ItemThe Evolution of Stories(Radio Adelaide, 2011) Boyd, Brian; Adelaide Festival CorporationAdelaide Festival of Ideas session, Hetzel Lecture Theatre, 2:30pm, Saturday 8th October, 2011. Chaired by Robert Phiddian, poetry read by Erica Jolly. Art and literature are, by definition, artificial things. People lavish a lot more effort and attention on them than really makes sense in practical terms. Are they just extras, mere entertainment designed to fill a bit of time? Or are they adaptations that, through play, help the human mind develop power and complexity, even wisdom? How do stories play a role in human evolution? ItemImmortality... Reality?(Radio Adelaide, 2011) Savulescu, Julian; Wood, Fiona; Partridge, Brad; Willis, Paul; Adelaide Festival CorporationAdelaide Festival of Ideas session, Adelaide Town Hall, 1:30pm, Saturday 8th October, 2011. Chaired by Paul Willis. Cambridge researcher Aubrey de Grey believes the first human to live to 150 has already been born, and the first human to live to 1000 will probably be born within 20 years. Is it really possible to live to 1000? But more importantly - would you want to? Human cells can divide a limited number of times before their DNA becomes corrupt, but could advances in genetic technology allow cells to divide infinitely? Hosted by Paul Willis, RiAus Director & ABC Catalyst presenter, our expert panel will discuss the implications for our bodies, minds and society. Would you want to be immortal? ItemKicking the Infrastructure Habit(Radio Adelaide, 2011) Gardner-Stephen, Paul Mark; Mackie, Greg; Adelaide Festival CorporationAdelaide Festival of Ideas session, Elder Hall, 1:15pm, Saturday 8th October, 2011. This is the Jim Bettison Memorial Oration, chaired by Greg Mackie.. Modern communications systems use extensive and expensive infrastructure to deliver services we could only dream of a few decades ago. This works for those who enjoy peace and sufficient wealth, but fails to reach the last billion people in poorer countries, as well as those in remote, emergency or disaster situations. Now modern mobile phones have the potential to communicate directly, to form networks without reliance on any infrastructure. The Serval Project based at Flinders University is turning this dream into a reality. It is working to make communications available to everyone, anywhere, any time - especially to those who need it most. ItemInaction Will Cost Us Our Future(Radio Adelaide, 2011) McKenzie, Amanda; Adelaide Festival CorporationAdelaide Festival of Ideas session, Old Methodist Meeting Hall, 1:00pm, Saturday 8th October, 2011. Chaired by Barbara Hardy. In a recent survey 7 out of 10 members of Generation Y believe older Australians are shifting responsibility for action on climate change into the future. Ninety per cent believe they will have to pay a high price to address climate change. So often, young Australians have heard themselves labeled the ‘Me Generation’. But the irony of that tag is now nowhere more obvious than through the self-interest on display from older generations of decision-makers on climate change. The real question from young Australians is: why not act? We take sensible precautions to protect life and property from the possibility of fire, so why would we not take sensible precautions on pollution and climate change? ItemDrift into Failure(Radio Adelaide, 2011) Dekker, Sidney; Adelaide Festival CorporationAdelaide Festival of Ideas session, Hetzel Lecture Theatre, 1:00pm, Saturday 8th October, 2011. Our technologies have got ahead of our theories. The growth of complexity in society has outpaced our understanding of how complex systems work and fail. While pursuing success in a dynamic environment, with goal conflicts and limited resources, many small decisions can eventually produce massive breakdowns — the GFC, Montara. We drifted into failure. Yet afterwards we hunt for broken parts, fixable properties, and responsible people. Our analyses of complex system breakdowns remain depressingly linear, depressingly componential — imprisoned by Newton and Descartes. Sidney Dekker thinks we can use complexity theory to better understand how our systems fail, and perhaps find new ways of managing their drift. ItemHypocrisy Rhymes with Democracy(Radio Adelaide, 2011) Eltahawy, Mona; Adelaide Festival CorporationAdelaide Festival of Ideas session, Bonython Hall, 1:00pm, Saturday 8th October, 2011. Chaired by