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Melbourne citizens explore the future

The week showcases technology that will ensure the city is future-ready

Melbourne Knowledge Week helps the city to adapt to the changing world
Melbourne Knowledge Week helps the city to adapt to the changing world

The Australian city of Melbourne is exploring its future self with its 2018 Knowledge Week, which features 90 events across seven days.


With everything from augmented reality and artificial intelligence (AI), to 3D printed burgers, chatbot nurses and heat-resistant pavement, acting Lord Mayor Arron Wood describes it as the city’s most ambitious Knowledge Week, which will explore all the "biggest challenges and opportunities presented by our changing world".


"We expect to welcome thousands of inquisitive minds to our hub at Melbourne’s iconic Meat Market during this week-long showcase of ground-breaking ideas and cutting edge technology which will increasingly impact every part of our lives," he said.


"Our world is moving at an unprecedented pace and Melbourne has to be prepared to understand the changes, and to evolve with these changes," said chair of the Knowledge City portfolio, councillor Dr Jackie Watts.


"Knowledge Week is about ensuring our city is future ready, showcasing innovative solutions being produced right on our doorstep.


"I would encourage everyone in our community, both young and old, to come to the Meat Market for a hands-on exploration of what the future holds for the World’s Most Liveable City and most importantly in this, our Knowledge City."


The City of Melbourne has partnered with RMIT University, the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Health, Launch Vic and the Social Food Project, and more than 70 other organisations to deliver the 2018 festival, which is taking place now until 13 May.


Events taking place this week include:


Melbourne City DNA, MKW Hub, Meat Market, North Melbourne (all week)

An exhibition of emerging technology that tells Melbourne’s story by bringing the city’s data sets and projects to life. Visitors can explore the past, present and possible future through new media such as augmented reality, virtual reality, 3D visualisation and interactive maps.


Prototype Street, Innovation District, Corner Cardigan Street and Argyle Place (all week)

Citizens can take the future for a test run in the heart of the Melbourne Innovation District with a working prototype future street. They can share the road with advanced new tech including walking on heat-resistant pavement and other new technologies.


Future Hospital, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Grattan Street (Saturday, 12 May)

Could a virtual reality (VR) experience cure a physical illness? Could a chat-bot prepare you for major surgery? Could an algorithm calculate your medicine dose better than a doctor? There are the questions Melbourne’s leading med-tech start-ups are asking. Prototypes featuring these solutions will feature in an all-day exposition.


The Long Now: Planning a 10,000 Year Future for Human Knowledge

MKW Hub, Meat Market, North Melbourne (Friday, 11 May)

What does it mean to plan 10,000 years into the future? The Long Now Foundation in San Francisco is trying to answer this question. Working to reframe our sense of the here and now to be a bigger ’here’ and a longer ’now’, the Long Now provides a sense of agency and responsibility for the future of our human civilisation. Dr Laura Welcher, CEO and director of the Long Now Library will deliver a keynote speech.


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