The UniSA Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence's ‘Monnet Conversations’ video series draws together a diverse range of interviews, seminars and dialogues recorded with preeminent representatives from business, civil society and researchers on the pressing global issues concerning European integration and EU-Australia relations. Participants of 'Monnet Conversations' recordings span disciplinary boundaries and are based across Europe and Australasia, and thus bring a rich collection of experiences and differential and contextual knowledge to their discussion.

The activities that are recorded and included in Monnet Conversations are funded by the University of the South Australia and the European Union through ERASMUS+ Grants, including the Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, the Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility: EU and Australasian Innovations (CCAMEU) Jean Monnet Network and Discourses on European Union I4.0 Innovation (DEUI4I) Jean Monnet Project.

Episode 1: Business responses to COVID-19 in Europe

In the first episode of this new UniSA Series - Monnet Conversations - Professor Anthony Elliott (Executive Director of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence) talks to European consulting and business leaders, Mr Ralf Blomqvist (Main Dialog, Sweden) and Mr Bo-Magnus Salenius (TalentMiles, Finland), about the impacts of COVID-19 on European enterprise and culture. Their discussion focuses on organizational change in the aftermath of COVID-19 and looks at how European companies are responding to, and coping with, new challenges and burdens.

COVID-19 is causing major disruptions to mobility, work and daily lives. While businesses in exposed sectors, including those that rely on international tourism, have had to pause their operations, many workers and business leaders are finding new ways to adapt their operations to the COVID-19 landscape. From working at home to social distanced customer service and online university seminars, the speed of industry adaptation has been remarkable. In Monnet Conversations, Professor Elliott, Mr Blomqvist and Mr Salenius examine these economic and social changes and assess what their lasting impacts might be. They question whether COVID-19 has accelerated certain inevitable social and business developments or whether it has motivated the creation of unforeseen and novel working scenarios. They look at whether we have entered a “new normal” in terms of distanced working and social interaction, or whether there will likely be a return to a pre-COVID-19 style social environment.


Professor Anthony Elliott, Executive Director of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and Network, University of South Australia

Mr Bo-Magnus Salenius, Co-Founder of Talentmiles, Finland

Mr Ralf Blomqvist, Partner of MainDialog, Sweden

Episode 2: The Coronavirus Upheaval: Bauman, Beck and Rethinking the Politics of Global Pandemics

Responses to the coronavirus - from politicians to policymakers to the public - are often presented as a binary choice between public health versus the economy. This episode of Monnet Conversations turns to modern European social thought to address new ways of responding to COVID-19 other than the dualism of lives saved and the economic costs of saving those lives.

The episode considers these fundamental questions by looking at the contributions of the late Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, and the late German social theorist Ulrich Beck. Bauman’s reflections on wasted lives, disposability, moral uncertainty and liquidization are framed in relation to the global pandemic. Beck’s reflections on risk, reflexivity and the fortunes of global cosmopolitanism are situated in terms of the consequences of the pandemic's profound transformation of social life.

Joining Anthony Elliott for this episode of Monnet Conversations are Peter Beilharz, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at La Trobe University, Australia; Sven Kesselring, Professor of Automotive Management at Nürtingen-Geislingen University, Germany; and Ingrid Biese, Research Associate at the Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Professor Anthony Elliott, Executive Director of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and Network, University of South Australia

Professor Peter Beilharz, Professor of Critical Theory, Sichuan University, Chengdu, PRC and Emeritus Professor, La Trobe University, Australia

Professor Sven Kesselring, Professor of Automotive Management at Nürtingen-Geislingen University, Germany

Dr Ingrid Biese, Research Associate at the Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki, Finland

Monnet Conversations Episode 3: Computational Power and the Digital Revolution

The digital revolution transforms how we live and work through the intrusion of AI-powered technologies into everyday life. As a result, we are increasingly delegating tasks to machines that operate outside of strict human control and that produce and act on their own unique representations of the world. Consequently, the number of representations of the world continues to multiply, thanks to the proliferation of artificial agents or computational systems. These transformations give rise to what the Italian philosopher Massimo Durante calls “computational power”, whereby people reshape their worlds and establish representations of reality that are compatible with, and understood by, computational machines.

