Skip to main content
Future Thinkers event graphic featuring a grey background and black text.

The Future Thinkers series is being presented by Renewal SA to help inspire a more connected, creative and innovative future in South Australia. The sessions will be facilitated by CityMag editor and publisher, Josh Fanning.

Session #2 - Urban Design and Wellbeing

The second Future Thinkers event, Urban Design and Wellbeing, will be held on 31 October and will focus on how the cities we inhabit for work, home and play can regenerate us and improve population wellbeing.

Distinguished Professor Billie Giles-Corti

Keynote speaker will be Distinguished Professor Billie Giles-Corti, who is the director of the Healthy Liveable Cities Research group at RMIT’s Centre for Urban Research and is ranked in the top one per cent of researchers in her field around the world.

For more than two decades, Billie and a multi-disciplinary research team have been studying the impact of the built environment on health and wellbeing. She leads a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre of Research Excellence in Healthy Liveable Communities which works closely with local, national and global policy-makers and practitioners.

She is also the Liveability Lead for The Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub, which is supported through funding from the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program and her team is currently mapping policy-relevant urban liveability indicators across all Australian capital cities.

Billie has published over 300 articles, book chapters and reports, and citations. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia and the Public Health Association, a Fulbright Scholar and in 2016, was awarded an NHMRC Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowship as the top-ranked female fellow in public health in 2015.

After Billie’s presentation, she will be joined by a panel of local speakers for a group discussion on the impact of urban design on human health. They are: Gabrielle Kelly of South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI); Karina Lester of the University of Adelaide’s Mobile Language Team, and architect Richard Stranger of Renewal SA.

Gabrielle Kelly

Gabrielle is the founding director of Wellbeing and Resilience Centre at SAHMRI and has been working on human behaviour and systems change for several decades, as an international film-maker, digital media executive, social entrepreneur and strategist. She is a member of the Dubai World Government Summit’s committee investigating the implementation of wellbeing as an enabler of sustainable development goals and sits on the board of the Australian National Development Index.

Gabrielle was also director of the ground-breaking Adelaide Thinkers in Residence program, which resulted in significant advances in city design, advanced manufacturing, early childhood education, ageing and positive psychology in South Australia. Her work on this program laid the groundwork for the SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre.

Karina Lester

Karina is a Yankunytjatjara Aṉangu woman who grew up on the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytja-tjara Lands (APY Lands) in the Far North West of SA. In her spare time, she works as an Aṉangu interpreter and translator for the Western Desert Language that covers a large area of the state.

Karina is very passionate about maintaining her Aboriginal language and about hearing from other South Australian Aboriginal people on how they would like to maintain their languages. Karina hosts a weekly radio show Nganampa Wangka about language activities in the state, broadcast on Radio Adelaide.

Richard Stranger

Richard is a registered architect who has also had roles in property development including a period as National Design Manager at Urban Pacific and National Development Manager for residential property developer Urbex Pty Ltd.

Richard is Director, Planning and Design at Renewal SA with oversight of planning and design for Renewal SA projects, including Lot Fourteen and Bowden. This role provides the opportunity to influence wellness and sustainability outcomes of Renewal SA’s projects including active and passive recreation, incorporation of public open space and the integration of active transport opportunities including walking and cycling.

Session #1 - Solar Fashion: A conversation with designer Pauline van Dongen

The first session Solar Fashion: A conversation with designer Pauline van Dongen was held on 15 October and presented by the acclaimed Dutch fashion designer and wearable technology specialist.

At Pauline's only public appearance in Australia she talked about her work to integrate flexible solar cells into textiles and get a sneak peek at garments which enable wearers to generate sustainable energy to power their mobile devices.

Pauline’s visit coincides with the World Solar Challenge race from Darwin to Adelaide and she will give a workshop on the integration of solar cells into clothing and everyday soft products to TAFE SA fashion and design students.

In 2016, Pauline was named one of the 50 most inspiring women in tech in the Netherlands. The year after, she was selected by Massachusetts Institute of Technology for its annual list of Innovators under 35 of Europe. Pauline has her own design studio and also works at Holst Centre, a leading Dutch research institute, where she develops smart textiles using printed electronics.

This session was supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Solliance Solar Research and the Holst Centre.

Was this page helpful? 
Would you like to be contacted about this feedback?