Vision 20:20



In 2020, The Warren Centre will curate a series of discussions aimed to imagine what could be, what future scenarios society aspires to build, and how the profession of engineers and digital technologists can collectively deliver that aspiration.


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AI & Robots

Artificial intelligence has enormous potential to benefit humanity, but recent experience proves that corporations and governments implementing AI systems have frequently delivered systems with seriously unanticipated gaps in performance.  The Warren Centre will explore a range of issues confronting engineers who are designing artificial intelligence systems


UN Sustainable

March 4 has been designated World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development.  For the first time ever, every country in the world will acknowledge the contributions of engineers for delivering the wonderful technologies of the past, but also more importantly, this will be a day to look forward to the future and determine how engineers will lead the sustainable development for mankind’s future.

Where should
we be in 10 or 20 years?
It’s up to engineers 
and technologists
to drive the 

The Home of the

Digitally connected, 5G wifi, augmented reality entertainment? Check! Zero carbon, self-generated and locally stored energy? Check! Rapidly constructed, low cost, high amenity? Check! Health, nutrition and med -ical diagnostics built into baths and kitchens? Check! An artificial intelligence chatbot to remind you to ring Mom on her birthday and a robot to change nappies? Probably those, too. The concept Home of the Future is in the minds of innovator-entrepreneurs who promise that Home 2.0 will blow you away



The University of Sydney officially launched its new School of Biomedical Engineering in 2019, and even before the School launched, graduate growth in biomed was remarkable. Researchers undertaking bionic eye technology, new plasma applications and artificial bone tissue aim to deliver revolutionary innovations that improve human health. With mature companies like Resmed, Cochlear, Nanosonics and Saluda in the Sydney area, medical devices are a field of relative specialisation. New spin outs and new start-ups at Cicada Innovations and the Sydney Knowledge Hub show what is possible for commercialisation that moves from the university footbridge over to the ASX on Bridge Street. Improving health, wellness and well-being is core to the Knowledge Economy of the future.


Smart Cities &

New light rail, a train tunnel under Sydney Harbour and new motorways are now part of the city’s urban transport infrastructure.  On the horizon, Silicon Valley developers and local companies are commercialising components, systems and whole motor transport systems aimed at autonomous and highly connected end-to-end and last-mile passenger transport.  As sensors, next-gen wireless connectivity and satellites enable ever-greater data collection, machine learning and AI improvements, the Smart City of the future promises greater energy and resources efficiency necessary to sustain development in Australia and globally.

Humanitarian Innovation

The Warren Centre’s 2020 Humanitarian Innovation Hackathon will welcome 100 innovators to turn their imagination towards the Pacific islands context to solve humanitarian challenges alongside disaster relief agency RedR and supporting partners this year from the Pacific Telecommunications Council.  Join us the weekend of July 24-26 to see the brilliant creativity that results when teams of young innovators work alongside seasoned field teams and technology mentors to solve the greatest challenges in Australia’s international back garden on the seas.


Circular Economy

For society and for industry to develop sustainably, engineers must abandon yesterday’s linear economy.  The TAKE-MAKE-USE-DISPOSE model of the consumer era is being replaced with new Circular Economy models that focus on resources efficiencies, new product design, new industrial symbiosis, biomimicry, re-manufacturing, the refurbishment economy, the share economy and performance economic models.  From materials recycling to fundamentally new business method innovations, the Warren Centre will curate a month-long on how to reform manufacturing and services to deliver high quality goods, operated at peak use efficiency and minimal waste to deliver the Circular Economy.


Computing for 2050

A new generation of technologies and machines utilising quantum physics promises remarkable opportunities.  Digital computers from the past century will be supplemented by new devices tapping into “quantum spookiness” to solve mathematical problems that are insoluble with thousands of years of computation from today’s best machines.  The ramifications in biology, chemistry, encryption, banking and defence are broad. The city of Sydney, with its strong history in physics and computing, could be a world leader as quantum computing emerges globally.


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Materials for the Future

Engineers are building whole new classes of materials and highly innovative manufacturing processes from the atomic level up to real world components and production factories.  From 3D printing of consumer and industrial goods to nano-scale fine tuning of new molecules and metal crystals, the possibilities are endless.


Climate scientists warn that the world must achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050 or risk irreversible damage to the planet.  Economists and business leaders are increasingly reconsidering the role of fossil fuels in the future energy mix. Australia has been wandering in a desert of energy policy vacuum for a decade now, but engineers can see clearly that a zero-carbon future is essential.  Solar, wind, battery storage, hydrogen and maybe even next-gen safer nuclear technologies will part of Australia’s energy future. The nation’s low-carbon future could yield a cleaner domestic footprint and drive a new generation of global exports that overtakes coal or LNG.



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