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Announcing AFTRS’ Second Digital Futures Summit: The Business of Australia’s Digital Future

L-R: Matthew Ball, Claire Evans

Tech authority, venture capitalist and metaverse visionary Matthew Ball headlines AFTRS’ second Digital Futures Summit: The Business of Australia’s Digital Future to be held online on Thursday 17 February.

Ball is considered the world’s leading expert on the metaverse, a multi-dimensional world that many believe will be the successor to the internet, converging immersive 3D online environments, augmented reality, virtual reality and personal computing with real life.

Author of Metaverse Primer and the upcoming The Metaverse: And How it Will Revolutionize Everything, Ball will open the summit with a session, The Metaverse and What It Means for the Australian Screen Industry.

Ball will be in conversation with Claire Evans, former MD of immersive digital company Grumpy Sailor, who is currently consulting with the Australia Council and recently completed the Master of Arts Screen: Business at AFTRS, where she completed a thesis on the metaverse.

Ball is the Managing Partner of EpyllionCo, an early-stage venture fund, a venture partner at the famed gaming investment fund Makers Fund and a regular contributor to The Economist. From 2016–2018, Ball served as the global Head of Strategy for Amazon Studios, and prior to that was a Director at Peter Chernin’s Otter Media.

Additional sessions at the Summit will explore what companies in the screen and broadcast industry will look like in the digital future as they are compelled to innovate or stagnate, how global demand for content will impact on how we train, develop and retain talent in the Australian sector and, using real world case studies, the perils of bringing a start-up company to market.

Speakers include Felicity McKay, Director of Content Partnerships for TikTok Australia and New Zealand, AI Media’s Deanne Weir, Netflix’s incoming Head of Physical Production (ANZ) (and AFTRS Council member) Chris Oliver-Taylor, Rona Glynn-McDonald, a proud Kaytetye woman from Central Australia and founder of Common Ground, who works with high-impact organisations to create systems that centre First Nations people, knowledge and solutions, Niall McCarthy, co-founder of start-up Viewie, an app that offers fun and entertaining videos about TV and movies from talented creators, Film Victoria CEO Caroline Pitcher, Mighty Kingdom’s Phil Mayes, Peter Tonagh, Deputy Chair of the ABC, and Peter Drinkwater, CEO of Screen Audience Research Australia (SARA), which specialises in audience insights for film, TV and new media and how audience behaviour is evolving in the new world.

Live Q&As will follow each session.

AFTRS CEO Nell Greenwood will also discuss the results of the AFTRS Career Pathways Survey, conducted by SARA and AFTRS in partnership with industry. Data and information have been collected from hundreds of practitioners across the industry at various stages in their careers and analysed by SARA, providing important strategic insights into work practices and how government, education and the industry can support and build a thriving ecosystem of Australian screen talent.

AFTRS’ Digital Futures Summit series brings together Australian and international industry leaders with educators and government to talk about the big questions facing Australia’s screen and broadcast industries as technology continues to shape the future of work, education, training and creative opportunities across the sector.

The summit series is online, free and accessible to all Australian practitioners. It furthers AFTRS’ commitment to national reach, excellence and sustainability, the three pillars of the School’s new five-year corporate strategy, which will be announced by AFTRS CEO Nell Greenwood at the 17 February summit.

Read more about AFTRS’ Digital Futures Summit series here.