South Australia's Open State 2017

Open State looks to South Australia’s future

Futurists, designers, entrepreneurs, writers and business leaders will soon come together in Adelaide for Open State 2017.

Now in its second year, the Open State festival will bring together local and global identities who are passionate about examining our world and encouraging others to collaborate and create their future.

This year’s program explores the themes of Future Human, Future Planet, Future Cities, Future Food, Future Enterprise and Future Democracy.

The festival aims to create social and economic prosperity for all South Australians, including a focus on the jobs of the future, by tackling some of the challenges facing our state across these themes.

Speakers include former White House technology adviser Beth Noveck, English futurist Richard Watson and Chair of Climate-KIC Australia Dr Jemma Green, CEO of Climate-KIC Europe Kirsten Dunlop and author Bruce Pascoe.

Open State 2017 is bigger than last year with more than 100 events and workshops to be hosted by more than 150 partner organisations from business, community, government and universities.

This year, the festival has made a commitment to encourage equal representation of male and female speakers on all panel discussions held throughout the festival.

This year’s program includes events such as:

Robot Brains v Human Brains by Dr Jordan Nguyen and Dr Fiona Kerr who will talk about how people think and how robots operate, the future of humanoids, the role of empathy, and how programming robots for emotion will produce psychopathic robots.

The Hugo Lecture with Professor Alexander Betts who explores ways societies might empower and gain social and economic benefits from the inclusion of refugees rather than pushing them to the margins.

The public exhibition of the International Astronautical Congress showcasing the latest developments in the space industry.

Future Jobs in a World of Artificial Intelligence – a panel of leading tech figures discuss the future employment options in a world in which Artificial Intelligence and automation impacts millions of jobs.

Children’s University lecture series where young people can hear from the international Open State speakers during the school holidays.

The annual Winnovation Awards recognising the work of innovative women steering ground-breaking projects across South Australia.

The festival epicentre will be in Victoria Square and events will also be held throughout Adelaide and across South Australia. Open State will take place from September 28 until October 8. Program and speaker details are available at

Tickets details

Sarah Thomas