University partners with global creative thinking platform

Western Sydney University has joined collaborators such as Facebook and Google to partner with Semi Permanent (SP), a global creative and design thinking platform. This exclusive educational partnership will see Western’s students engage with the latest in digital technologies and design thinking as part of their university studies.

The partnership will see the SP roadshow visit both the University’s Parramatta City and Parramatta South campuses; as well as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning Transformation) Professor Simon Barrie chair Designing the Future of Work, a panel of thought-leaders who will explore the role of design thinking and creativity in learning for a disrupted future of work.

The future of work will be a featured topic of discussion at SP, with the Designing the Future of Work panel addressing questions such as how can we shape the future of work? And what capabilities will we need? The panel, presented by the University, will feature Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning Transformation) Professor Simon Barrie, alongside influential innovators such as Tara McKenty (Creative Director, Google APAC), Michael Canning (Founder, Exceptional Alien) and Dan Ilic (Comedy Filmmaker).

“The changes in our society and the world of work demand significant changes in Australia’s education systems – from pre-school to university and beyond.  It is likely that young people preparing for entry to higher education today, will emerge to a lifetime of work that will be far more varied than they were expecting,” says Professor Barrie.

“This pace of change will accelerate placing a premium on learning, supported by resilience and adaptability, in technology rich environments. Universities have a unique contribution to make in contesting some of the many assumptions about the future of work we face as a society.

“A significant challenge for universities is to not simply react to the changes emerging in the future of work, but to help shape that future for our society.”

As part of this year’s SP roadshow, the creative platform will be visiting both the University’s Parramatta City and Parramatta South campuses to showcase such things as Google's new Virtual Reality design technology 'Tilt Brush' and a display of works by world-renowned artist and SP Host Gemma O’Brien.

Google's Tilt Brush in action.

SP – which, during the past 15 years, has established a community of over 400,000 people and a network of over 800 speakers and artists from around the world – aims to inspire and enable innovation in the community by exposing them to what’s happening in design on a global scale. This year’s lineup includes speakers and collaborators from the likes of Google, MONA, Airbnb and National Geographic.

In addition to the University, Semi Permanent welcomes aboard 2018 key partners and collaborators including; the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW who owns, manages and produces Vivid Sydney, Carriageworks, Facebook, Dropbox, Vice and The Old Clare Hotel

Event details

What: Semi Permanent 2018
When: Designing the Future of Work panel, presented by the University, will take place on 26 May, 1pm – 1:45pm at Carriageworks. The SP Roadshow will be on display from 21 – 24 May at the Parramatta City and Parramatta South campus:

  • 21-22 May, 9am-5pm, Parramatta City Campus, Ground Floor
  • 23-24 May, 9am-5pm, Parramatta South Campus, EA Building Foyer


17 May 2017

Emma Sandham, Senior Media Officer