Cybernetics sees the system as the unit of analysis. This is critical in disrupting disadvantage, as it allows people to think holistically about data collection, analysis and action, individual context, societal pressures and unintended consequences of policies. Cybernetics is an approach that challenges technology-centric views typically applied to systems of data (e.g. automated decision-making), while still recognising the importance of data and technology in finding solutions to today’s challenges.

Funded by the Paul Ramsay Foundation, the School of Cybernetics is undertaking a 12 month program of activities to rethink the role of data in disrupting disadvantage, using a cybernetic approach. We will develop a cybernetic theory of change to disrupt how data has been—and might be—used to solve for disadvantage and ultimately benefit the people who need it most. The outcome of this project will be a set of design principles that will deepen and consolidate our shared understanding of Australian innovations and interventions using data to drive social change.

To learn more about this project, contact Strategic Services Lead Maia Gould.

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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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