Australian theatre, culture and cultural policy.

  • michaelmills

    Michael Mills

    Creative Director

    Heaps Good Productions

    Michael is first and foremost a storyteller, and one who works through song. He tells the stories of science and history; of the collections in museums and cultural institutions. “Through performance”, he says, “we bring stories to life, and set them free to dance!”


  • janemussared

    Jane Mussared

    Chief Executive

    Council on the Ageing SA (COTA SA)

    COTA SA is the peak body promoting the rights and interests of older South Australians. Jane’s earlier positions included leadership roles at ACH Group and the State Government Office for the Ageing. She is a winner of a Telstra Innovation Award.

  • justinoconnor

    Prof Justin O’Connor

    Professor, Communications and Cultural Economy

    Monash University

    Justin is in the School of Media, Film and Journalism. He is visiting chair at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and has just published the Platform Paper After the creative industries, and co-authored Cultural economy in the new Shanghai, out next year.

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    Milton Osborne

    Dr Milton Osborne is a Visiting Fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. He has been associated with Southeast Asia for more than fifty years since being posted to the Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh in 1959. A graduate of Sydney and Cornell Universities (University Medallist and Fulbright Scholar, respectively), he has held academic positions in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Singapore. In 1980 and 1981 he was a consultant to the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees in relation to the Cambodian refugee problem, working along the Thai-Cambodian border. In 1982 he returned to government service as Head of the Asia Branch of the Office of National Assessments, also serving for a year as Head of Current Intelligence.

    Since 1993 he has been an independent writer and consultant on Asian issues, based in Sydney, and has been an Adjunct Professor and Visiting Fellow in the Faculty of Asian Studies at the Australian National University, Canberra. He has recently been appointed a member of the Advisory Board of a major research project funded by the European Commission: Integration in Southeast Asia: Trajectories of Inclusion, Dynamics of Exclusion (SEATIDE). The research project is funded by the European Commission and operates under the direction of the Ecole francaise d’Extreme-Orient (The French School of Asian Studies), Paris.

    He is the author of ten books and many articles on Asian subjects including: Southeast Asia: An Introductory History, now in its eleventh edition; River Road to China: The Search for the Source of the Mekong (A New York Times ‘notable book’); The Mekong: Turbulent Past, Uncertain Future; and Phnom Penh: a cultural and literary history. In 2014 Dr Osborne was honoured by the French government, appointed as Commandeur in the Ordre National du Mérite, for his past work with French officials and his contribution to the study of France’s role in Asia.

  • elisapalazzo

    Dr Elisa Palazzo

    Senior Lecturer

    School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Adelaide

    Elisa is an Architect/Urbanist and Landscape Architect.
    She taught in Italy and China. As co-founder of the Swiss-Italian office studiostudio architettiurbanisti, she has been involved in projects in Europe, Middle East and cooperated with UNDP/UNESCO in Yemen, Palestine and Mongolia.

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    Dr David Panter

    Chief Executive


    A CE in care services in the UK and SA for almost 30 years, David has led a range of reforms including the development of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital. Currently CE of not-for-profit ECH, the state’s biggest provider of housing and support services for older people, David is passionate about enabling people to live well until death in their own home.

  • markpesce

    Mark Pesce

    Digital Growth Partnership and Honorary Associate

    Digital Cultures Program, University of Sydney

    Mark is an inventor, writer, entrepreneur, educator and broadcaster. Author of six books, Mark was a panelist on ABC’s The New Inventors, and currently hosts This Week in Startups Australia.

  • Robert Phiddian

    Robert Phiddian teaches English literature at Flinders University. He joined the Adelaide Festival of Ideas  as a ‘youth representative’ on the first Advisory Board in 1998. As the youthfulness ebbed away, he took on other roles, most notably as Chair for the 2009, 2011, and 2013 festivals. He publishes on political satire, from Jonathan Swift to current Australian political cartoons, and teaches courses in Shakespeare, comedy, and older literature. His other public roles include being director of the Australasian Consortium of Humanities Research Centres and a member of the board of the Australian Book Review.

    Robert’s profile at Flinders University

  • joseramos

    Dr José Ramos


    Action Foresight

    José is an advocate for commons-oriented change strategies. He is passionate about the visions and designs for new political, economic and cultural systems that inspire and sustain, and committed to helping people bridge the gap between foresight and action.

