CEDA's Public Interest Technology Digital Forum

CEDA's Public Interest Technology Digital Forum

Nov 30
Join CEDA for this special two-day cross-sector digital forum with experts from Australia and abroad as we unpack how data and emerging technologies can be used in the public interest to help chart a path to economic recovery for Australia.
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Event Overview

Held over two half days, the inaugural CEDA PIT forum will drive a national discussion on the reforms needed for Australia to become a leading digital and tech nation. 

It will bring together diverse perspectives from leaders in business and government from three key areas: those that design and develop new technologies, users and those developing policy and regulation.

Key issues to be explored include: 
•    The state of play on tech governance in Australia;
•    How we can build community trust in new technologies;
•    Empowering consumers; and
•    What the tech acceleration through COVID-19 tells us about risk and reward.

New and emerging technologies will be critical in our successful recovery from the COVID-19 recession. Building community trust and confidence that technologies are being developed and used for good and that technological change is a positive for our economy and society is critical to Australia making the most of emerging tech opportunities.  

How we govern the design, development and use of new technologies, and confidence in tech governance is the foundation for community trust in new technologies. This in turn is critical to enabling tech take up and our future economic and social prospects. While many in the community see the governance of technology through the lens of government regulation and policy, it is a shared responsibility across those designing and developing tech, those producing and using it, as well as those regulating it.
COVID-19 has required rapid changes to how we embrace technology to support communities and this inaugural forum is part of an ongoing program of work to help ensure that Australia can continue to maximise the benefits of data and emerging technologies post COVID-19.

Scroll down to view the forum sessions and confirmed participants for CEDA's two-day Public Interest Technology digital forum, which broadly will explore:
  • Day 1 - Framing Public Interest: shared views and accountabilities
  • Day 2 - Building trust in tech decision making

Livestream start times:
Monday 30 November and Tuesday 1 December 2020
SA: 9.00am
NT: 8.00am
QLD: 8.30am
WA: 6.30am

CEDA's Public Interest Technology Program Foundation Partners



Meet the keynote speaker

Hilary Sutcliffe
Director, SocietyInside

Meet the speakers

Feyi Akindoyeni
Partner, Newgate Australia

Dr Matt Beard
Fellow, The Ethics Centre

Rossana Bianchi
Associate Director, Strategy, Growth and Digital, KPMG

Ellen Broad
Senior Fellow, 3A Institute, Australian National University

Kay Firth-Butterfield
Head of AI, World Economic Forum

Dr Caitlin Curtis
Research Fellow, Centre for Policy Futures, The University of Queensland

Scott Farrell
Partner, King & Wood Mallesons

Simon Goodrich
Co-Founder, Senior Partner and Managing Director, Portable

Dr Stephen King
Commissioner, Productivity Commission

Dr Justine Lacey
Director, Responsible Innovation Future Science Platform, CSIRO

Alex Lynch
Public Policy and Government Affairs Manager, Google

Susan Makatoa
Group Managing Director, Edelman

Sam Nickless
Partner and Chief Operating Officer, Gilbert + Tobin

Professor Jeannie Paterson
Co-Director, Centre for AI and Digital Ethics, The University of Melbourne

Michelle Price
Chief Executive Officer, AustCyber

Edward Santow
Human Rights Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission

Yoav Schlesinger
Principal, Ethical AI Practice, Salesforce

Bill Simpson-Young
Chief Executive Officer, Gradient Institute

Professor Mal Thatcher
Professor of Digital Practice, Queensland University of Technology

Prof. Glenn Wightwick
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Innovation and Enterprise, UTS

Meet the facilitators

Melinda Cilento
Chief Executive, CEDA

Kaaren Koomen
Director, Governmental and Regulatory Affairs, IBM

Andrew Stevens
Chair, Innovation and Science Australia

Additional participants to be confirmed.

