Speakers have an essential role to play in framing questions, setting agendas, and building movements. I cultivate the potential of stories to engage audiences beyond the purely cognitive level, and harness the power of emotion, intuition and embodied experience to trigger transformative insights.
I have spoken internationally on global catastrophic risk, the rise of China and the multilingual Internet, the future of language education and storytellers as community builders. Details of my talks are presented below.
Global Catastrophic Risk
The world faces unprecedented levels of risk. I address this topic for audiences of students and experts - offering both general overviews and more in-depth exploration of particular risks, from ecosystem collapse to artificial intelligence. Past venues include Asia Education Foundation, Global Challenges Foundation and the Effective Altruism Network.
The rise of China and the Multilingual Internet
How will the rise of China affect the future of the Internet? Often discussed is China’s crackdown on blogging and Internet censorship, or the success of digital marketplaces Alibaba and digital payment systems. I am more interested in the impact of digital technology on social relations and culture among social millennials, and more broadly, what the existence of a Chinese Internet ecosystem not dominated by Google, Facebook and Amazon means for diversity on the Internet at large. I have spoken on related topics at Paris-Sorbonne University, Ecole Normale Superieure, Fondation pour l’Innovation Politique, Monash University, Melbourne Writers Festival and Sydney Ideas.
The Future of Language Education
How will the rise of digital technology and global citizenship impact language education? I explore this topic, from the rise of learning software to the potential of developing future-of-work capability through language learning. Venues and partners include Melbourne Bastille Day, Italki, Language And Culture Network of Australian Universities, NYU Shanghai, and the Australian Defence Forces School of Languages.
Storytelling as Community Building
I was invited to speak about stories, place and memory in various forums to explore the related questions of migrant writers, multilingual writers, LGBTIQ writing, and the role of collective narratives in transnational communities. Partners include Melbourne Writers Festival, Emerging Writers Festival, Beijing Bookworm, Alliance Francaise de Melbourne, Cherchez la Femme, Gran Canaria Dunas Festival, Design for Social Impact Leadership.