The damage to good government from post-truth politics. The pursuit of truth. From the Satanic Verses to Charlie Hebdo. What divides us? A conversation on multiculturalism and politics of fear. 100 years in Russia: From the Revolution to the court of Vladimir Putin. Authoritarianism and the arts. The innovative optimist.


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Adult $170   $127.50
Partners/Staff* $150  $112.50
Students/Conc. $75  $56.25

DAY 1 + DAY 2

Adult $300  $225
Partners/Staff* $270 $202.50
Students/Conc. $130  $97.50

9.00 AM

Opening Performance

Rebecca Lloyd-Jones (Australia)
Rebecca is accomplished percussionist who has worked extensively with Orchestras around Australia. She recently completed a masters in music at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.  

Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country

Paul Mazerolle
Pro Vice Chancellor, Arts, Education and Law, Griffith University. Chair, Integrity 20

Ian O’Connor
Vice Chancellor and President, Griffith University

9.15 AM

The damage to good government from post-truth politics

John Hewson AM

John was leader of the Australian Liberal Party and Leader of the Opposition between 1990 and 1994. John has had a distinguished business career both before and after his political career and is one of Australia’s most experienced economists. He has worked as an economist for the Australian Treasury (Census and Statistics), the Reserve Bank, the International Monetary Fund and also as an advisor to two successive Federal Treasurers and the Prime Minister. John was a Director of Macquarie Bank and a past Chairman of ABN AMRO in Australia.

9.35 AM

The pursuit of truth

Post-truth, trust and the ethics of deceit

We have entered the post-truth, fake news era. The prevalence of misinformation, propaganda, fraud, falsehoods and outright lies points to a massive global crisis of truth and declining trust that spans government, media, science, business and even the personal; a crisis so urgent and damaging to the fabric of democracy that it is being called a defining issue of our times.  

While manipulation of information is far from a new issue how is what’s happening today so different to the past? Why we are so easily persuaded by misinformation and appeals to emotion? How do we restore integrity in our communications and trust in evidence-based information and expert opinion, particularly in areas like science and the media?

The Experts

Mikhail Zygar (Russia)
Journalist and author of the bestselling book, ‘All the Kremlin’s Men’

Rae Langton (UK-AU)
Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy at the University Cambridge

John Hewson (AU)
Former Leader of the Australian Liberal Party, business owner and economist

Susan Forde (AU)
Media expert and academic

Chair – Julian Morrow (AU)
Comedian, satirist and television producer

10.35 AM

Morning tea

11.00 AM

From the Satanic Verses to Charlie Hebdo

The fatwa imposed on Salman Rushdie and the worldwide campaign against The Satanic Verses in 1998 was a significant moment in both British and international politics. Kenan Malik shares his insights into how these events transformed the debate about multiculturalism, tolerance and free speech and marked the rise of radical Islam.

Indian-born British writer, Kenan Malik, is the author of From Fatwa to Jihad, Multiculturalism and its Discontents and The Quest for a Moral Compass: A Global History of Ethics.

11.20 AM

What divides us?

A conversation on multiculturalism and politics of fear

Heightened ethnic tensions, fueled by large scale immigration, global terrorism and politics of identity and fear, highlight genuine challenges of our increasingly multi-ethnic, multi-faith societies. While the Australian Government recently recommitted to its policy of multiculturalism, leaders of other nations, including France and Germany, have declared their brands of multiculturalism to have ‘utterly failed’, with calls for greater efforts for immigrants to integrate and a tightening of borders. How do we move past this point to create more inclusive societies with greater social cohesion? Can we transcend identity to embrace common values that bind rather than divide us?

