2021 Overview

The School of Cyberentics 2021 Overview


2021 Overview
2021 Overview

We have almost reached the first anniversary of the School of Cybernetics. It’s been a big year, let’s explore together!

2021 SOCY Staff External Engagement


We launched the School of Cybernetics!

Launch the school of cybernetics

75 years on from the birth of ANU and cybernetics, we are reinvigorating cybernetics for this moment, to help us see technology as part of a broader system, one in which humans, the environment, and technology are in equal focus.

Our team share their insights and perspectives on the New Cybernetics!

Join the School of Cybernetics on social media.#

Find us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Twitter LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Youtube

Follow @ANUcybernetics for all our updates as we take cybernetics to the world!


We published on the New Cybernetics.

Touching the future

Our director Genevieve Bell published a new article “Touching the Future: Stories of systems, serendipity and grace” in the Griffith Review. This article is a case for cybernetics in the 21st century, and a glimpse of how we could use cybernetics to make different kinds of stories about the future.

Read it here

Other Publications From This Year#


We worked with new collaborators.


In March, we partnered with The National Library of Australia to imagine a Library of the future, and to help navigate technology transformation in the present. Libraries are the originators of information science. They are sites of sophisticated thinking about how to hold, manage and share data. They are fascinating systems of people, information and context. Thinking about the future of the Library, reframes how we think about the future of computing, of data, and of how these things shape people, culture and more.

We will be launching our collaboration with The National Library of Australia in 2022, stay tuned!


We got recognised for our innovative research.

Genevieve Australia Innovates video series

In April, Genevieve became part of the Australia Innovates video series. The six-short documentary-style video series showcases Australians pursuing world first research, discovery, invention, innovation and intervention to better the world across several knowledge sectors; and aims to demonstrate Australia’s wide-ranging expertise to position the nation as a world leading association meetings location.

Check it out here


We took cybernetics to the world!


In May, our Director Genevieve Bell’s TED talk “6 big ethical questions about the future of AI” hit 1.8 million views. That’s a lot of people listening to a cybernetic perspective on AI systems.

Check it out

Other Talks From This Year#


We moved to our new home in the Birch building.

Our Birch

Purpose-built for collaborating, making things, and taking things apart, our new home is a destination for the new cybernetics. It is also a site of experimentation, both on new ways of adaptive, collaborative working, and on how we use cybernetics as a lens to think about places as systems of people, technology, and environment. Watch this space!

Our Birch


We graduated our second cohort of Applied Cyberneticians.


In July, our 18 students from the #3Ai2020cohort celebrated their graduation with our Chancellor Julie Bishop and Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt. Thank you for saying yes to this joyous, challenging, experimental program!

Watch the video


We heard amazing stories from our alumni.


Read some of them here:

  • Rodolfo Ocampo (2020 Cohort Masters Student) Rodolfo tells us about his industry placement with the CSIRO Healthy Country AI project, a cyber-physical system supporting caring for a Country. Read more
  • Lorenn Ruster (2020 Cohort Masters Student; Current PhD Candidate). Lorenn is fascinated by the intersection of dignity and technology. She did her final research project with the Centre for Public Impact, exploring the role of dignity in government AI Ethics instruments: Read more about her project.
  • Ned Cooper (2020 Cohort Masters Student; Current PhD Candidate). Ned completed his industry project with the Google People + AI Research Team, exploring how community-based participatory research (CBPR) and its philosophy might be incorporated into the machine learning development process. Check out some of his musings from his industry project.
  • Eryk Salvaggio (2020 Cohort Masters Student). Eryk is an interdisciplinary design researcher, artist, and creator. Eryk joined forces with 3Ai Senior Fellow Ellen Broad to develop an immersive keynote about Australian approaches to AI design for the 2021 Melbourne Design Week. It was a visually and sonically rich experience that created new space for ideas about the future. Read more about their process and watch the film
  • Ashitha Ganapathy (2020 Cohort Masters Student). Ashitha explored the future of work and how we can design it to be safe, sustainable and responsible. Check out her website!


We welcomed lots of new colleagues!

New staff

Adrian Schmidt, Anna Goschin, Ash Lenton, Ben Swift, Brendan Traw, Cole Cooney, Hannah Feldman, Hannah Simpson, Jessica Thompson, Josh Andres, Kate Roffey, Kelly Frame, Sharon Lopez, Shirley Wang, Xuanying Zhu

Go to our people page


We were featured in a bunch of podcasts.

  • The Learning Future Podcast: Hear from our Educational Experiences team on the Learning Future Podcast! They’re taking cybernetics to the world by creating innovative, research-informed learning experiences to empower us all to make this world a better place.
  • Who makes Artificial Intelligence, and how should it be made differently – if at all?: Listen to the discussion with our Associate Professor Ellen Broad, Dr. Jathan Sadowski and Dr. Thao Phan, shared their opinion on the human brains behind the machine brains.
  • Really Interesting Women: Listen to our director Genevieve speaks about her understanding of AI and the moral obligation to make the world a better place with Richard Graham on a recent episode of ‘Really Interesting Women’. In this talk, Genevieve shared her incredible journey from academia at Standford to working at Intel Corporation, and eventually back to Australia to establish the 3A Institute and the School of Cybernetics at the ANU.


We held our first-ever born-digital Demo Day!

2021 Demo Day

Our third Masters cohort wrapped up Semester 2 with the first ever born-digital Demo Day. Students showcased group projects from their ‘Building Cyber-Physical Systems’ course. Their projects conceptualised, designed and created cyber-physical systems that incorporate artificial intelligence, feedback loops, sensors and actuators. We are so proud of their work, and thrilled to share it with friends of the School.

Check Out Student Projects


We launched the Cybernetics Film Festival!

Cybernetics at the movies

Cybernetic at the movies is on now! In our “Pass the popcorn” series we review three Cybernetics-related films – Minority Report, The Social Network, and Princess Mononoke – to see what these can tell us about the complex systems that shape our lives.

Join us

See you in 2022

The School of Cybernetics are going on holiday to rest, rejuvenate and gear up for our return on 12 January 2022. We’re already looking forward to the adventures and possibilities in 2022.

You are on Aboriginal land.

The Australian National University acknowledges, celebrates and pays our respects to the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people of the Canberra region and to all First Nations Australians on whose traditional lands we meet and work, and whose cultures are among the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

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