Andrew Jaspan. The Arab Spring has unleashed the hunger for freedom and democracy of Arab populations living under dictatorship. As Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen come to terms with their post-dictator future, and serious western intervention in Libya creates a stalemate, in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia profoundly un-democratic and repressive regimes endure with western connivance, and brutal repression in Syria is met to date with tokenistic sanctions. If Saudi Arabia’s oil makes our support for freedom and democracy melt away, does this mean the West can’t afford to prefer Arab democrats to Arab dictators? ItemCan a Carbon Price Save Us from Catastrophic Global Warming?(Radio Adelaide, 2011) Diesendorf, Mark; Shellenberger, Michael; Guli, Mina; Mares, Peter; Adelaide Festival CorporationAdelaide Festival of Ideas session, Adelaide Town Hall, 12:00pm, Saturday 8th October, 2011. Chaired by Peter Mares. Scientists say significant climate change is already locked in and urgent action is needed to limit global temperature rises to 2°C – the target set by world leaders at Cancun. From next July, big emitters in Australia will pay $23 for every tonne of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere, but this still leaves coal-fired electricity far cheaper than gas, let alone renewable energy. Is it too little, too late? The task of cutting emissions poses a far bigger technical challenge than flying to the moon, so why don’t we have programs of Apollo-like proportions to further develop and deploy alternative energy? And why would we rule out an existing technology, like nuclear power? ItemThree Technologies That Will Change the Way We Live(Radio Adelaide, 2011) Demasi, Maryanne; Adelaide Festival CorporationAdelaide Festival of Ideas session, RiAus Auditorium, 12:00pm, Saturday 8th October, 2011. This session is presented by RiAus and Bridge8 for the National Enabling Technologies Strategy Expert Forum and the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, and facilitated by Maryanne Demasi. There are emerging radical technologies that have the potential to change the way we live. In this session we’ll explore the contribution of enabling bio- and nano-technologies and their associated socio-cultural, health, safety and environmental impacts. We’ll ask what excites you about this? What scares you? And use foresight approaches to explore how they may change the way we live, and how we might all manage such rapid and transformative changes. ItemTradition Versus Modernity in Papua New Guinea(Radio Adelaide, 2011) Kidu, Carol; Lavarch, Michael; Adelaide Festival CorporationAdelaide Festival of Ideas session, Elder Hall, 11:45am, Saturday 8th October, 2011. Chaired by Michael Lavarch. Carol Kidu will reflect on the disconnection between tradition and modernity in a culturally diverse nation facing differential rates of change. Many societies that have survived for centuries in traditional time-warps are now coming face-to-face with the bulldozers of the global corporate world. Parallel with this complex macro-interface is another layer of sub-national complexity with the interface of diverse cultures in the melting pot of modern Papua New Guinea. Feelings of uncertainty are probably the norm for the majority, and planning for the impact of that uncertainty is a challenge at all levels of society. ItemFuture Proofing Our Children(Radio Adelaide, 2011) Westwell, Martin; Gibbins, Ian Lewis; Costello, Garry; Adelaide Festival CorporationAdelaide Festival of Ideas session, Hetzel Lecture Theatre, 11:30am, Saturday 8th October, 2011. Chaired by Garry Costello, poetry read by Ian Gibbins. How can we use our education system to prepare our children to cope with a range of possibilities and build a successful society? We know for sure that the future is uncertain. As the world changes faster, so the role of education in meeting the economic, social and cultural needs of young people is thrown into flux. How is education responding to this fluidity and the consequent uncertainty? What evidence do we have or need to make good decisions about contemporary and future education? How might our conceptions of intelligence and creativity need to change in such unfamiliar territory? ItemThe Case for Perfection(Radio Adelaide, 2011) Savulescu, Julian; Mitchell, Natasha; Aquilina, Jude; Adelaide Festival CorporationAdelaide Festival