Presented by Griffith Review

The Experts

Kenan Malik (UK)
Lecturer, broadcaster and author of ‘Strange Fruit: Why both sides are wrong in the race debate’

Roy Baumeister (US-AU)
Social psychologist and expert on ‘the self, and why we feel and act the way we do’

Hanifa Deen (AU)
Award-winning author and Chair of the Institute of Cultural Diversity

Chair – Julianne Schultz (AU)
Founding editor and publisher of Griffith Review

12.10 PM


1.00 PM

100 years in Russia

From the Revolution to the Court of Vladimir Putin

Mikhail Zygar is a Russian journalist, writer and filmmaker, and the founding editor-in-chief of the Russian independent news TV-channel, Dozhd. His recent book All the Kremlin’s Men: Inside the Court of Vladimir Putin is based on an unprecedented series of interviews with Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, presenting a radically different view of power and politics in Russia. Mikhail is the founder of Project1917. Free History, an online project that enables participants to learn about the events of the 1917 Russian Revolution from those who lived during this defining moment of history.

1.20 PM

Authoritarianism and the Arts

Activism, resistance and propaganda

The Experts

Basma Abdel Aziz (Egypt)

“Fiction gave me a very wide space to say what I wanted to say about totalitarian authority.”

Basma is an Egyptian writer, journalist, psychiatrist and artist. Her debut novel, The Queue, which was published in English in 2016, has drawn comparisons to Orwell and Kafka. Named in Foreign Policy’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2016, Basma represents a fresh and necessary female voice in Arabic journalism and fiction.

Guo Jian (Chinese-Australian)

Chinese Australian artist, Guo Jian, has been on both sides of China’s People’s Liberation Army. In the late 1970’s he enlisted in PLA, where he worked as a propaganda poster painter. Some 10 years later he was one of thousands of students to join the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 where several hundred protesters died at the hands of the military. In 2014 Guo Jian was arrested for marking the 25-year anniversary of the bloody massacre with a diorama of Tiananmen Square covered in minced pork.  

Aseem Trivedi (India)

Indian political cartoonist and human rights defender, Aseem Trivedi, is best known for his anti corruption campaign, Cartoons Against Corruption. In 2011 his website was banned by Mumbai police and in 2012 he was arrested on charges of sedition for a series of cartoons lampooning politicians. 

Jodie Ginsberg (UK)

Jodie Ginsberg is the head of UK-based freedom of expression organisation Index on Censorship, which publishes the work of censored writers and artists and campaigns against censorship worldwide.

Chair – Madonna King (Australia)
Award-winning author, journalist and commentator

2.15 PM

Afternoon tea

2.45 PM

Sharing is peering

The last decade has seen us enter a new era of knowledge and skills sharing. That sharing needs only a small nudge toward specific economic ends – around communalism and peer-production – to create a complete transformation in the material basis for culture.  This scenario blends open source techniques with commons-based practices, creating a scaffolding to redesign material civilisation within a framework of sustainable abundance, and offering a counterpoint to unemployment and Basic Minimum Income.

Mark Pesce is an inventor, writer, entrepreneur, educator and broadcaster. In 1994 he co-invented VRML, a 3D interface to the World Wide Web. For seven years Mark was a panelist and judge on the ABC’s hit series The New Inventors. He has written six books, including The Playful World, which used toys such as Furby and LEGO Mindstorms to illuminate the interactive world of the 21st century.

3.10 PM

The innovative optimist

Solving the world’s problems through science, technology, ingenuity and creativity

The interplay between innovations in fields such as robotics, artificial intelligence, clean energy, 3d printing, gene editing and nanotechnologies will dramatically alter the way we live and work.

Our panel of experts proffer their optimistic vision for the future; one empowered by a culture of creativity and innovation that cuts across all fields of human and scientific endeavour to solve the great challenges for humanity. They will consider how we can ensure that the impact of innovation reaches those most in need, and the ethical and regulatory challenges we have to overcome along the way.

The Experts

Mark Pesce (Australia)
Inventor, writer and futurist

Stefan Hajkowicz (Australia)
Principal scientist in strategic foresight at CSIRO’s Data61

Gaia Grant (Australia)
Author of The Innovation Race

Chair – James O’Loghlin (Australia)
Media personality and author, best known as the host of ABC’s The New Inventors

4.00 PM


Please join us in the Conservatorium Foyer for some music and to mingle