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Human-focused technologist, immersive reality designer and explainer of the future.

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The future is human.

Dr. Kate Raynes-Goldie is a human-focused technologist, immersive reality designer and curiosity facilitator. Kate decodes technology, culture and the future in a way that challenges common perceptions and provides key yet unexpected insights. Clients describe her as a leader to new ideas, a connector of dots and a re-wirer of brains.

Current work:

Kate decodes technology, culture and the future in a way that challenges common perceptions and provides key yet unexpected insights. Clients describe her as a leader to new ideas, a connector of dots and a re-wirer of brains.

Kate is a Certified Facilitator of LEGO® Serious Play®, a tool for unlocking innovation and creative thinking that has been used by some of the world’s biggest brands, including IKEA, Virgin Atlantic and Samsung.

Kate is also one of the producers of XR:WA, Australia’s largest immersive reality (VR/AR/MR) conference which ran for the first time in 2019 as part of the Revelation International Film Festival and is already set to run again in 2020.

Since 2007, Kate has been making immersive reality games and ‘escape rooms’ which not only bring together the real and the virtual, but also bring people together. Designed with a focus on people rather than screens, these games have been played all over the world, including at the National Theatre (London), Toronto International Film Festival and IndieCade (San Francisco).

Kate is also the host and founder of Fearlessly Playful, a podcast about the power of play. Each episode features an inspiring individual who has used play in a surprising or unexpected place, including Microsoft’s HoloLens Evangelist Lawrence Crumpton and the director of Telstra’s muru-d accelerator program, Julie Trell.

She’s a frequently sought-after media commentator, regularly appearing on the ABC, Channel 9 and in The West Australian to speak about technology, games and the future of work and education. Kate has also been featured on MTV, NPR and in the pages of ELLE and the Australian Financial Review.

Past Experience:

Author & Contributor: Kate has written for a variety of publications in Canada and Australia, including The Globe and Mail (Canada), Kotaku (Australia) as well as book chapters with Routledge (UK), Stanford (US) and the MIT Press (US) based on research funded by the MacArthur Foundation (US).

Kate has been a regular contributor to Scitech’s Particle, where she covered everything from the future of work and education to the latest video game console. Her ability to identify and explain key trends in an accessible way are rewarded by her articles being among some of those most read and shared.

Kate has authored seminal and highly cited work in the field of internet studies, including being the first to write academically about memes and viral videos in 2003 and internet friendship and friending in 2005. Her PhD on Facebook and privacy has also been in Curtin Library’s top 10 most downloaded (of all time!) list since it was published in 2012.

Speaker: Kate has spoken at top academic and industry conferences around the globe, including SXSW (Austin), NXNE (Toronto), REMIX Academy, Pecha Kucha, PAX AUS and TEDxPerth. In 2018 she completed an Australia-wide speaking tour, hosted by the Australian Computer Society.

In each capital city, she spoke about how diversity, playfulness and compassion will help us create a bright future for all. She also been a judge, coach or mentor for a variety of incubators, accelerators and hackathons, including the NASA Space Apps Challenge, TEDxPerth, the Perth Festival and Curtin University’s Ignition program.

Kate has also lectured at taught in Canada and Australia, including the Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab, the Curtin Business School, and and Murdoch University School of Business and Governance, where she is currently teaching a short course on the philosophy of big data.

Kate has worked with a wide variety of clients across numerous industries, including the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Deakin University, Bankwest, RAC WA, Knowledge Week and Health Canada. She also advised the Western Australian government on their recently launched STEM strategy and games industry funding pilot. Since 2013, Kate and her industry activation event series, Playup Perth, have been instrumental in building and strengthening Western Australia’s games industry.

Awards & Recognition: Kate has won multiple international awards for her work, including WAITTA Incite’s Achiever of the Year (2015/2016); the Australian Computer Society’s Digital Disruptor Professional Achiever of the Year (2016); and one of MCV Pacific’s 30 most influential women in games for three years running. Most recently, was named one of the 40 under 40 in Western Australia for 2018.

