Prof. Robert Sparrow

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BA (Hons) (Melb.), PhD (A.N.U.)

Rob Sparrow is a Professor in the Philosophy Program, a Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, and an adjunct Professor in the Monash Bioethics Centre, at Monash University, where he works on ethical issues raised by new technologies. He has published on topics as diverse as the ethics of robotics, the moral status of AIs, human enhancement, stem cells, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, xenotransplantation, and migration. He is a co-chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Robot Ethics and was one of the founding members of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control.

Barbara Sharp


Barbara Sharp is the CEO and Co-founder of Pax Republic, a machine learning enterprise that brings together the latest machine intelligence and human intelligence to create new and better ways of working with large groups of people. With over 30 years of experience in journalism, politics and crisis communication, Barbara is a leader in this field, creating and solving problems more efficiently and effectively using AI technology.

Dr Niraj Lal

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Dr Niraj (Nij) Lal is a presenter of ABC SCIENCEY, Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems at the Australian National University, Principal Energy Analyst in the Victorian Government, and Director of First Principles. In 2012 Nij graduated as a Gates Scholar with a PhD in physics from the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, and in 2016 he was named one of the ABC's Top 5 Scientists Under 40 for his research in nanophotonics for high-efficiency solar cells. In 2017 Nij got his first gig on ABC TV with Todd Sampson’s Life on the Line with subsequent shows on the Discovery Channel, Foxtel and ABC iView. He’s written two children's books about science, is the Founder and CEO of TheKnews.org, Editor of NoiseVsSignal.org, and regularly gives public presentations about science and electricity. 

Serena Lee is one of the cofounders of Farmwall, as well as Monash University Alumna. Farmwall is a pioneering startup on a mission to transform cities into food-producing ecosystems. Farmwall designs and implement natural, food producing solutions in urban spaces, with the goal of enhancing the built environment with positive social and environmental outcomes. Their flagship design is the Farmwall, a system that can grow fresh produce indoors in a small-scale vertical farm. Farmwalls grow produce at the place of consumption, without any food miles or food waste. Farmwalls supply delicious, high quality greens and a unique point of difference.

 Urban designer and SJB Director Amanda Roberts says she is “inherently a big-picture person”. She loves working at the strategic level, where her deep understanding of the complexities of the built environment align with her passion for collaboration. With an academic grounding in architecture, landscape architecture and planning, Amanda’s multi-disciplinary expertise is enhanced by her innate curiosity about how people interact in and enjoy public spaces, an interest that has informed both her fields of study and her working career. Amanda sits on design review panels for both the Victorian and South Australian governments and says this exposes her to some amazing city-shaping projects. Amanda says whether she’s on a panel or working with a client, it’s her role “to help ensure a project will contribute to diverse, successful and safe public environments”. 

Often described as a social entrepreneur and community advocate, Dean Landy is an architect, urban designer, speaker, author and CEO. As a partner of Melbourne based architecture firm ClarkeHopkinsClarke, he is actively involved in the design of many town centres, mixed use developments and cities across Australia. Dean is also the author of ‘Creating Vibrant Communities’ published in 2016, and CEO of Tribus a new Australian digital start up empowering people, councils and businesses to be the change they want to see in their local community. In 2007, Dean founded ‘One Heart Foundation’, a for-purpose organisation that is providing homes and schools for orphaned and abandoned children in Kenya. One Heart is creating a sustainable development model through the power of education, care and entrepreneurship. As the legal guardians of 75 children and growing, One Heart is demonstrating in Kenya what Dean believes is universally true, that by creating vibrant communities, we can improve people’s lives…no matter the context.