Wired for Wonder

A select group of students from the College gathered at NIDA yesterday for the Wired for Wonder Youth Summit sponsored by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The students were selected based on their involvement in a number of STEM initiatives we have had at the College this year. This is the second of CBA’s events that we have been invited to this year and we were all amazed and inspired by the presenters and the work they are doing to change the world.

Wired for Wonder is a major event on the CBA calendar and features an impressive line-up of world-renowned speakers and immersive workshops to inspire businesses and individuals to embark on a journey of discovery and innovation. The Youth Summit is aimed at secondary school students with the aim of inspiring them to follow their dreams and be change makers for the world.

We were blown away by all the presenters yesterday. From the magnificent Welcome to Country through to the amazing Mond Qu each presenter took us through a little of their own journey as well as the work they are currently involved in. All were making a huge difference to our world in ways we could never have imagined.

Karen Palmer took us into the future and to get a message from our future selves. Karen is known for the interactive films she is creating where each person gets a different narrative depending on how they react to the screen. Artificial intelligence is being used to read the facial expressions of the audience member and adjust the narrative accordingly! This was a great way to start the day.

From there it was a fascinating procession of amazing people with Dr Jordan Nguyen being very popular. His documentaries and work in helping people with disabilities have resulted in him becoming a cult figure and he certainly lived up to the ‘rock star’ status with his wonderful presentation. We were delighted when Pia Kostakis made her way to the stage to participate in one of his AI demonstrations.

One of the more inspiring presentations came from one of the Future Crunch team. His message of optimism in a world full of pessimism was an important one for us all to hear. He also let us know about an ‘in ear’ device that could enable a person to understand a person speaking any language from around the planet!

Students participated in two workshops during the day. Some of our girls went to the Future Young Australians session which was all about coming up with creative ideas to solve problems. While we only got to scratch the surface of the process some of the ideas our girls came up with for one scenario gave us plenty to think about in terms of our own situation at St Clare’s.

This was an inspirational day for us all and has given us much to consider once we get back to school. Certainly many of the girls are looking at how they can use their own creative powers to solve some of the big issues facing our world. Look for some of the girls to be involved in a ‘start-up’ very soon!

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