Arts and Innovation: Balancing the Risks

This is a past event.

Evidence abounds about a ‘brain drain’ in Australia in the sciences and technology sectors, which ambitious ‘innovation agendas’ have failed to address. What role can the arts play in spurring new approaches to innovation in wider society? How can artists play a role in designing new practices for design, industry, medicine or social services? Can the arts play a central role in the transformation to knowledge-based, innovative economies? How can the arts influence how we see innovation beyond technology?

Our expert panel explore the future of Arts and Innovation in this informative and topical seminar.


Sarah Houbolt specialises in initiating, managing and evaluating innovative projects and programmes within the arts, equity and culture sectors. Sarah is well-known for her unique and versatile performance work across circus, physical theatre and dance as well as her passion for enhancing diversity. She has held various consulting and advisory roles with arts institutions as diverse as: University of Technology, Accessible Arts, Art Gallery of NSW, Museum of Contemporary Art, Library of NSW and has spoken at TEDxSydney on the topic of accessibility.

Peta Portelli has an MBA in Entrepreneurship, a Bachelor of Business in Accounting and Finance and was previously an International Fashion Designer – a polymath who is equally passionate about the numbers as well as the look and feel of a product. Peta is currently a Relationship Manager at the CSIRO’s ON innovation program and has 15 years’ experience in sales, marketing, business development, product design, retail and consulting.

Vicki Sowry creates opportunities for artists to pursue interdisciplinary research and experimentation with partners drawn from industry and academia. She is an assessor and industry advisor for the Australia Council for the Arts and has contributed to industry capability and policy development through governance roles. She has been Director of Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) since 2012.

Dr Andrew Yip is a researcher and new media artist who researches the applications of immersive and embodied new media technologies for the GLAM sector. Andrew designs interactive systems for museums and galleries and his installations have been exhibited at institutions such as the Art Gallery of NSW, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Art Gallery of South Australia and the Powerhouse Museum. He is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research and Director of the Ultra High-Resolution Scanning Laboratory at the University of New South Wales.

Produced by SAMAG Co-Chairs: Adrian Burnett and Alli Burness

Image: Greg Dunn, 2011, Self Reflected

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