Organisations around the world increasingly recognise an urgent need for the right expertise to face the challenges and complexities of the 21st century.

That expertise is more than just a technical understanding of emerging technologies — it is also a critical awareness of how these technologies interact with wider cultural, social, economic, political, and ecological systems. The School of Cybernetics is bringing the transdisciplinary practice of cybernetics to the world through innovative research-informed learning experiences for industry, government and communities.

The School of Cybernetics’ learning experience series, Navigating Cybernetic Futures, offers short non-award learning experiences preparing today’s leaders, creatives and change-makers for an increasingly fast-paced technological world including the following:

From leading through the uncertainty generated by novel technologies to engaging with AI from fresh perspectives, our one-day programs enable participants to understand their role in building the better, fairer, and safer systems of the future. The learning experiences provide powerful practices founded on expansive cybernetic inquiry, as well as creative fuel for reimagining technology’s role in the world.

These experiences are delivered face to face. If you’d like to enrol in multiple learning experiences and have an invoiced raised for your organisation, please contact our team at clt@anu.edu.au.

Learning Experiences

Decoding AI through Cybernetics

Decoding AI Through Cybernetics

Mode: in person

Fee: $2,310

Canberra Dates

Waitlist

Artificial Intelligence is suddenly everywhere. New AI solutions are being openly released to the public and integrated into everyday computing systems across all sectors and settings, both with and without our consent. Concern about the impact of these novel technologies continue to play out in the public discourse and through legal and social challenges to the legitimacy of these systems.

This one-day learning experience will empower participants with a stronger and clearer understanding of AI technologies and their implications and controversies. The program will develop new ways to discuss AI outside the constraints of existing – and often misleading – technological terms and narratives. Participants will explore expected and unexpected outcomes and interactions between the components of an AI system and wider societal systems. Using cybernetic tools, participants will further consider how to manage the technology across current and future deployment scenarios.

Audiences

This learning experience is suitable for all persons interested in or involved with AI in a professional capacity, with no prior technical training or background required.

Through this learning experience you will

  • Understand AI technologies and explore new terms for explaining and framing AI.
  • Learn how AI is integrated in broader social systems and apply cybernetic tools for AI management.
  • Assess and imagine current and future deployments of AI.

Program (short version)

TimeTopic
09:00Introductions: Don’t PANIC! Playing with AI Tools
09:30Demystifying AI (Genevieve Bell)
10:15AI Hype: Neither Hallucinations Nor Sentience
11:00Morning tea
11:30Building Better AI Futures
13:00Lunch
14:00Useful Tools for Managing AI
15:30Preparing for the AI of Tomorrow (Genevieve Bell)
16:00Finish and networking

Introducing Cybernetic Leadership

Introducing Cybernetic Leadership

  • Mode: in person
  • Fee: $2,310

Canberra Dates

Waitlist

Being a leader in today’s tech-driven environment can be tough. Emerging technologies such as AI and automation challenge decision-makers across all sectors to respond rapidly to complex and ambiguous situations, while managing the often-unknown risks and opportunities of adoption and deployment. Concurrently, conventional organisational structures and relationships are also giving way as these technologies usher in new social norms and ways of working.

This one-day learning experience offers leaders a chance to learn ways to navigate these unfamiliar waters. Join School director Genevieve Bell as we develop leaders’ capabilities in self-reflection and systemic thinking, preparing them to meet the challenges of the future. Drawing on interdisciplinary research, the learning experience guides learners through cybernetic leadership principles for the 21st century that are immediately and pragmatically applicable to their own contexts.

Audiences

This learning experience is suitable for people taking on leadership or management duties in organisational or community contexts, regardless of industry. It is particularly relevant for those leading change.

