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The shape of things to come

Setting the 2022 agenda

Sydney Ideas launches its 2022 programming by canvasing bold ideas from across the University to understand what’s on the horizon and the priorities for the year. What’s trending – or what shouldn’t be trending – and how should we set the agenda?

It's a new year yet the same-old. We always talked about the pandemic being a catalyst for a paradigm shift. But looking at the state of play today – in politics, human rights, climate action and widening inequality – has this vision for a reset fizzled?

In this event, we bring together leading thinkers from a range of fields to share their take on how the world might change – or could change – for the better by the end of year. Hear from:

  • Dr Arianna Brambilla, Senior Lecturer in Architecture and Co-chair of the cluster Building Efficiencies of the Smart Sustainable Building Network. Arianna is also a lead on the Eco-active Building Envelopes project, part of Sydney Nano's Grand Challenge program. 
  • Associate Professor Melody Ding, epidemiologist and population behavioural scientist working at the intersection of physical activity, epidemiology and chronic disease prevention.
  • Dr Arunima Malik, Senior Lecturer in the Integrated Sustainability Analysis group at the School of Physics and in the Discipline of Accounting. Her expertise is in big-data modelling to quantify sustainability impacts at local, national and global scales.
  • Jananie Janarthana, who has worked across various spaces in the non-profit space in community organising, governance, policy and campaigning from her career as a unionist at and as a current board director for ActionAid Australia. Jananie is currently at the Sydney Policy Lab where she works with government, civil society and academics to foster collaboration for real world- policy impact. 
  • Dr Sandra Peter, Director of Sydney Business Insights at the University of Sydney Business School. Her research expertise and practice focus on engaging with the future in productive ways. She has led strategic initiatives and worked on executive programs with the public and private sector.

Fenella Kernebone, Head of Programming for Sydney Ideas, hosts this event.

This event was held virtually on Thursday 17 February, 2022.

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More about the speakers

Arianna is co-chair of the Building Efficiencies cluster in the Smart Sustainable Building Network. She was awarded a Ph.D. with honours In Building Engineering from Politecnico di Milano (IT). Her background in both architecture and engineering allowed her to establish her research field at the merging borders of architecture, construction, building physics, and engineering.

Drawing upon the different disciplines to assess and interpret construction as a holistic concept, with a strong focus on sustainability. Her research interests relate to human-centered design, building performance assessment, low-carbon living, construction and innovative technologies, and healthy built environments. 

Melody is an epidemiologist and population behavioural scientist, working at the intersection of physical activity, epidemiology and chronic disease prevention. She holds a PhD from the Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health at the University of California San Diego and San Diego State University in the USA. 

Melody is passionate about and committed to improving population health through epidemiological research and behavioural change. She has been published in top ranked journals such as the Lancet, Nature Climate Change, and PLOS Medicine, and led the 2016 Lancet Series on Physical Activity and Health. Many of her studies have contributed to informing the public about healthy living through wide media coverage around the world. Associate Professor Ding was the winner of the 2018 NSW Young Tall Poppy of the Year and 2019 Eureka Prize Emerging Leader in Science.

Arunima is a Senior Lecturer in the Integrated Sustainability Analysis group at the School of Physics and in the Discipline of Accounting at the University of Sydney Business School. She coordinates and teaches postgraduate units for the Masters of Sustainability program.

Arunima undertakes big-data modelling to quantify sustainability impacts at local, national and global scales. She has carried out a range of sustainability supply-chain assessments of health care, biofuel production, construction materials, global energy use, global nitrogen and greenhouse gas emissions, and tourism. Arunima’s research is interdisciplinary, and focusses on the appraisal of social, economic and environmental impacts using input-output analysis.

Jananie joined the Sydney Policy Lab in 2021 as its Senior Project Officer. Jananie believes that powerful collaborations through community organising drive social change; and has joined the Lab after working in complex political and organisational spaces for the previous 7 years.  

At the Lab, Jananie guides the program management and implementation of key strategies and programs of work at the Lab with a particular interest in ‘care’. In her previous roles at the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) she worked across many areas – workplace organising, public campaigning, and parliamentary monitoring and research. She is experienced in reforming organisational policies to foster diversity and inclusion.

Jananie is a graduate of the Australian Progress Fellowship, received the Global Voices National Scholarship in 2018, and represented Australia at the Y20 Argentina in the 'Future of Work' taskforce.

Outside of work, Jananie is on the board of ActionAid, an international feminist development organisation. Jananie has a Bachelor of Political, Economic and Social Sciences from the University of Sydney.

Connect with Jananie on LinkedIn.

Sandra is the Director of Sydney Business Insights at the University of Sydney Business School. She contributes to research, public conversations, policy and critical thinking by working with leading experts in industry, government and community. Her research focuses on current understandings of the future, and how the future of emerging technologies, their social, ethical and political implications can be conceptualised in novel, more productive ways.

Sandra's latest podcast series is The Unlearn Project. She also co-hosts one of Australia’s leading Business and Technology podcasts The Future, This Week and the Sydney Business Insights podcast series. She has published in MIS Quarterly, JAIS, JIT and EJIS and works on a wide range of educational research initiatives and programs, including work with UNESCO and the Department of Education. She has contributed thought pieces, op eds, interviews and research in the Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, The Australian and the ABC.

Fenella joined the University of Sydney in 2021 as Head of Programming for Sydney Ideas. Prior to this appointment she was Head of Curation for TEDxSydney (2017 – 2021) where she led the programming for multiple events including one of the largest annual TEDx events in the world.

With a background as a presenter and producer for television, radio and podcasts, programs she has hosted include Art Nation & Sunday Arts on ABC TV; The Movie Show on SBS TV; By Design on Radio National; and her long running cult electronic music show, The Sound Lab on Triple J. Her most recent podcast, Art Life and the Other Thing was released in 2021 with the Art Gallery of NSW. Prior to this, she hosted two seasons of the Australian Film & Television School podcast, Lumina. As an MC, interviewer, speaker and ideas curator, Fenella has worked on countless events across the country and internationally.

She is on the Board of the National Trust of Australia (NSW) and joined the board of Performance Space in 2022. Her artwork, Here Lies Your Story, has been commissioned by the City of Sydney for Art & About and will be installed in March 2022.

Event banner: Photo by Sora Sagano on Unsplash

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