Advancing technology for the positive impact and public good

Advancing technology for the positive impact and public good

Oct 31
Advances in technology have brought immeasurable benefits to Australians, delivering improved outcomes and opportunities across health, education, communications and transport to name a few.


Laura Manley, Director, Technology and Public Purpose Project, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Melinda Cilento, Chief Executive, CEDA
Stefaan Verhulst, Co-founder and Chief Research and Development Officer, GOVLAB

Event overview

While technology offers many benefits, it is becoming increasingly clear that building a national conversation and agenda around the development and adoption of technology, and how we can ensure this is done in the public’s best interest, will be important to building community engagement and trust.

Join CEDA and Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs, inaugural Director of the Technology and Public Purpose Project, Laura Manley as we explore:
  • How do policymakers address the knowledge and capability gap to affectively regulate a constantly evolving tech sector?
  • How can we best develop a tech sector motivated by the public interest?
  • The changing role and expectations of business and government in progressing community-centred technological change?

Meet the keynote speaker

Laura Manley
Director, Technology and Public Purpose Project, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Laura Manley is the inaugural Director of the Technology and Public Purpose (TAPP) Project at the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Led by former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, the project aims to steer rapid technology-driven change in directions that serve net, long-term public good. Laura is also a Senior Consultant for the World Bank Group and the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs. Laura is an Adjunct Professor at the NYU Wagner School of Public Policy, where she teaches Data for Social Innovation and Instructor at the Harvard University Extension School, teaching Data-Driven Decision Making for Business Leaders.

Meet the panel

Stefaan Verhulst
Co-founder and Chief Research and Development Officer, GOVLAB

Stefaan G. Verhulst is Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer of the Governance Laboratory @NYU (GovLab) where he is responsible for building a research foundation on how to transform governance using advances in science and technology. He is the Curator and Editor of the Living Library and The Digest. Verhulst’s latest scholarship centres on how technology can improve people’s lives and the creation of more effective and collaborative forms of governance. Specifically, he is interested in the perils and promise of collaborative technologies and how to harness the unprecedented volume of information to advance the public good Before joining NYU full time, Verhulst spent more than a decade as Chief of Research for the Markle Foundation, where he continues to serve as Senior Advisor.

Meet the chair

Melinda Cilento
Chief Executive, CEDA

Melinda Cilento is an economist, experienced executive and company director. She has served as a Commissioner with the Productivity Commission, in senior roles in Federal Treasury and as Chief Economist and Deputy CEO at the Business Council of Australia.

Supported by CEDA member

Major sponsor

Further sponsorship available:

Align your brand with CEDA and communicate with hard-to-reach business, government and policy leaders by sponsoring this event. Contact Rohish Gupta on 03 9652 8403 or email
Public event advice – Coronavirus

At CEDA we are proud to regularly convene and engage speakers and audiences as an essential element of our efforts to broaden discussion and debate of the most important policy issues facing Australia. In doing so, our first priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our guests and staff.

CEDA remains true to its purpose of providing platforms to inform and promote debate of critical issues and driving policy solutions and are continuing critical discussions for Australia’s economic, social and environmental development through a digital events program including exclusive livestreams, podcasts and video, as well as our virtual Trustee roundtable discussions.

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