Reflecting on Digital Futures

What’s next?

In today’s digital world the idea of the next best thing, what is coming up, what we could do, has motivated us to innovate and actualise technological feats that once upon a time belonged solely to the realm of fiction. With a wealth of information available to us at the touch of button we can know more, create more, and say more than ever before. But if the way we are as a community has changed in such extreme ways, what does that mean for us and our most basic human needs?

State Library’s Digital Futures Lab asks visitors to really think about what it means to be part of an increasingly digital future, and how we talk to each other about who we are and what we need.

As a new team member I was invited to walk through State Library’s latest exhibition and get a sense of what is meant by Digital Futures Lab. I wandered through the gallery in awe- from the SEQ Water Map and Paro the therapeutic seal, to the Hive Mind wall garden and Virtual Reality headsets; it is a unique and inspiring thing to behold.

However, the truly overwhelming part of the experience is the sense of connection and conversation that echoes through the exhibit. It is easy to worry that technology is isolating us from our broader communities and diminishing our ability to interact with each other in the most basic ways, but amidst a space dedicated to the exploration of what our digital future holds, it was hard to ignore the flurry of conversation and shared experience that filled the gallery and brought the exhibition to life. I listened to families enjoying the experience and the story left behind by previous visitors in the Hive Mind, and was heartened to feel so truly connected to community and to see how willing we are to share our stories when we are given the opportunity to.

Seeing how Queenslanders identify with our past and what we hope and fear for the future made me reflect on what I hope our digital future holds, and excited for the ways that we can continue to connect and share our own personal histories and futures. What are your hopes for our digital future? Visit the Digital Futures Lab and join the conversation.

 

Krystin Egan
Project Officer, Signature Program, SLQ