  • ellierennie

    Assoc Prof Ellie Rennie

    Deputy Director

    Swinburne Institute for Social Research

    Ellie is a leading thinker on the social dynamics of technological change. She works on problems where the standard approaches to communications policy, infrastructures and products fail, including in Australia’s remote Indigenous communities. Her recent work looks at the emerging opportunities and challenges of automated governance through blockchain technology.

  • karenreynolds

    Prof Karen Reynolds

    Matthew Flinders Distiguished Professor

    Biomedical Engineering, Flinders University

    Karen is Director of the Medical Device Research Institute (MDRI) and the Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP). She also is Deputy Dean of the School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics at Flinders University.

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    Prof Sarah Robertson


    Robinson Research Institute, University of Adelaide

    An international leader in reproductive immunology, Sarah’s research focus is the immunology of pregnancy and its influence on child health after birth, and on understanding the contribution of immune dysregulation to infertility, miscarriage and gestational disorders.

  • karlsammut

    Assoc Prof Karl Sammut


    Centre for Maritime Engineering, Control and Imaging, Flinders University

    Karl’s primary research activities are in the area of autonomous marine vehicles, including both surface vessels and underwater vehicles.

  • ricksarre

    Prof Rick Sarre

    Professor of Law and Criminal Justice

    School of Law, University of South Australia

    Rick has taught criminology and law for over 30 years in Australia, the USA and Sweden. He currently serves as President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC).

  • Regina_Schwartz

    Regina Schwartz

    Regina Schwartz (Ph.D. University of Virginia) teaches seventeenth-century literature, especially Milton; Hebrew Bible; philosophy and literature, law and literature, and religion and literature at Northwestern University. Her publications include Remembering and Repeating: Biblical Creation in Paradise Lost (1988), which won the James Holly Hanford Prize for the best book on Milton; The Book and the Text: The Bible and Literary Theory (1990); Desire in the Renaissance: Psychoanalysis and Literature (1994); The Postmodern Bible (1995) and Transcendence: Philosophy, Literature, and Theology Approach the Beyond (2004). The Curse of Cain: The Violent Legacy of Monotheism (1997), a study of identity and violence in the Hebrew Bible, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Sacramentality at the Dawn of Secularism: When God Left the World, is published by Stanford in their series Cultural Memory in the Present (2007). Loving Justice, Living Shakespeare (2016) asks why love is considered a ‘soft’ subject, fit for the arts and religion perhaps, but unfit for boardrooms, parliamentary and congressional debates, law schools and courtrooms, all of whom are engaged in the ‘serious’ discourse of justice, including questions of distribution, questions of contract, and questions of retribution

    She has served as Chair of the Modern Language Association Religion and Literature Division, President of the Milton Society of America, co-Director of the Newberry Milton Seminar, and is now the Co-Director of the Academy for the Advanced Study of the Renaissance. Schwartz is also the Director of the Milton Project, honoring the 400th birthday of John Milton. She has written the play adaptation, John Milton’s Paradise Lost which was performed by the Chicago Shakespeare Project in May, 2010, and she has written the libretto to the opera, Paradise Lost, composed by John Eaton.

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    Bernadette Schwerdt


    Australian School of Copywriting

    Bernadette wrote the best-selling book Secrets of Online Entrepreneurs. She writes for BRW, Money and Inside Small Business and provides commentary on digital disruption for Sky News, ABC Radio and other networks.

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    Simran Sethi

    Simran Sethi is a journalist and educator focused on food, sustainability and social change. Named the environmental “messenger” by Vanity Fair, a top 10 eco-hero of the planet by the U.K.’s Independent, and designated one of the top eight women saving the planet by Marie Claire, Simran is the author of Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love, about the story of changes in food and agriculture told through bread, wine, chocolate, coffee and beer. She is an associate at the University of Melbourne’s Sustainable Society Institute in Australia, a contributor for Orion Magazine and a recent visiting scholar at the Cocoa Research Centre in St. Augustine, Trinidad. Lauded as an “environmental woman of impact” by Daily Variety, Simran was the host of the 2013-2014 PBS QUEST series on science and sustainability. She was the environmental correspondent for NBC News, which included contributions to CNBC, MSNBC, TODAY and Nightly News. Simran was also the anchor and writer of the Sundance Channel’s environmental programming The Green, and has been featured on the History Channel and National Public Radio, as well as on media in Australia, India and Italy. She was also the host of the EMMY award-winning PBS documentary A School in the Woods.