of Ideas session, Bonython Hall, 11:30am, Saturday 8th October, 2011. Chaired by Natasha Mitchell, poetry read by Jude Aquilina. The current possibilities for using genetics and other biotechnologies to enhance human cognitive and physical performance are real and significant. Julian Savulescu, a world leader in the field of practical ethics, will argue we have a moral obligation to pursue the project of human perfection. More controversially, science is already affording us means of improving moral behaviour. Is there an urgent need to morally enhance humanity? ItemEvery Marriage is a Minefield(Radio Adelaide, 2011) Ryan, Christopher; Adelaide Festival CorporationAdelaide Festival of Ideas session, Adelaide Town Hall, 10:30am, Saturday 8th October, 2011. Will our passion fade? Will we be attracted to other people? Will our marriage last? Yes, yes, and maybe. The best way to strengthen a relationship is with the compassion and realism that comes from an informed understanding of what sort of animal Homo sapiens really is; not what we’re meant to be. Seen in context, there’s little doubt that we are the sexiest ape. Demanding long-term sexual monogamy of human beings is akin to demanding strict vegetarianism of an omnivore. Sure, it’s possible, but it’s unlikely to be easy or without occasional lapses. Let’s get real about sex. Finally. ItemHigh Line NYC(Radio Adelaide, 2011) Shumaker, Jeffrey; Adelaide Festival CorporationAdelaide Festival of Ideas session, RiAus Auditorium, 10:30am, Saturday 8th October, 2011. New York City is growing rapidly at a time when the earth’s climate is changing rapidly. On Earth Day 2007, New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched PlaNYC, a 135-point plan to accommodate 1 million more New Yorkers while reducing the city’s carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2030. The plan is highly technical, and it is based on a new vision of civic virtue. NYC’s Department of City Planning is developing a new language of design to interpret this sustainable civic virtue, and is exemplified by a number of recent developments, including the new High Line Park and its surrounding neighbourhood. ItemCities for People(Radio Adelaide, 2011) Gehl, Jan; Horton, Tim; Adelaide Festival CorporationAdelaide Festival of Ideas session, Elder Hall, 10:15am, Saturday 8th October, 2011. An important change of paradigm occurred around 1960. City planning took off towards planning on a really huge scale in response to the challenge of fast growing cities. At the same point in time, traffic planning took over the planning at eye level to address the rapid influx of cars. In this commotion the care for the people using cities, looked after for centuries by tradition and experience, was completely left behind. Now a new change of paradigm is being unfolded in which Cities for People – after decades of neglect – are once again elevated to be a main feature in architecture, urban design and city planning. By promoting a people-oriented city planning strategy, not one but a series of important challenges in the cities of the 21st century are being addressed. The outcome is a livelier city, a much safer city, a more sustainable city, a city inviting a healthier lifestyle. The transformations carried out in Copenhagen, Melbourne, Sydney and – most recently – in New York will serve as examples of this new people-oriented direction in planning. ItemAre We Eating Ourselves and the Planet to Death?(Radio Adelaide, 2011) Egger, Garry; Adelaide Festival CorporationAdelaide Festival of Ideas session, Old Methodist Meeting Hall, 10:00am, Saturday 8th October, 2011. There are numerous areas where humans have achieved a peak of success, a ‘sweet spot’. But now that very success is threatening to unravel centuries of achievement. On the one hand, economic growth has led to a steadily improving standard of living, better levels of health and ever-increasing longevity. On the other hand, this very affluence is the reason for the obesity epidemic and a world clogged by greenhouse gases. A fundamental change in thinking is now required for dealing with both, requiring input not just from scientists or health specialists, but from everyone living on the planet. ItemArt for Art's Sake(Radio Adelaide, 2011) Mackie, Greg; Sedgwick, Katrina; Schultz, Julianne; Slade, Lisa; Adelaide Festival CorporationAdelaide Festival of Ideas session, Hetzel Lecture Theatre, 