The third annual Humanitech Summit 2023, held on 17 May 2023, was a memorable event hosted by the Australian Red Cross. As Australia’s premier summit of its kind, the event featured an impressive array of presentations and discussions on how technology’s power can be harnessed to address some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges.
One of the summit’s highlights was the fireside chat titled “From intrusion to inclusion: Reimagining digital tools and platforms for better connections.” A/Prof Vanessa Teague, Chair of Democracy Developers, joined Peter Lewis, Co-Founder of Civility, and Chris Vanstone, Chief Innovation Officer at The Australian Centre for Social Innovation, to explore how community and civil society could shape a better future through digital tools and platforms designed with the public interest in mind.
Vanessa discussed how the design of digital tools, when infused with a humanity-first approach, can empower communities and foster improved social outcomes. She candidly spoke about her work on the app, Ask Parliament, highlighting how technology could strengthen democratic processes and greater citizen participation.
The fireside chat highlighted the potential for a future where technology functions as a bridge rather than a barrier to the public interest, fostering community connections and empowering individuals. The speakers crystallized a vision for harnessing technology to foster heightened civic participation and inclusion whilst carefully balancing the principles of transparency, privacy, and civic integrity.
Humanitech 2023 was a poignant reminder of our collective potential when we merge our humanitarian ambitions with technological advancements. Through such a fusion, we can address global challenges and pave the way for a more inclusive, equitable future for all.