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    Ted Setnikar

    Author and volunteer

    Having escaped Yugoslavia in 1967, Ted worked in the Australian catering industry. He recently disclosed his sexuality to the world in his book, The Lacemaker’s Son, to prove that by being one’s true self, you gain respect and live a freer and happier life.

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    Vandana Shiva

    Dr. Vandana Shiva is trained as a Physicist and did her Ph.D. on the subject “Hidden Variables and Non-locality in Quantum Theory” at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. She later shifted to inter-disciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy, which she carried out at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India.

    In 1982, she left to set up her Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy in her home town of Dehra Dun in the foothills of the Himalaya.  The Foundation is dedicated to high quality and independent research to address the most significant ecological and social issues of our times, working in close partnership with local communities and social movements. In 1991 she founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources – especially native seed – and to promote organic farming and fair trade. Navdanya has worked with local communities and organisations, serving more than 500,000 men and women farmers. Navdanya’s efforts have resulted in the conservation of more than 3000 rice varieties from across India, and the organisation has established 60 seed banks in 16 states across the country. In 2004, Dr. Shiva started Bija Vidyapeeth, an international college for sustainable living in Doon Valley in collaboration with Schumacher College, U.K.

    Dr. Shiva founded the gender unit at the International Centre for Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Kathmandu, and was a founding Board Member of the Women Environment and Development Organization (WEDO). She has also initiated Diverse Women for Diversity, an international movement of women working for food and agriculture.

    Her books have had immense impact. The Violence of the Green Revolution and Monocultures of the Mind pose essential challenges to the dominant paradigm of non-sustainable, industrial agriculture. Biopiracy, Stolen Harvest and Water Wars made visible the social, economic and ecological costs of corporate-led globalisation. Staying Alive dramatically shifts popular perceptions of Third World women.

    Time Magazine identified Dr. Shiva as an environmental ‘hero’ in 2003, and Asia Week has called her one of the five most powerful communicators in Asia. In November 2010, Forbes Magazine identified Dr. Shiva as one of the Seven Most Powerful Women on the Globe. She has won many international awards for her work, including the Sydney Peace Prize in 2010.

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    Heather Smith

    Energy and Climate Change Specialist

    Heather is an electrical engineer with a focus on energy efficiency and climate change policy. After many years in state government, her primary focus is now on community energy. She is a Churchill Fellow, recently returned from looking at the role of community energy around the world in provoking change.

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    Prof John Spoehr


    Australian Industrial Transformation Institute, Flinders University

    John has a background in economic, industry and workplace research, and formerly led the Australian Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre. John is now establishing the SA node of the Innovative Manufacturing CRC, linked to the Stretton Centre, a focal point for building industries of the future.

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    Daniel Squire


    Drones Over Water

    After several years working in the agriculture, shipping, oil and gas and wastewater industries, Daniel established Drones Over Water using remote controlled drones to monitor and test water quality.

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    Prof Kate Stevens

    Professor of Psyschology

    University of Western Sydney

    Cognitive psychologist Kate investigates the psychological processes in creating, perceiving and performing music and dance. As Professor in Psychology, she leads the Music Cognition and Action research program in the MARCS Institute.

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    Karl Winda Telfer

    Senior cultural custodian

    Pangkarra Kaurna Meyunna

    Karl is a Kaurna man from the Adelaide Plains region. Born into a family of strong cultural heritage, actively involved in politics, Karl has fought for social justice and human rights for Aboriginal people. Karl continues the legacy by integrating his culture with the arts.


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    Max Toovey

    Portfolio Manager

    Duxton Capital

    Max is passionate about agricultural investment and unlocking the benefits of sustainable production that can be achieved. His portfolio consists of $870 million of which $540 million comprises agricultural and water investments.

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    Phillip Toyne

    Phillip Toyne AO was an Australian environmental and indigenous rights activist, lawyer, and co-founder of Landcare Australia. He was the head of the Australian Conservation Foundation from 1986 to 1992. He negotiated the Pitjantjatjara Land Rights Act and the successful native title claim of the traditional owners of Uluru in 1983. Earlier in his life he had worked as a teacher and lawyer in remote Aboriginal communities.

    He was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Australia in 2012, “For distinguished service to environmental law through executive and advisory roles, particularly the introduction of a National Landcare Program, to the protection and restoration of Australian landscapes, and to the Indigenous community.” He was the author of two books: Growing up the country: the Pitjantjatjara struggle for their land (1984), and The reluctant nation: environment, law, and politics in Australia (1994).

