Are you taking the piss?
Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - 18:00
University of Melbourne Parkville Campus, Forum Theatre 153 in Arts West Building


Would you break the law to save the world? We're living in a world of finite resources, yet there are laws in place preventing us from using these resources wisely. Join us as we lift the lid on barriers preventing our transformation towards real sustainability. Innovation moves so fast that rules and regulations can't possibly keep up, often leaving scientists/engineers/businesses on the wrong side of the law.  

In Australia, we throw away over one million tonnes of water per day. Just wow. And don't even get us started on the other things we flush down the drain that could be used for the power of good. Hint: we are literally flushing a powerful wee-source! We need to be inventive, creative and brave with what we have and how we use it.  

Who has a say in shaping our streets and cities? When is waste valuable again? Is a sharing economy the answer to all our problems?   

Join a brilliant panel who won't shy away from the yuck-factor to find innovative solutions to our over consumption of... everything.   

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Professor Peter Scales is an engineer and scientist at The University of Melbourne. At his core, he is a problem solver and a maker of things. For over 28 years he has been investigating how to improve the function and filtration of complex systems. This sort of research is really helpful in many areas including water recycling and reuse in cities and industry, and enormous batteries powered by wee.   

George Goodnow (aka Goodie) is an emerging artist and curator interested in exploring relations between spaces, objects and people. In her work, she considers what is made to feel ‘not normal’ when nothing is ‘normal’ in the first place. Furthermore, how art can offer possibilities for relating to each other and the world in more open-ended, tender, ethical and nuanced ways. Her practice involves painting, installation, murals, writing and performance to tell stories and challenge existing architectures and structures. George grew up in Canberra, moving to Melbourne to live, work and love in 2014. 

Joost Bakker has been called a visionary, disruptor, environmental activist. The New York Times called him ‘the poster boy of zero waste living, and Vogue Living described him as a discipline-crossing creative. Over the last 25 years, he has highlighted the worlds wasteful ways using multiple platforms from art/installations, floristry, design, architecture to bars and restaurants. He opened the world’s first zero waste restaurant, Silo by Joost, in 2012. 

Natasha Mitchell is a multi-award winning ABC broadcaster. She hosts ABC RN's culture, science, and technology program, Science Friction and has presented other flagship programs including the national, daily morning show, Life Matters (2012-16), and was founding presenter & producer of All in the Mind (2002-12), on ABC Radio National. She served as a board member and vice president of the World Federation of Science Journalists, and has received accolades internationally, including the prestigious MIT Knight Fellowship and Grand Prize and four Gold World Medals at the New York Radio Festivals. She is on the Executive Advisory board of Women in Science Australia. Natasha has an engineering degree from Monash University, and a postgraduate diploma in science communication from ANU. 

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Photo credit: Urinotron – the first inspiration for this discussion, when Science Gallery Melbourne skated close to breaking the law (we didn't though, promise).