Through this learning experience you will

  • Learn and practice cybernetic leadership principles to better navigate emerging technologies and the organisational complexities they introduce
  • Understand the history and practice of leadership from interdisciplinary perspectives
  • Learn to the create conditions for team resilience in ambiguous and uncertain situations

Program (short version)

TimeTopic
09:00Introductions: Situating Leadership in Emerging Technology
09:30Leadership: A Cybernetic Perspective (Genevieve Bell)
10:15Systems Thinking and Cybernetic Leadership Principles
11:00Morning tea
11:30Applying Cybernetic Leadership Principles
13:00Lunch
14:00Preparing for Complexity through Cybernetic Leadership
15:30Synthesis and wrap up (Genevieve Bell)
16:00Finish and networking

Transforming Complex Systems with Cybernetics

Transforming Complex Systems with Cybernetics

  • mode: in person
  • Fee: $2,310

Canberra Dates

Waitlist

The ‘system’ is one of the most important concepts and realities underpinning our contemporary 21st century world. Increasing complexities and interdependencies across engineered systems create both greater fragility and resilience for networked lives, while we continue to grapple with the sociological and ecological implications of these technological deployments.

This one-day learning experience offers participants a chance to learn new perspectives and approaches for solving difficult and persistent systemic challenges. Participants will learn and apply cybernetic tools to illuminate a system, its dynamics and trajectories, and begin to unfold possibilities for effective intervention. This learning experience aims to demonstrate the practical application of cybernetic principles for participants to integrate the presented toolkit into their practice to begin transforming complex systems.

Audiences

This learning experience is suitable for all persons undertaking to solve complex systemic challenges at work, and particularly for those implementing and designing change.

Through this learning experience you will

  • Develop new perspectives on systems thinking to meet complex and persistent challenges.
  • Apply cybernetic tools to illuminate systems and their interdependencies.
  • Apply cybernetic tools to enable interventions across systems to resolve existing and emerging problems.

Program (short version)

TimeTopic
09:00Arrival
09:30Welcome
09:50Systems and Cybernetics
10:20The pulse of a system
10:45Morning tea
11:00Observing systems
11:30Acting in systems
12:30Lunch
13:15Transforming systems
15:00Afternoon tea
15:20Wrap up
16:00Finish and networking

Creating Futures with Cybernetics

Creating Futures with Cybernetics

  • Mode: in person
  • Fee: $2,310
Canberra Dates
Waitlist

In a time of accelerating change, we are increasingly responsible for creating a shared future in which emerging technologies and technological systems are safe, inclusive, and sustainable. Understanding the different histories of and pathways through a system allows us to imagine different possibilities and risks.

This one-day learning experience will guide participants through the challenge of imagining and influencing the development of new systems. Drawing upon the ground-breaking work of the School’s Cybernetic Imaginations Residents and the Australian Cybernetic exhibition, the program immerses participants in storytelling and creative practice, guiding them through the uncomfortable and the unexpected as they reimagine the future and their role in crafting it.

Participants will analyse the theories, models, and strategies that inform influential narratives about the future, and delve into how our personal visions for the future, both conscious and unconscious, shape our current actions and decision-making. Participants will further be introduced to novel cybernetic practices for future-planning, so that they might take an active role in crafting better systems and futures.

Audiences

This learning experience is suitable for all persons in creative positions within industry or business, with special interest in designing for responsible technological futures.

Through this learning experience you will

  • Develop your own critical position on the history and art of futuring
  • Use cybernetic futuring tools with confidence
  • Imagine hopeful futures and create a concrete plan for making those futures possible

Program (short version)

TimeTopic
09:00Introduction and a history of the future
09:50Disrupting the present with Distinguished Professor Genevieve Bell
10:30Morning tea
10:45Introducing the New Cybernetics Futuring Praxis
11:20Futures: a case study
12:30Lunch
13:30Applying and evaluating the New Cybernetics Futuring Praxis
15:00Developing feedback-enriched plans for creating our futures
15:30The future, now – a call to action with Distinguished Professor Genevieve Bell
16:00Finish and networking