    Toyne died on 13 June 2015 aged 67.

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    Prof Kim Vincs


    Motion Lab, Deakin University

    Kim leads Australian Research Council Discovery Projects in dance technology and has commercial motion capture credits in computer games, television and film, including Altv.fx’s Cannes Silver Lion winning Nocturnal Migration.

  • IainWalker

    Iain Walker

    new Democracy Foundation

    Iain Walker is the Executive Director of the newDemocracy Foundation. He holds a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from UTS. His career has spanned commercial roles in professional sport at the PGA Tour and Golf Australia, and time in the technology industry at Microsoft Word.

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    Prof Steve Wesselingh

    Executive Director, Infection & Immunity Theme Leader


    An infectious diseases physician and researcher in neurovirology, HIV and vaccine development, Steve has consistently worked towards integrating high quality research with health-care delivery, to achieve improved health outcomes for Australia and poorly resourced countries of the region.

  • Mary E White

    Dr Mary E. White has said: “In the future, climate change won’t be just one of our fears, it will be the only one.” With an amazing career spanning over five decades and two southern continents, White is an accomplished and award winning palaeobotanist, lecturer and over the last 20 years author of several award winning books on the evolution of the Australian continent and its ecosystems. She is a passionate conservationist, was named a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for service to botany as a researcher through promotion of increased understanding and awareness of the natural world and has been awarded the Lifetime Conservation Award from Australian Geographic. In 2003 she moved from Sydney to Falls Forest Retreat at Johns River on the mid-north coast, a large property with wonderful forests, rainforest gullies, river cascades and an eco-business comprising townhouses and a conference centre. The forests on the Retreat have been covenanted and protected for all time and the property and business will have an increasingly educational role – enabling Mary to fulfill a lifetime’s ambition to conserve biodiversity and, at the same time, inspire others with an interest in, and love of, the natural world.

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    Sean Williams

    Author and affiliate of the J. M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice

    University of Adelaide

    Sean is an award-winning, #1 New York Times–bestselling author of over 40 novels and 100 stories, including some set in the Star Wars and Doctor Who universes, and some written with Garth Nix.

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    Prof John Williams

    John Williams is the Dean of Adelaide Law School, The University of Adelaide. He is the Dame Roma Mitchell Chair of Law, Deputy Executive Dean, Faculty of the Professions and Director, South Australian Law Reform Institute.

    John’s main research interest is public law and in particular Australian constitutional law, The High Court of Australia, comparative constitutional law, federalism and legal history.

    John is also a Board member of Adelaide Festival of Ideas, Inc.

  • John Williams 1 small

    John Williams


    Adelaide Law School, University of Adelaide

    John Williams is the Dean of Adelaide Law School, The University of Adelaide. He is the Dame Roma Mitchell Chair of Law, Deputy Executive Dean, Faculty of the Professions and Director, South Australian Law Reform Institute.

    John’s main research interest is public law and in particular Australian constitutional law, The High Court of Australia, comparative constitutional law, federalism and legal history.

    John is also a Board member of Adelaide Festival of Ideas, Inc.

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    Dr Paul Willis



    Paul has a background in vertebrate palaeontology, studying the fossils of crocodiles and other reptiles. He also has an extensive career in science communication, working in television for Australia’s Science Channel and on the ABC including Catalyst and Quantum.

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    Warren W Wood

    Warren Wood is Visiting Professor of Geosciences at Michigan State University; Adjunct Professor, King Fahd University, Saudi Arabia; Visiting Research Associate, School of Geography, University of Oxford, UK; Adjunct Professor, University of Nebraska; and Scientist Emeritus with the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS).

    During 40 years with the USGS, he served as:  Project Chief hydrodynamic dispersion, Assistant Chief radioactive waste, Geochemist for the High Plains artificial recharge project, and a Hydrogeologist for the Michigan District. From 1978 -1981 he was Associate Professor at Texas Tech University. For the last 30 years his research interests have been largely in the hydrogeology of arid areas.

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    Manal Younus

    Freelance writer, performer and creative producer

    Manal is an SA-based writer, performer and creative producer. As a Muslim with Eritrean origins living in Australia, the young spoken-word artist uses her poetry to discover and strengthen her own identity and to spark discussions around her. Manal was SA finalist for Young Australian of the Year 2016.