In Conversation with Peter Lewis

Peter Lewis will be in conversation with Andrew Leigh on Peter's new book Webtopia: The World Wide Wreck of Tech and How To Make The Net Work.

The web was supposed to transform our world. So why are things so messed up? The Internet promised a utopian, creative and democratic future. But today's world seems more divided and more distracted than ever and trust in public institutions has collapsed. In Webtopia, Peter Lewis argues that technology itself is not the problem. We are.

Lewis believes, "Governments, political parties and technology companies need to take greater responsibility for what is happening online without stifling legitimate freedom of speech". Regulatory agencies and social media platforms have been woefully inadequate in tackling a digital framework where fake news meets post-truth and anything goes. And how can our children cope in "a world of limitless connection".

Riveting, engaging and wise, Webtopia traces our digital journey to this crisis point and, fearlessly, marks out a better route forward.

"Read Webtopia and find out how and why the online world is already reading you" -- Catharine Lumby, Professor of Media, Macquarie University.

Peter Lewis is the executive director of Essential, a progressive research and communications company. He has worked previously as a journalist and political advisor and is a regular columnist for Guardian Australia.

Dr Andrew Leigh MP is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury, Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities and Federal Member for Fenner in the ACT. He holds a PhD in public policy from Harvard, and his latest book is Randomistas: How Radical Researchers Changed Our World.

Professor Matthew Gray Director, ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods will give the vote of thanks.

Pre-event book signings will be available from 5:30pm and again after the event. This event is in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop and books will be available to purchase.