10:00am, Saturday 8th October, 2011. Chaired by Julianne Schultz. In Adelaide, around Australia and internationally, the global financial crisis has made severe inroads into arts sector funding. Can the arts sector, in particular companies and independent practitioners, survive? And what role should government play in the subsidy of arts and cultural development? What is the role of arts festivals and blockbuster events versus an ongoing cultural calendar? And what does this mean in terms of how work is seen and made and how audiences engage with the arts? ItemLight, Water, Energy and Consciousness: The Past and the Future of Life on Earth(Radio Adelaide, 2011) Faunce, Thomas; Adelaide Festival CorporationAdelaide Festival of Ideas session, Old Methodist Meeting Hall, 2:30pm, Saturday 8th October, 2011. Chaired by Chris Burrald, poetry read by Stephen Lawrence.. We live in a world that modern physics claims may involve many more than four dimensions. Our consciousness appears to have evolved from a process whereby sunlight split water to create energy. This talk explores why fully understanding that process is now our greatest scientific challenge and sets that in the context of what might lie ahead for human consciousness and intelligence in this (or other) universes. ItemBats, Birds, Bugs and Us(Radio Adelaide, 2011) Doherty, Peter; Adelaide Festival CorporationAdelaide Festival of Ideas session, Bonython Hall, 10:00am, Saturday 8th October, 2001. Chaired by Chris Burrald. Hendra, Nipah, Ebola, Marburg, SARS – names that are variously familiar to all of us. What links them in our minds is the idea of scary, lethal infections. What links these viruses in nature is that they are unapparent infections of fruit bats. Bats are the most abundant mammals on the planet. Birds are everywhere too, and birds are the primary reservoirs of the influenza A viruses and a spectrum of mosquito-borne infections. Though we’ve known for years about vampire bats spreading rabies in South America, the awareness that bat-carried diseases can be a major threat is very recent. What has changed? ItemUncertainty and Science(Radio Adelaide, 2011) Hardy, Barbara; Sackett, Penny; Doherty, Peter; Adams, Phillip; Adelaide Festival CorporationAdelaide Festival of Ideas session, Adelaide Town Hall, 6:30pm, Friday 7th July, 2011. Chaired by Phillip Adams. Proper scientists are not really certain that the sun will rise tomorrow. Indeed, they will tend to hedge their assertion that it is a highly probable event with a little lecture on how the sun only appears to rise, when in truth it is that the earth turns. Then things will get seriously complicated. None of this can, or should, stop people from taking the UV warning for the next day seriously, however. Skin cancers are also highly probable, and well worth planning to avoid. In so many areas of discussion, people demand ‘certainty’ from the experts before they will make a decision. The gap between what an honest researcher can tell us and what we demand has never been so acute, and the need to bridge it is urgent. This session aims to make a start on rebuilding the dilapidated intellectual infrastructure that causes bottlenecks in these essential discussions. ItemIdeas about Change: Socio-Technical Stuff and Engineering Thinking(Radio Adelaide, 2011) Jones, Jeff; Adelaide Festival CorporationAdelaide Festival of Ideas session, RiAus Auditorium, 2:30pm, Saturday 8th October, 2011. Chaired by Peter Mares. Machines have entered the social realm in a substantial way, we are over-connected and if we don’t clean up the virtual world, managing anything could become very hard. The internet adds positive feedback in society, causing change to happen at a much faster rate. The faster the internet gets, the more things you can displace and the more things you can do. So what does this mean for health, sustainability, finance, and all the other pressing issues facing us? People care, and it matters that they care, and it is the inherent sociability of people that provides the basis for sustained coordination. Usually we take this for granted or ignore it, but the way we work together is key to making a difference. So – how do we manage things differently to work together better and make a difference? Ideas about social media, management, design and systems thinking will be provided to gain some collective intelligence and ideas about tactics and strategies for change.