Session themes and confirmed speakers

Panel sessions

Keynote address and setting the scene
Monday 30 November 9:30am
  • Melinda Cilento, Chief Executive , CEDA
  • Michelle Price, Chief Executive Officer , AustCyber
  • Hilary Sutcliffe, Director , SocietyInside
  • Additional participants to be confirmed
Putting humans at the centre of technology
Monday 30 November 10:40am
  • Dr Matt Beard, Fellow , The Ethics Centre
  • Edward Santow, Human Rights Commissioner , Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Additional participants to be confirmed
  • The ethical and human rights considerations related to emerging technologies.
  • Is there a shared view on key ethical principles, their broader application (ie extension of ethical principles of AI) and how best to gain support/adherence? 
Empowering consumers
Monday 30 November 11:20am
  • Ellen Broad, Senior Fellow, 3A Institute , Australian National University
  • Scott Farrell, Partner , King & Wood Mallesons
  • Professor Jeannie Paterson, Co-Director , Centre for AI and Digital Ethics, The University of Melbourne
  • Andrew Stevens, Chair , Innovation and Science Australia
  • Additional participants to be confirmed
  • The consumer data right seeks to reset the balance of data benefits. How can we support the take up and use of that right?
  • How else can we enable benefits flowing to consumers from data and emerging technology, and empower consumers/individuals to manage risks?
The scientist's/technologist's perspective
Monday 30 November 12:15pm
  • Dr Caitlin Curtis, Research Fellow , Centre for Policy Futures, The University of Queensland
  • Simon Goodrich, Co-Founder, Senior Partner and Managing Director , Portable
  • Dr Justine Lacey, Director, Responsible Innovation Future Science Platform , CSIRO
  • Additional participants to be confirmed
  • To what extent are public interest considerations factoring into tech development?
  • What is being done and do we need to do more to lift the focus and build capabilities among technologists?
  • In the US some of the leading universities (Harvard, MIT, Stanford) are part of a collaborative effort Public Interest Technology University Network. Their goal is to train the next generation of software engineers, policymakers, civic leaders and social justice advocates to develop, regulate and use technology for the public good. Should we promote something similar in Australia or look to connect with them?   
Day 1 close and summary of discussion
Monday 30 November 1:25pm
  • Melinda Cilento, Chief Executive , CEDA
  • Additional participants to be confirmed
Welcome and summary of day 1
Tuesday 1 December 9:30am
  • Melinda Cilento, Chief Executive , CEDA
  • Additional participants to be confirmed
Have we got tech risk-reward balance right
Tuesday 1 December 9:40am
  • Rossana Bianchi, Associate Director, Strategy, Growth and Digital , KPMG
  • Additional participants to be confirmed
  • Risk aversion in important areas has delayed progress, eg, telehealth, but COVID changed the risk-reward balance. What can we learn from this experience? What do we want to keep doing, do more of and what should we re-think?
  • Which organisations/businesses are leading the way in understanding risk including public attitudes to tech risk, and proactively responding it?
The role of regulation and regulators in building and maintaining trust in emerging technology
Tuesday 1 December 10:45am
  • Dr Stephen King, Commissioner , Productivity Commission
  • Susan Makatoa, Group Managing Director , Edelman
  • Sam Nickless, Partner and Chief Operating Officer , Gilbert + Tobin
  • Additional participants to be confirmed
  • How can government keep up with the pace and detail of emerging technology? 
  • What can be done to ensure risks and opportunities of emerging technology are well understood and incorporated in regulatory and broader policy settings? 
  • Have we got the right expertise and institutions?
  • Do we need an Office of Tech Assessment (US proposal) or a Regulatory Horizons Council (UK)?  
Tech governance, community trust in tech – what is the role of business?
Tuesday 1 December 11:45am
  • Kay Firth-Butterfield, Head of AI , World Economic Forum
  • Yoav Schlesinger, Principal, Ethical AI Practice , Salesforce
  • Bill Simpson-Young, Chief Executive Officer , Gradient Institute
  • Additional participants to be confirmed
  • To what extent is business considering ethics/public interest in the adoption and use of data and emerging technology?
  • How transparent is business in its approach and communicating that to customers and other stakeholders?
  • How can/should we improve the take up of approaches consistent with public interest and visibility of these?
PIT Advisory Committee key takeaways
Tuesday 1 December 12:45pm
  • Feyi Akindoyeni, Partner , Newgate Australia
  • Simon Goodrich, Co-Founder, Senior Partner and Managing Director , Portable
  • Kaaren Koomen, Director, Governmental and Regulatory Affairs , IBM
  • Alex Lynch, Public Policy and Government Affairs Manager , Google
  • Professor Mal Thatcher, Professor of Digital Practice , Queensland University of Technology
  • Prof. Glenn Wightwick, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Innovation and Enterprise , UTS
  • Additional participants to be confirmed

Sponsorship opportunities available:

Align your brand with CEDA and communicate with hard-to-reach business, government and policy leaders by sponsoring this event. Contact CEDA Programming Team on 03 9662 3544 or email
Public event advice – Coronavirus

At CEDA we are proud to regularly convene and engage speakers and audiences as an essential element of our efforts to broaden discussion and debate of the most important policy issues facing Australia. In doing so, our first priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our guests and staff.

CEDA is currently delivering a digital program of public events, podcasts and virtual Trustee roundtable discussions; hybrid events with both a livestream and audience in attendance; and face-face events, where there is member demand and they can be delivered in accordance with government health advice for a specific state.

For face-to-face gatherings, CEDA is working closely with our hosts and venues to ensure that social distancing can be maintained and facilities and equipment have been properly sanitised. Attendance numbers will strictly adhere to government guidelines for each state.In line with government advice we request people that are unwell with cough or fever or other respiratory symptoms do not attend CEDA events. We also ask that you follow government advice and maintain social distancing by refraining from shaking hands or exchanging physical greetings, and wherever possible, staying at least 1.5 metres away from others.

CEDA will continue to closely monitor government advice regarding public gatherings and will follow all relevant health advice from the Australian government in relation to COVID-19.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

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