High School 2.0 - It’s time to prepare for a new normal

The last week or so has been an interesting one for school leaders. One week we were planning for when and if we might have to close, come Monday, it was all on - schools closing the next day for most students and closed for all students by the end of Wednesday. Schools across the country were to go “full remote mode” by Thursday morning. So how did our schools fare? It is safe to say that schools around the country sat somewhere on a long continuum ranging from “we got this” to “sh#t, we better start planning”. The reality is that, for the most part, schools and educators have rallied together and have managed to patch together an okay plan for the time being.

And therein lies the problem - a) It was, for many, patched together and b) nearly universally, it is a plan that will suffice for the time being.

Over the last week it feels like our understanding of what we are dealing with and going to be dealing with is becoming increasingly clear. This is not going to simply be a four w…

Is now our opportunity to REALLY reimagine NCEA and definitions of success?

There is one thing for sure. We are living in complex times. As teachers, and educational leaders we are in the throes of planning how we might deliver remote teaching and learning when and if we need to. Personally, I am quite excited as to how we are going about this and get the sense that whatever the outcome, whether we go remote or not (I very much suspect we will), the kind of urgency this situation has created is exactly the context needed for innovation and all teachers willingly becoming agents of change. Don't get me wrong, I am not thankful for the crises we are experiencing, I am simply thankful that teaching and learning has the potential to be moved forward and improved exponentially in the coming months.

But what about NCEA? Would now be the perfect opportunity to alleviate a whole lot of pressure on students and teachers alike whilst also imagining a definition of success that is actually fit for purpose?? I say - HELL YES!

What could we do?

Let's get rid of Le…

SingularityU Sydney Summit - Exponential Energy

Speaker - Ramez Namm

The world is bumping up against multiple environmental and natural resource hurdles: climate change, peak oil, fresh water shortages, and rising prices for food, minerals, and commodities of all sorts. At the same time, a growing population and a surge in the wealth of the developing world is increasing consumption. Can innovation keep pace? What are the true limits to growth? How do we overcome the challenges that face us? This session will provide an overview of the key natural resource and environmental challenges that face us, the on-the-horizon innovations that hold the promise to overcome them, and the policies that would best encourage innovation in those critical fields. The true limits to economic and natural resource growth on Planet Earth will be presented and discussed.

Energy is a moral issue.

Last five years are the warmest in modern history.

Coal industry is being disrupted. Many coal companies are going bankrupt. Due to plunging cost of clean energy. …

SingularityU Sydney Summit - Future Crunch: How Did We Get Here?

Presented by Future Crunch

Kicking off Day 2 with some intelligent optimism, prepare yourself for a musically-inspired story about the human race you don’t hear very often. Diseases are being eradicated, war and famine are decreasing, human rights are improving, and millions of people are creating an economy that doesn’t cost the earth. Our species has made some incredible progress in the year 2019 – we’re just not hearing a lot about it. It’s time to get up to speed. We know the challenges we face. This is how, with boldness, creativity, and revolutionary technologies, we are rising to meet them.

About Future Crunch
We are a group of scientists, artists, researchers and entrepreneurs that believes that science and technology are creating a future that is more peaceful, connected and abundant. We’re determined to share that story. Our expertise ranges from political economy, biotechnology and data science, to music, art and philosophy. We use our diverse skills and knowledge to provide …

SingularityU Sydney Summit - AI or Die? Redefining Humanity in the Software Age

Speaker - Alix Rübsaam

While some predict that the rise of Artificial Intelligence will mean the “end of humankind”, others see no future without algorithms and data-driven systems. What sense can we make from these predictions and warnings? This talk unpacks the ways in which current computational systems have impacted our culture and sense of self, explore software as a metaphor for our humanity, and challenge existing ideas about what it means to be human in the digital age.

Superintelligence Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies is a 2014 book by the Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom from the University of Oxford. It argues that if machine brains surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could replace humans as the dominant lifeform on Earth.

AI Poses an Existential Threat to Humanity
The intelligence of machines will exceed that of humansComputers will breach the limits of human cognitionThere will…

SingularityU Sydney Summit - Why Decentralized Technology Matters for Freedom

Speaker - Alex Gladstein
Notes below from the first half. View video above for full talk.

What is the role technology will play in shaping our future society? Some technology steers governments and corporations in a more authoritarian direction, increasing control over individuals and, over time, crushing creativity and innovation. Other technology — decentralized technology — helps protect freedom, privacy, and curiosity. Democracy itself can be thought of as a decentralized technology that helped liberate humans from tyranny. The internet, of course, decentralized knowledge and put it in the hands of nearly everyone on earth. Encrypted messaging is a technology that allows us to communicate without fear. And now, Bitcoin is breaking the monopoly over money that governments and corporations enjoy. This talk will walk through these narratives and focus on why decentralized money, especially, matters for the future of freedom.

The Panopticon

SingularityU Sydney Summit - Democracy for the 21st Century: A work in progress

Speaker - Pia Mancini

The implications and opportunities of many of the technological breakthroughs happening now and in the near future will be nothing short of disruptive to our lives, our businesses and industries, and society as a whole. We are transitioning to a new model of the State and society, but we are still clueless as to what it is or how it should look like. A new understanding and set of tools are required to figure out how we will solve one of the greatest problems facing humanity today: how will we govern ourselves?

Our democracies are 500 years old.

It made sense back then that the few made decisions for the many because it was impossible for everyone to participate.

If we want to have an impact on policy we have to be experts in specific fields or commit our lives to politics. We have no opportunity to participate in design.

We are 21st Century citizens living with 19th Century institutions that were conceived with 15th Century information technologies.

Apathy is a fea…