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iGen: Understanding the Connected Generation

19 July 2018
6:30pm - 7:45pm
Studio, Sydney Opera House
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iGen – those born after 1995 – are the first generation to spend their entire adolescence with smartphones. What does this mean for young people today? iGen is growing up more slowly as adolescents, taking longer to engage in adult activities such as working, driving, dating, having sex, and drinking alcohol. iGen spends more of their leisure time with digital media and less time seeing their friends face-to-face; they also spend less time sleeping. Perhaps this is why they are experiencing unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Overall, iGen is physically safer but more mentally vulnerable.

Orygen and UNSW Centre for Ideas are pleased to invite you to an important conversation about the future of young people and the impact technology is having on their lives. Join Dr Jean Twenge, author of iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood.

Dr Twenge will be joined with a panel including Professor Patrick McGorry, Executive Director of Orygen and Professor of Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, and to give us a view from iGen themselves, 20-year-old Amelia Morris, who is studying a Batchelor of Law and Arts at Monash University. The discussion will be facilitated by journalist Hamish Macdonald.

The talk is part of the UNSW Grand Challenge on Living with 21st Century Technology.

Tickets: $15 $35

headshot of Dr Jean M Twenge

Jean Twenge

Dr Jean M Twenge, Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University, is the author of more than 140 scientific publications and books. Her latest book is iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood. She frequently gives talks and seminars on teaching and working with today’s young generation based on a dataset of 11 million young people. Her audiences have included college faculty and staff, high school teachers, military personnel, camp directors, and corporate executives. Her research has been covered in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, and The Washington Post, and she has been featured on Today, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Fox and Friends, NBC Nightly News, Dateline NBC, and National Public Radio. She holds a BA and MA from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

pic of Frances Kay-Lambkin

Frances Kay-Lambkin

Associate Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin is internationally recognised for her innovative technology-based interventions for mental health and substance use disorders, and is the current President of the International Society for Research on Internet Interventions. Frances’s research is developing high quality, evidence-based care that is accessible and acceptable to people with mental and physical health comorbidities. She aims to bridge the evidence-practice gap in four key ways:

(1)    Determining ‘what’ to disseminate;

(2)    Deciding ‘who’ to disseminate it to;

(3)    Deciding ‘how’ to disseminate it; and

(4)    Determining ‘when’ is best to disseminate it.

Frances leads an international team of researchers, clinicians, and industry partners in innovative development and translation of evidence-based treatments for comorbid mental and physical disorders, which is recognised for its impact, research quality, and significant translational and commercial value. Her contribution to new knowledge is evidenced by: 90 peer-reviewed journal publications in the past 5 years with >2000 citations. She has led five large randomized controlled clinical trials of face-to-face, phone-based and computerised psychological treatments for mental health and alcohol/substance use problems, and translated these treatments into clinical practice. Her vision is to bring high quality, evidence-based treatment for multiple health problems to the point-of-care for people experiencing mental health and addictive disorders to ensure that the right person receives the right intervention at the right time.   

Patrick McGorry

Patrick McGorry

Professor Patrick McGorry is the Executive Director of Orygen, Professor of Youth Mental Health at The University of Melbourne, and a Director of the Board of the National Youth Mental Health Foundation (headspace). He is a world-leading researcher in the area of early psychosis and youth mental health, and has a strong interest in promoting the mental health of the homeless, refugees and asylum seekers.

His work has played a critical role in the development of safe, effective treatments and innovative research into the needs of young people with emerging mental disorders, notably psychotic and severe mood disorders. He has also played a major part in the transformational reform of mental health services to better serve the needs of vulnerable young people.

Professor McGorry was a key architect of the headspace model and has been successful in advocating with colleagues for its national expansion. He has successfully advocated for the establishment of a national early psychosis programme based on the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre model. He is frequently asked to advise on youth mental health policy both nationally and internationally.

Amelia Morris

Amelia Norris

Amelia is 20 years old and currently attends Monash University, studying a Bachelor of Law/Bachelor of Arts. 

Amelia is passionate about advocating for youth mental health, being on various councils and bodies pursuing this issue including the Youth Advisory Council and the Victorian Governments Youth Congress. This passion is driven in part by her lived experience of mental ill-health, and her desire to improve the experiences of other young people suffering from mental health issues.

 She has been recognised for her efforts by being named as the Young Citizen of the Year in her shire for 2017. In her tenure on Orygen’s Youth Advisory Council, she seeks to advocate for the interests of young people with mental ill-health and assist in advancing the quality of their experiences. She also has an interest in policy and public speaking.

Hamish Macdonald

Hamish Macdonald


Hamish Macdonald has covered wars, disasters and major world events. He has secured nominations in prestigious journalism awards such as the Walkley Awards and the Quills Australian Journalist of the Year Award, a rare achievement for a commercial television network news reporter. He was also a finalist for the Graham Kennedy Award for Most Outstanding New Talent at this year's Logie Awards. A versatile news reporter and presenter he has delivered ground-breaking news reports (people smuggling in Indonesia), fronted investigative documentary specials (Bikie Wars: Here and Now) and regularly co-presents on The Project.