AQ: Australian Quarterly 94.1 – Jan-Mar 2023

AQ 94.2 - New Apr-June 2023 Edition - Out Now!

One of the key features of the world we have built for ourselves is that technological advancements are ever accelerating – while our personal and societal systems are slower to advance.

This also means that the challenges we face are multi-valent and coming at us even faster.

With so many people on the planet and so many systems pushed to their limits, the feedback loop from one intervention could have dire, and sudden, ramifications on a different social or environmental issue. Trade-offs and unforeseen consequences make it feel like we’re in a constant game of crisis whack-a-mole.

Yet the inverse is also true – how can we become better at identifying where interventions could have positive and synergistic benefits across multiple issues?

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Who Decides Who Decides What Conversations Are Allowed About Artificial Intelligence?

Who knows? Who decides? and Who decides who decides? In the development and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems it is important to ask questions about who has the power. Tech companies largely determine what work is―and is not―conducted on AI, dictate the discussion of possibilities and limitations, and ultimately decide what is open for consideration when it comes to regulation and policy. The decisions that are being made for us, are not necessarily by the people we elect, or those with our best interests at heart.

Anja Kaspersen & Kobi Leins

Human Health in the Anthropocene: A Systems Approach for Action on Climate and Health

We have seen remarkable gains in life expectancy and population health outcomes, and significant declines in metrics such as child mortality. Yet traditional global and public health agendas have not generally considered whether improvements in health were made at the expense of the natural systems on which we depend for our food, safe water, and clean air. As our planet is pushed closer to its limits, the potential trade-offs between health and the environment is forcing us to redefine our agendas, and consider ‘planetary health’.

Montira Pongsiri

A Fair COP – Climate and Consensus on the World Stage

The annual climate summit rolled into the Egyptian resort town of Sharm-El-Sheik last November like an international carnival of lobbyists, corporates, activists, negotiators, ministers, and the odd head of state. Yet despite the incongruous look of festivity, the event was defined by an ongoing rift between rich and developing nations – and it is a divide that could ultimately cost us.

Kate Dooley

Rewilding Our Cities: Green Roofs for Green Targets

Around the world many cities are turning to greening initiatives to improve their urban spaces. Yet with space a premium, the role of green roofs is becoming more important for cities to meet the economic, social, and health obligations of their citizens. Yet what exactly are the benefits and challenges of employing green roof infrastructure across our cities? What could the savings be and how can we get smart about building design to help mitigate the disproportionate climate impacts of our urban centres?

Peter Irga, Robert Fleck & Sara Wilkinson

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