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Knowledge equity in the online world

Mapping participation in new sites of cultural power
As the digital divide closes, the world and all its peoples are increasingly meeting online. But whose knowledge is dominating in these new digital spaces?

Event details
Date and time:
Wednesday 12 June, 6 – 7.30pm
Venue: SSB Lecture Theatre 200
Social Sciences Building
The University of Sydney (Camperdown/Darlington Campus)
Entry: free and open to all with online registrations essential.

In 2016, the UN declared Internet access to be a human right, on a par with clean water, shelter and food. Latest research shows that more than half of the world’s 7.6 billion inhabitants now use the Internet.

However, the initial euphoria of the Internet and its potential for giving everyone an equal voice is fading as it becomes clear that the online world reflects the inequalities of the offline world. 

Join us as digital geographer Martin Dittus, from the Oxford Internet Institute, maps on a global scale the different ways knowledge is migrating online and identifies whose voices are loudest.

Wikipedia is the most prominent example of crowd-sourced online content. As the world's largest online knowledge bank, it plays an enormous role in shaping how people understand the world. But while the open nature of Wikipedia, in theory, allows content to be created by anyone about any notable place or person, there remain significant imbalances in global participation and representation. Data and algorithms fundamentally shape our geographic interactions, impacting how we perceive, move through, and use the cities that we live in.

In response, the Wikipedia community has introduced the concept of 'knowledge equity' as an important strategic concern: "We will strive to counteract structural inequalities to ensure a just representation of knowledge and people in the Wikimedia movement."

To better understand the effects of this transformation, Dr Dittus’ groundbreaking research investigates who owns, controls and shapes our online world.

This Sydney Ideas event will open the international conference Worlds of Wikimedia: communicating and collaborating across languages and cultures, which will be held at the University of Sydney from 12-14 June.

The speaker

Martin Dittus is a digital geographer and data scientist at the Oxford Internet Institute, with a focus on mass-participation platforms and social computing. In his research he analyses and visualises emerging online practices at a large scale. Together with Mark Graham he is currently researching the information geography of Wikipedia.

Jakelin Troy is a Ngarigu woman whose country is the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales. She is currently Director, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research at the University of Sydney. Throughout her life she has worked on issues of language loss and regeneration – work which has frequently taken her into the archive to search out words, people and ideas

Annamarie Jagose is the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney. She is internationally known as a scholar in feminist, lesbian/gay and queer studies. She is the author of four scholarly monographs, most recently Orgasmology, a critical consideration of orgasm across the long twentieth century. Annamarie is also an award-winning novelist. Her last novel, Slow Water, was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and won the Deutz Medal for Fiction at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards and the Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.

Event information

This event is free and open to all but online registration is essential.

Simply click the 'Register now' button or follow this link.

Entry to ticket holders will be prioritised and given on a first-in, best-dressed basis until the room reaches capacity. If an event is full, this may result in standing room or delayed admittance until an appropriate time.

We recommend early arrival to allow time for finding the venue and securing a seat to the event. Doors open 30 minutes before the advertised start time. 

If you could not register but would like to attend, you are welcome to join a stand-by queue on the night as seats may become available due to late cancellations. Please note, this is not guaranteed so you come at risk of non-admittance.

This venue provides wheelchair access, hearing loop and infrared hearing system.

Access requirements

If you have other access requirements or want more information, get in touch with us on 9351 2943 or email sydney.ideas@sydney.edu.au with 'Access | June 12 - Wikipedia' in the subject line at the earliest opportunity to allow us time to organise for any additional services in time for the event.

This event takes place at SSB Lecture Theatre 200, which is on Level 2 of the Social Sciences Building (enter via Science Road). 

There will be directional signage on the day leading to the theatre. You may also refer to the map on this page. 

Public Transport

To help you plan your trip, visit transportnsw.info

Train

The venue is roughly 30 minutes walk from Redfern station. Catch a train to Redfern station and take Lawson Street up to Abercrombie Street. At the roundabout, follow Codrington Street up to Butlin Avenue. Follow Butlin Avenue through to the campus and up Eastern Avenue towards the Quadrangle and turn into Science Road. Keep walking along there – the venue will be on the right.

Bus

Buses to the University are readily available from Railway Square, Central Station (Broadway). Please use campus maps tool and tick the ‘State transit bus stops’ box under the ‘Amenities’ column to view all possible bus stops.

  • via Parramatta Road: Take one of these buses: 412, 436, 438, 439, 440, 461, 480, 483, m10, L38 or L39 and alight at the Footbridge on Parramatta Road. It's roughly a five-minute walk to the venue.
  • via City Road: Take one of these buses: 352, 370, 422, 423, 426, 428, m30, L23 or L28 and alight at the footbridge before Butlin Avenue. Cross the road or go across the bridge and take Eastern Avenue towards the Quadrangle, and turn into Science Road. It's roughly a 12-minute walk to the venue.

There is some on-street parking around Forest Lodge and Glebe.

There is also paid parking available at Western Avenue Carpark. Head to the University's Parking page for more information about fees and opening hours.

Use the University Campus Maps tool to find out more details about parking and access areas: search for the 'Social Sciences Building'. 

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