This talk is presented by
I'm an editor currently working as the Publisher of ABC Books on Wurundjeri land in Melbourne, Australia.
Formerly the Ideas Editor at Quartz and the Editor of Kinfolk magazine, I bring a quality-of-life focus to the future's most pressing topics and translate dense, academic subjects into engaging content. During nearly a decade living in the United States, I edited New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books, concepted innovative digital projects, and led award-winning teams of journalists and designers.
In addition to my journalistic work, I was a literary agent with Aevitas Creative Management in New York, where I represented nonfiction books about emerging science and technology, futurism, design, culture, and the arts. I am also a freelance book editor, helping Big 5 publishers make sense of their thorniest manuscripts on topics such as augmented reality, cell biology, feminist economics, and digital democracy.
When I moved back home, I became the Publisher of ABC Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Australia. It’s a classic case of “long-time listener, first-time caller”: I grew up in a household that always had ABC Radio National buzzing in the background and played Mr. Squiggle at dinnertime. As an adult living in New York, the ABC was my main news source for home, and I was even featured in 7.30's Black Lives Matter coverage. I knew I wanted to spend the next stage of my career telling Australian stories, so I'm excited to bring my dual career in news journalism and book publishing together in this role to promote home-grown ideas.
Aside from editing and writing, I'm a public speaker, workshop facilitator, and panel moderator. I’ve spoken about blockchain at the UN, facilitated cross-council sessions on future-proofing technology for the World Economic Forum, MC’d the AI stage at Web Summit, and presented on evolutionary psychology at Creative Mornings. Offstage, I was also a member of the WEF’s Future of Quantum Computing Council, a consulting producer at the Intelligence Squared debate series, and a fellow at the N Square Innovation Network, focusing on raising awareness of nuclear weapon proliferation.
I specialise in making obtuse content accessible and complicated ideas simple. Whether that’s a whitepaper on a new economic theory, a short film on the ethics of gene editing, or a children’s book on the microbiome, I’m interested in using unexpected mediums to bring awareness to the world’s most important issues.
Image: Shannyn Higgins