We are creating smart humans for the future

Almost a decade ago a small group of people from industry and government, organised a series of conferences in Canberra which sought to bring various communities together to talk about the emerging issues related to humans and technologies (see metalounge).

At the same time a group of luminaries from the Web world were creating Web Science and in the intervening period Web Science has gone on to contribute greatly to the global conversation around the evolving Social Machine (see 10th anniversary video below).

In 2017 these two groups came together and the result is Brave Conversations.

Here are some resources that tell the story of this:

Launch of the Institute of Metadata Management 2011

Web Science and the Social Machine 2013

WebSci Conference Paris 2013

Building an Observatory for the Web 2014

An Australian Web Observatory 2015

WebSci Conference Hannover 2016

Web Science Institute Ethics Forum Southampton 2016




Brave Conversations is not your average ‘conference’. There are no lectures or talks, it works through the conversations which are generated by the participants in the room who bring their backgrounds, knowledge and experience to discussing the relationship between technology and society.

We start small, with “You”, by asking how your everyday life is mediated and determined by the technologies you use. We then move to groups and communities, and then to the broader societal questions as a whole. The day is thoroughly facilitated utilising a range of tools and processes which bring to the surface conversations which people are having at home or at work, but at Brave Conversations you have time to think about these conversations and to reflect on how to more proactively take control of how you live your digital life.

Our aim is to create a fast-paced learning environment where there is no time to get bored but the focus is on being in the room with the other human beings around you.

“We shape our technologies and forever after they shape us.” (Marshall McLuhan)