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The Sydney Dialogue to return in April

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute is pleased to announce that the second Sydney Dialogue for emerging, critical, cyber and space technologies will be held on 4-5 April 2023.

The Sydney Dialogue, established to meet the need for a flagship international forum on cyber and critical technologies, has quickly built a reputation for bringing together the top thinkers and decision-makers from governments, industry, academia and civil society for strategic discussion and debates which continue to shape the global policy environment.

First held in 2021, the Dialogue recognises that technology is reshaping societies and economies in every part of the world, and nowhere is that more acute than in the Indo-Pacific region. It is being developed and applied so quickly, within an increasingly intense geopolitical landscape, that neither laws nor international consensus on rules and norms are keeping up.

The rapid innovation in areas such as cyber, artificial intelligence, big data, biotechnology, space and quantum computing create enormous opportunities for solving urgent, real-world problems and for establishing sectors of the economy not previously imagined. However, the pace of growth and innovation carries risks, such as the misuse of technology by rogue and authoritarian states and criminal organisations.

The safe and stable advance of technology requires a coordinated international effort. No government, company or civil society organisation can meet the vast array of challenges alone. This is why The Sydney Dialogue is once again bringing together leading players to discuss the opportunities and risks, foster ideas and initiatives, and ultimately find solutions that ensure technology is used for the benefit of all people, consistent with universal human rights.

ASPI is very pleased to have the strong support of the Australian Government for The Sydney Dialogue 2023. Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, the Honourable Richard Marles MP acknowledged that: “Technology is a growing pillar of Australia’s global partnerships and a critical part of ensuring our defence capabilities are fit for purpose. As we face the most challenging strategic circumstances in decades, this cooperation is increasingly vital to maintaining our national security.

It is essential for like-minded nations and actors to come together to harness the best of technology for the benefit of all, which is why I am pleased to see Australia host The Sydney Dialogue in 2023, and I congratulate ASPI on convening it.

Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, the Honourable Clare O’Neil MP noted: “Critical and emerging technologies can help address some of the greatest shared challenges the world faces - including climate change, energy security and pandemics. However, there are also inherent risks.

Hostile and authoritarian states are using technological developments to gain advantage and further their political agendas. The Sydney Dialogue will play an important role in bringing together leaders from government, industry, and academia to ensure critical technologies make the lives of our citizens more secure, prosperous and rewarding.

The inaugural Dialogue was held virtually in 2021 because of global Covid-19 restrictions. It featured keynote addresses from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the late Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The 2023 Dialogue will be held in-person and will be invitation-only. It will feature leading decision-makers and experts who are willing to break new ground in discussing technologies that will shape the future. The Dialogue will stimulate frank conversations about the roles for governments, industry and society in shifting away from the business-as-usual international mindset on technology.

On the agenda is cyber and digital governance, space and the geopolitical implications of expanding human activity off-earth, technology game-changers, technologies that shape war, technological competition and strategic advantage, and the role of technology and innovation in advancing human rights, climate action and human security.

Justin Bassi, the Executive Director of ASPI, said: “ASPI is proud to host what might be our most ambitious project yet, The Sydney Dialogue 2023, and attempt to bridge the gaps that have opened up. Importantly, as the leading annual global forum for technology policy, we will focus on opportunities as much as risks. We look forward to welcoming delegates from around the world to Sydney in early April to lead coordinated global policy responses to the challenges we face now, and those ahead.

More information and updates on The Sydney Dialogue can be found at