Cultural and creative life

Enjoy a tipple with some of Sydney’s top academics and tech entrepreneurs

Raising the Bar: an evening of big ideas and future-shaping innovations across architecture, biotech, sustainability and more.

Raising the bar speaker

For all the curious minds and lifelong learners, we’re taking education out of lecture theatres and boardrooms to a venue near you.

The yearly Raising the Bar program brings an exciting line-up of 30 of Sydney’s top researchers and tech entrepreneurs together for free talks in bars, breweries and live music spots on 4 April.

In partnership with City of Sydney and the University of Sydney, venues across Sydney’s Tech Central precinct - Haymarket, Ultimo, Surry Hills, Camperdown, Darlington, and Eveleigh - will bring you big ideas, over your favourite drink.

“Raising the Bar is a wonderful initiative that will inspire and educate through free talks in an unconventional setting.”
Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore.

From architecture to robotics, artificial intelligence to food security, Raising the Bar is a new take on a Tuesday night out. Each of the 15 venues will host 2 talks on the 1 night, at 6pm and 8pm. You can’t be everywhere, so here’s some of our top picks.

Hear talks at Raising the Bar about climate tech, mental health, food security and robotics.
Hear talks at Raising the Bar about climate tech, mental health, food security and robotics.

Feel, hear and smell architecture before it’s built

Dr Anastasia Globa at Camperdown’s Wayward Brewery at 8pm

Virtual Reality (VR) has the power to help us imagine what architecturally designed spaces might look like. But have we unlocked its full potential? Come explore how we can have life-like encounters with spaces before they’re built, using lighting, sound, temperature, weather, texture – and even smell. Register for Anastasia’s talk.

Managing our coasts with Indigenous knowledge

Dr Mitchell Gibbs, University of Sydney at Re, Eveleigh at 8pm

Indigenous knowledge is crucial to sustaining our coasts. Mitchell highlights how western science is not enough when it comes to understanding our coastal systems and creating sustainable management practices. Register for Mitchell’s talk.

What can electronics do for my brain?

Associate Professor Omid Kavehei at SHADES near Central Station at 6pm

When medications fail, electronic therapeutics can be an effective way to treat Parkinson’s and severe epilepsy. Come along to hear Omid explain brain-machine interfacing technology. Learn how electroceuticals are changing how we understand the brain, human communication and even ways to treat disease. Register for Omid’s talk.

Finding your climate superpower

Arielle Gamble at SHADES near Central Station at 8pm

When we think of climate action, leaders such as Greta Thunberg and street protests come to mind. These figures tend to make headlines, but the quiet collective work of the climate movement is more diverse and innovative than you may realise.

After Omid’s talk, stick around at SHADES to learn more about our country’s growing ecosystem of climate action, from community organising, to strategic litigation, to shareholder lobbying. Register for Arielle’s talk.

Thirsty for more green innovation topics? Read our top picks of Raising the Bar climate tech talks.

Magic mushrooms: The therapeutics of the future?

Josh Ismin, Psylo with special guest Scott Riddle at Manning Bar, Camperdown at 6pm

Mental illness is on the rise, but medical solutions are not keeping pace. While it may sound radical, psychedelics offer a promising new avenue among the scientific community. Join Josh to hear about his company’s research, while Scott talks about his participation in a clinical trial investigating psilocybin as a treatment for end-of-life anxiety. Register for Josh’s talk.

Can playable public art forge a more inclusive city?

Dr Sanné Mestrom, University of Sydney at The Ace Hotel Sydney at 6pm

Imagine the city through the eyes of a child. How would a climbable sculpture get them to experience their environment differently? Join Sanné to hear how public art can make critically integrated, inclusive and interactive spaces. Register for Sanné’s talk.

The next wave of innovation in urban mobility

Richard Savoie, Adiona at Soul Trap Bar, Surry Hills at 6pm

With rapidly growing populations, transport plays a huge role in city sustainability across the world. Find out about the 30 minute city and discover what role technology, including AI-based transport planning, plays in transforming how people move. Register for Richard’s talk.

See the full program, covering everything from climate tech and mental health to food security, biotech and robotics. Book your free ticket now.

Published 20 March 2023