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Learning from the future: Foresight for the next decade of forced migration

20 November 2023
9.00am – 6.30pm AEDT
Clancy Auditorium, UNSW Sydney
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Discover how the climate crisis, disruptive technologies, geopolitical instability, massive demographic shifts and other megatrends will reshape the world for refugees – and how we can adapt to make a better future for all, not just some of us.

Join the Kaldor Centre’s 10th flagship conference, Learning from the future: Foresight for the next decade of forced migration, where leading experts will cut through the uncertainty to identify opportunities for positive change.

Keynote speaker Aarathi Krishnan is a Harvard scholar, longtime humanitarian worker, TED favourite and one of ‘100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics’. She now scans the future for a living as Strategic Foresight Advisor at the United Nations Development Programme–Asia Pacific. In this dynamic, day-long program, Krishnan will help us step out of today’s set agenda and consider, is the international protection regime capable of providing protection amid the seismic shifts underway? How can we ready law, policy and public debate to ensure protection for those who need it? 

Other insightful, influential speakers in the line-up include: the Human Technology Institute Director Edward Santow, Guardian Australia Editor Lenore Taylor, University College Dublin Professor Cathryn Costello, Refugee Council of Australia Deputy CEO Adama Kamara, Media Diversity Australia CEO Mariam Veiszadeh, Essential Media’s Peter Lewis, Red Cross/Red Crescent Global Migration Lab's Magdalena Arias Cubas – and many more.

Kaldor Centre Director Professor Jane McAdam AO will give the closing keynote before all participants gather for drinks, canapes and conversation at our #Kaldor23 closing reception.

Spark your creative thinking. Make connections. Together we will explore what the next decade may hold – so we can be ready now.

Aarathi Krishnan, Keynote speaker at the 2023 Kaldor Centre Conference, UNSW Sydney

Aarathi Krishnan

Aarathi Krishnan specialises in anticipatory governance for the humanitarian and development sectors. She is currently the Senior Advisor for Strategic Foresight for UNDP, where she is designing a systems approach to build anticipatory capacities and decision intelligence to see, manage and respond to short- and long-term risk signals, policies and investments. She is an Affiliate at Berkman Klein Centre for Internet and Society at Harvard University and was formerly Technology and Human Rights Fellow at the Harvard Carr Centre for Technology and Human Rights. Previously she has supported a range of international humanitarian organisations on embedding institutional foresight and global strategy to drive institutional and systems transformation, including the UN Resident Coordinators, the World Bank, UNHCR, MSF, ICRC and IFRC. 

Edward Santow, Industry Professor and Director, Policy and Governance, Human Technology Institute, University of Technology, Sydney

Professor Edward Santow

Edward Santow is Industry Professor - Responsible Technology at the University of Technology Sydney, and the Director - Policy & Governance at the Human Technology Institute, which he co-founded and leads with Prof Nicholas Davis and Prof Sally Cripps. He leads a number of major initiatives to promote human-centred artificial intelligence, including in the areas of digital government, the future of AI regulation, and facial recognition and digital identity. From 2016-2021, he was Australia's Human Rights Commissioner. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Human Rights and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and of the NSW Government AI Review Committee. In 2009, he was presented with an Australian Leadership Award, and in 2017 he was recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. 

Lenore Taylor

Lenore Taylor

Lenore Taylor has been the editor of Guardian Australia for seven years, and has been with Guardian Australia since its launch in May 2013, when she joined as political editor. Lenore has been honoured with two Walkley Awards, twice won the Paul Lyneham Award for excellence in press gallery journalism and co-authored a book, Shitstorm, on the Rudd government's response to the global economic crisis.

Lenore is a formidable commentator on the Australian political landscape and has long been a regular guest on radio and television current affairs programs, including the ABC's Insiders. 

Peter Lewis, Executive Director, Essential Media

Peter Lewis

Peter Lewis is executive director of the progressive strategic communications agency Essential Media, the founder of the collaborative engagement platform Civility and a fellow with the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. For more than two decades he was worked with progressive organisations including unions, NGOs, not-for-profits and responsible businesses to affect progressive social change. He is a regular columnist with Guardian Australian and Fairfax newspapers as well as the author of five books including Webtopia and The Public Square Project.

Adama Kamara, Deputy CEO, Refugee Council of Austalia

Adama Kamara

Adama Kamara is the Deputy CEO of the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) - the national umbrella body for people seeking asylum, refugees and the organisations and individuals who support them. She has 15 years’ experience in refugee services, health and local government, as well as personal and family experience of seeking asylum and supporting newly arrived refugees from her home country of Sierra Leone. She has a passion for community-led initiatives and is an advocate for meaningful participation. She has led co-design projects with young people, people seeking asylum, refugees, culturally and linguistically diverse communities and service providers.  One example is the multi-award-winning Refugee Camp in My Neighbourhood project, which she initiated and has led since 2014. 

Mariam Veiszadeh, CEO Media Diversity Australia

Mariam Veiszadeh

Mariam Veiszadeh is an award-winning human rights advocate, lawyer, diversity and inclusion practitioner, contributing author and media commentator. Her TED talk on Privilege has been viewed over half a million times. In 2021, she was appointed the inaugural CEO of Media Diversity Australia, an organisation that seeks to ensure that the Australian media looks and sounds like Australia. She is also the founder and Chair of the Islamophobia Register Australia and has been involved in the anti-racism space for over a decade.

Pic of Prof Jane McAdam

Professor Jane McAdam AO

UNSW Scientia Professor and Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law Director, Jane McAdam AO, is a pioneer in research on climate change and disaster-related displacement, advising governments and international organisations including UNHCR. She is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow, a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, a Research Associate at Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Centre, an Associated Senior Fellow at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute in Norway, and a Senior Research Associate of the Refugee Law Initiative in London. She is joint Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Refugee Law, the leading journal in the field. In 2017, her work in this field was described as 'transformative' by the jury of the prestigious Calouste Gulbenkian Prize for Human Rights, which she was the first Australian to win. In 2021, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) 'for distinguished service to international refugee law, particularly to climate change and the displacement of people'.

Cathryn Costello, Full Professor of Law, Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin

Professor Cathryn Costello

Cathryn Costello is Full Professor of Law at University College Dublin’s Sutherland School of Law. She was previously Professor of Fundamental Rights, and Co-Director of the Centre for Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School, Berlin and Andrew W Mellon Professor of International Refugee and Migration Law at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford. She is a leading scholar of international refugee and migration law, and has pioneered the study of the intersection of labour and migration law. She is co-editor with Michelle Foster and Jane McAdam of the Oxford Handbook of International Refugee Law (OUP 2021). She is Principal Investigator of the RefMig project, examining mobility, status and rights in the global refugee and migration regimes, and is the lead principal investigator of a Volkswagen European challenges project on automated decision-making in asylum and migration, AFAR. 

Magdalena Arias Cubas Senior Research Officer, Red Cross Red Crescent Global Migration Lab

Dr Magdalena Arias Cubas

Magdalena (Malena) Aria Cubas is the Senior Research Officer at the Red Cross Red Crescent Global Migration Lab and an Adjunct Fellow with the School of Social Sciences at Western Sydney University. She is a social scientist with over a decade of experience in research specialising in international migration. Originally from Mexico, she has held multiple research and teaching roles in Australia and has led qualitative and quantitative research with migrants in vulnerable situations in the Americas, Africa, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific. She holds a PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from the University of Sydney, and her work has been published in Comparative Migration Studies, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Migración y Desarrollo, Migration Information Source, and the Revue Europeean des Migrations Internationales among other outlets. Her research interests include the intersection between migration, inequality, and humanitarianism.