What comes next? | Humanities
The 21st century has been plagued with one crisis after another – a global pandemic, climate catastrophes, economic turmoil and senseless violence. So how do we equip ourselves for what’s around the corner?
To forge our path through this uncertainty, hear from five UNSW Sydney thinkers who are discovering the future of video gaming, the wild west of cryptocurrencies, the dark side of hybrid education and how we could use algorithms to build the cities of the future.
Making living cities | John Carr
We’ve made momentous advances in technology, transport and architecture, but our blueprint for a city has not changed since the Second World War. So what could our urban hubs of the future look like?
Are computer-generated cities the future? | Claire Daniel
We trust algorithms to do everything from online shopping to telling us what to eat for dinner, is it time we let them help us build the cities of the future?
The future of social gaming | Nathan J Jackson
This year, Twitch streamers have watched 6.13 billion hours of video game content… so where is this massive industry heading? And what does the future of gaming look like?
The dark forest of cryptocurrency | Tony Song
More people than ever are investing in cryptocurrency which means tech fraud has skyrocketed. How can governments introduce laws that curb the danger of investing whilst avoiding over-regulation?
Why hybrid learning isn't the answer | Sasha Vassar
In theory, synchronous hybrid learning is a fantastic idea: students and teachers have increased flexibility, and universities can benefit from increased enrolments. But in reality, hybrid learning is not everything it is cracked up to be.
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John Carr is an urban and legal geographer whose work focuses on the intersections of urban form, law, planning, and human and non-human environments. His research seeks to address how knowledge from across disciplinary boundaries can be mobilised to make human-built environments more environmentally and socially regenerative. Carr is a senior lecturer with the Environment and Society Group at UNSW Sydney, and teaches in the School of Humanities and Languages, Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture. For more than a decade, he practiced law in the areas of civil rights, complex litigation, and construction law before entering academia.
Claire Daniel is a Scientia PhD candidate in the School of Built Environment, Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture at UNSW Sydney. They are both an urban planner and a computer programmer researching how data and digital technologies are used by planners, and how this is set to change the way cities are governed. In 2015, Claire was awarded the John Monash Scholarship to study the MSc in Smart Cities and Urban Analytics at University College London. In addition to their academic work, Claire has professional experience in local government and consulting, and is a member of the Planning Institute of Australia’s PlanTech advisory committee.
Nathan J Jackson
Nathan J Jackson is a PhD candidate in the School of the Arts and Media, Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture at UNSW Sydney. His ethnographic study of the platform Twitch combines performance, media, and games lenses to examine the construction and performance of persona in video game livestreaming. He is interested in the ways that streamers and spectators perform for and with each other, and the emergent social, cultural, and political value systems that accompany these performances. He has been published in Persona Studies and Convergence journals, with a forthcoming contribution in the first edited collection on livestreaming culture.
Tony Song is a research fellow for the NSW Law Society’s Future of Law and Innovation (FLIP) research stream in the School of Private and Commercial Law, Faculty of Law and Justice, UNSW Sydney. Song’s research explores the impact of technology on the legal profession and society, with a particular focus on artificial intelligence, online courts, drones, and managing trust in an online world. Tony is most passionate about all things web3, whether it be trading the volatility of the markets, delving into the latent world of smart legal contracts, cheering on the surreal hilarity of the metaverse, or just tending to his humble defi yields – there's never a boring day in crypto.
Dr Sasha Vassar has a cross-disciplinary background in Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and a PhD in Education from UNSW Sydney. She has spent a number of years working in the engineering industry improving problem solving and design processes, before her passion for education and teaching brought her back to UNSW to join the School of Computer Science and Engineering, in the Faculty of Engineering. Her interests include the role of human computer interaction, UX and UI in the design of engineering solutions; the role of design thinking in engineering problem solving and the application of cognitive load theory concepts to improve pedagogy.
Rob Brooks (Host)
Rob Brooks is Scientia Professor of Evolutionary Biology at UNSW Sydney, and is an international expert on the conflicting and evolutionary interests that make sex sizzle and render reproduction complex. He knows all about sex dolls, the role of digital lovers and the rise of new technology that is changing the nature of courtship. His latest book Artificial Intimacy charts what happens when love and technology collide.