Now to Next: How will Science and Technology help solve our wicked problems?

Deep Conversation with

Baroness Susan GreenfieldNadia RosenthalIain McGilchrist

Baroness Susan Greenfield (UK), Michael T Jones (USA), Professor Nadia Rosenthal (UK), Dr Iain McGilchrist (UK), Jason Drew (South Africa) and the audience. Moderator: Robyn Williams

28 November (12.15pm – 2.15pm)

The pace of change is relentless. Science and technology has allowed us to create previously unimaginable change over the last 20 years. Mary Meeker of venture capital fund Kleiner Perkins calls it “the re-imagination of almost everything.” And the pace is accelerating.

What are the “next big things?” What new vistas are science and technology opening up? And what opportunities will they create to solve today’s wicked problems?

Of course, science and technology are the enablers of massive transformation. But it’s the human connection that allows great progress. Think of the revolutions in the application of design quality and the search for sheer beauty that have characterised many of the best developments of recent years. How will our pioneers continue to develop the most human elements of technological change?

Also, many of our developments seem like standalone achievements today. Individually marvelous, but often failing to connect or fit together. Leaving their users lost in the complexity of a technological “zoo” and a tsunami of information overload. How will design thinking evolve to consolidate and demystify these individual innovations? Will the “whole” be greater than the sum of the parts?

Finally, science and technology advancement typically spawns a new set of problems. Opportunities for misuse abound. Unintended consequences are rife. New moral dilemmas are created. How will society cope with the ethical and safety issues that may arise out of anticipated rapid change?