Choose Your Own Adventure, Please!

Presented by Pia Waugh
Tuesday 9:15 a.m.–10 a.m.
Target audience: Community


Where are we going and how do we get there? An optimistic look at our future as a species that shows how our global society is changing, what opportunities lie ahead, and what we need to collectively address if we are to create the kind of life we all want to lead. It will challenge individuals, governments and corporations to critically assess the status quo, to embrace the opportunities of the new world, and to make intelligent choices for a better future.

We have seen a fundamental shift of several paradigms that underpinned the foundations of our society, but now hold us back. Like a rusty anchor that provided some stability in high tide, but now binds us to a dangerous reef as the tide goes out. We have seen a shift from central to distributed systems, from scarcity to surplus and from closed to open systems, wherein the latter of each is proving significantly more successful in the modern context. And yet, many of our assumptions, laws and social rules are based on centricity, scarcity and closed as both the default and desired state.

There are many people that have talked about technology and the impact it has had on our lives, but technology is only part of the story. The immense philosophical shift over the past 250 years has created a modern perspective that enables all people to be influential, successful and mighty, certainly compared to our peasant ancestors who had very little control over their destinies. People -- normal people -- are more individually powerful than ever in the history of our species and this has enormous consequences for where we are heading and the opportunities ahead. This distribution of power started with the novel idea that individuals might have inalienable rights, and has been realised through the dramatic transformation of the Internet and democratisation of modern technologies.

How can we use this power to build a better world? Are we capable of identifying, challenging and ultimately changing the existing ideologies and systems that act to maintain a status quo established in the dark ages? We have come to a fascinating fork in our collective road where we can choose to either maintain a world that relies upon outdated models of scarcity that rely upon inequality, or we can explore new models of surplus and opportunity to see where we go next, together.

Presented by

Pia Waugh

Pia Waugh is a free culture, open government and open data ninja [1], working within the machine to enable greater transparency, democratic engagement, citizen-centric design and real, pragmatic actual innovation in the public sector and beyond. She believes that tech culture has a huge role to play in achieving better policy planning, outcomes, public engagement and a better public service all round. She is also trying to do her part in establishing greater public benefit from publicly funded data, software and research.

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