Navigating Life in the Age of Cyberspace.
A series of lectures presented by Emeritus Professor Joseph A. Camilleri OAM
This will be a mix of lectures /interactive discussions with guests followed by an innovative workshop to develop new approaches to conversation and dialogue.
The digital age now intrudes into every facet of modern life – information, communication, recreation, study, work, shopping, economy, politics, and more. The challenges it poses are immense – from cyber bullying to ‘big brother surveillance’, loss of privacy and autonomy, erosion of democratic processes, loss of cultural and personal identity, cyber warfare, and more.
It affects all of us who have leadership roles, whether as parents, educators, mentors, citizens, policy makers, and the challenges will increase in coming years.
How we handle these challenges will go a long way to determining how effective we’ll be in our endeavours to secure a convivial human future.
Looking forward to welcoming you and your friends and colleagues to what should be a stimulating exchange of views, information, and ideas.
Lecture 1: Searching for Meaning and Purpose
Tuesday 3 September, 6.15pm to 8.30pm (doors open at 6.00pm)
The word ‘spirituality does not mean organised religion. Nor is it limited to spiritual practices, such as meditation. Rather it suggests a powerful impulse for life shaped by purpose, values, and perhaps transcendence.
The question is: What does such a path mean in the digital age, especially as the ‘sacred’ is being invoked through digital channels to justify the most heinous crimes?
Is there a spirituality that is receptive to mystery, beauty and wonder, yet comfortable with insecurity? Can spirituality accept a dialogue with those who espouse different even opposing beliefs and worldviews? If so, what form does it take? And how does it relate to the current technological explosion?
Lecture 2: A Cultural Renaissance: Realistic Prospect or Just a Pipe Dream
Tuesday 10 September, 6.15pm to 8.30pm (doors open at 6.00pm)
The extraordinary information revolution is helping to integrate societies and provides new opportunities for many. But with it also comes a loss of uniqueness of local culture, a loss of identity, a sense of exclusion, and often populism, extremism and conflict.
What is the cultural antidote to this trend? Can we protect and regenerate local cultures? Is a mutually enriching dialogue of cultures and civilisations possible? How? Is the ground in Australia more or less fertile than it was 5 or 10 years ago? What are feasible next steps? And what of the most daunting obstacles?
Lecture 3 Politics in the Digital Age. Is There Life After Death?
Tuesday 17 September, 6.15pm to 8.30pm(doors open at 6.00pm)
Politics in Australia and elsewhere is in disarray: political parties driven largely by short-term self-interest; parliaments that don’t work; those in authority, leaders in name only; lies and cover-ups the order of the day. The end result: a deeply disturbing policy vacuum.
All this is well known and has been canvassed in previous lecture series. But there are early signs of ‘new life’. What might these be? How can they be nurtured? How can we bring them to the attention of a wider public? Are the conventional and social media a help or a hindrance?
What might be useful communication and action strategies?