Education: She holds a PhD from Curtin University’s Department of Internet Studies, where she is also an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, and a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s New Media Lab. Kate is a Member of Professional Speakers Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors as well as an Honorary Member of the Australian Computer Society.

Talking Points

The future will be playful: why you need to pay attention to games

Games and playful are kind of a big deal. This year it is estimated that the games industry will be worth $140 billion USD, which is bigger than both the film and music industry combined. And this is just games for entertainment, and does not include gamification, serious games or other adjacent industries or technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality (now being called XR).

At the same time, schools are finding that children no longer know how to play. All the while organisations are struggling to innovate and foster creativity to keep up with the massive changes happening in all aspects of society and business thanks to disruptive technologies.

In this talk, I will show how understanding and leveraging games as a culture, a mindset and as a process are critical to preparing for the future. Overall, we’ll uncover why we need playfulness now more than ever

The future of education (or, disrupting the disruption of education)

Often, disrupting educating means reducing student to teacher ratios, or replacing teachers entirely. But the most transformative and powerful experiences for students often come from mentoring and working in small groups. Based on nearly 10 years teaching adults and young adults at the graduate and undergraduate level in Canada and Australia combined with a deep understanding of new and emerging technologies, Dr. Kate will provide an overview of how technologies can best assist teachers in supporting students and enhancing educational outcomes. Overall, she will show how the future will indeed be human.

How to make the future not scary

In the 2000s, the internet and social media changed the way we work and live. Now multiple disruptive and transformative technologies are on the horizon. From virtual, augmented and mixed reality (XR) to blockchain to automation, we are in a time of accelerated change, and accelerated anxiety. Yet with change also comes the potential for a bright future. But how do we get there ensuring a positive future for all?

Kate will draw on exciting real world case studies from Australia and beyond to provide a glimpse into what the future might hold for how we live, work, learn and play. And using these case studies, Kate will show why and how diversity, playfulness and compassion are keys to a bright future.

You will learn how the aerospace industry is using mixed reality to train astronauts and how the resource sector is using virtual reality to improve safety on worksites. You'll discover how blockchain (the asset platform behind bitcoin) is being used for clean energy distribution and how citizen science, big data and algorithms are being used for drug-free, effective contraception.
Overall, Kate reminds us that we are the ones deciding our future. And we can choose to make it a good one.

Diversity as a competitive advantage

Numerous studies have shown that diverse teams are not only more effective, but also more innovative. So, improving organisational diversity is not just about doing the right thing - it can have a clear return on investment. Women are now key consumers in areas seen as male only - for example 50% of gamers are now women yet only 10% of those creating those games are actually women - diverse companies will have a huge advantage in creating products that have appeal beyond the traditional demographic. Kate will outline the why and how of supporting diversity, including a number of actionable steps you can use right away.

Think you know reality? Think again! VR/AR/MR (XR?) Explained

Pokemon Go took augmented reality (AR) into the mainstream. PlayStation launched its very own virtual reality (VR) platform
in late 2016, making VR accessible to the masses. Microsoft’s Hololens mixes the two, creating mixed reality (MR) experiences which overlay virtual holograms into the real world. The next big wave of technology will see the virtual and the real, the physical and the digital merging together. These changes will have tremendous implications for the way we work, live, play and learn. This presentation is designed to provide you with the fundamentals of VR/AR/MR.
- The state of play with current VR/AR/MR technologies and what’s on the horizon
- How the technology is already being used by major companies for training and marketing
- How VR/AR is changing how we work with tools like augmented reality Skype
- Where these technologies are headed and what is driving adoption.
- What VR/AR might mean for privacy and health.


  • Disruption
  • Future of Work


  • Creativity
  • Futurists
  • Science & Technology
  • Data Science
  • Artificial Intelligence


  • Resilience
Kate is a remarkably capable, inspiring and thoughtful person. Her influence on the WA game developer community speaks for itself, but I was particularly impressed with her abilities as a coach. I was presumably not the easiest speaker to work with, carrying a mixture of nervousness and fixed ideas to the event, and can attest to Kate’s patience and consideration. There is no question that she is one of our best and brightest. Scott Ludlam, Former Senator for Western Australia
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