In this Episode of Monnet Conversations, Anthony Elliott speaks with Professor Durante about his provocative research and asks pressing questions, including: which representations of the world are going to prevail? Will people adapt to AI or vice versa? And, fundamentally: who will adapt to the representation of whom?

Massimo Durante is Professor in Philosophy of Law and Legal Informatics at the Department of Law, University of Turin. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Law, Department of Law, University of Turin, and a Ph.D. in Moral Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, Paris IV Sorbonne. He is vice-coordinator of the Joint International Doctoral Degree in “Law, Science, and Technology” and Faculty Fellow of the Nexa Center for Internet and Society at the Polytechnics of Turin. His main interests are law and technology, information ethics, digital governance, privacy and data protection law, AI & law. His new book Computational Power is published by Routledge.

Monnet Conversations Episode 4: Amanda Brown - On Music from the Go-Betweens to Screen Composition

Anthony Elliott talks with Australian film composer Amanda Brown, renowned virtuoso and multi-instrumentalist of the legendary indie band The Go-Betweens. The discussion ranges from screen music to the legacy of The Go-Betweens to Brown’s recent success as the first woman in over 15 years to have won an Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award.

Amanda Brown is a screen music composer, musician and songwriter from Sydney, Australia. She has been composing music for stage and screen since 2000 and before that enjoyed a career as a multi-instrumentalist in several bands, playing violin, guitar, mandolin and oboe. She was a member of beloved Australian group The Go-Betweens, with whom she recorded two albums (Tallulah and 16 Lovers Lane) and toured the world. Amanda’s screen music credits include feature films Here Out West, A Sunburnt Christmas (with Damien Lane), Babyteeth and Son Of A Lion. Feature documentaries include Step Into Paradise (with Nick Wales), Brazen Hussies, The Family and Red Obsession (with Burkhard Dallwitz). Amanda has scored drama series RFDS, The Secrets She Keeps, On The Ropes (with Endorphin) and Grace Beside Me.

Monnet Conversations Episode 5: Amanda Brown - Toby Walsh: AI, The Digital Revolution and Everyday Life

Toby Walsh is a leading researcher in Artificial Intelligence. He is a Laureate Fellow and Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence in the School of Computer Science and Engineering at UNSW Sydney, and he is also an adjunct fellow at CSIRO Data61. He was named by the Australian newspaper as a "rock star" of Australia's digital revolution. He has been elected a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, a fellow of the ACM, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and of the European Association for Artificial Intelligence. He has won the prestigious Humboldt Prize as well as the NSW Premier's Prize for Excellence in Engineering and ICT, and the ACP Research Excellence award. He has previously held research positions in England, Scotland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland and Sweden.

Monnet Conversations Episode 6: Nishant Shandilya: The promotion of EU-Australia Collaboration

Nishant Shandilya is the Country Representative of Australia and New Zealand for EURAXESS Worldwide, an initiative of the European Commission that addresses barriers to the mobility of researchers and seeks to enhance scientific collaboration between Europe and the rest of the world. He has advised private and public sector clients in different areas, including innovation, R&D support mechanisms, economic development, SMEs development, evaluations and project management. He has prominently led strategy, innovation and international research projects – including European Commission funded grants (FP7 and Horizon 2020) and tenders, specifically in the fields of ICT, Internationalisation and Social Innovation. This included being actively involved in coordinating and writing grant and tender proposals, preparing strategic roadmaps, carrying out financial projections and budgeting, preparing communication, dissemination and exploitation plans, risk assessments and solutions planning. He has lead-wrote evaluation studies and impact assessment reports through tenders for several EC DGs.

In addition to helping run a few Centre of Excellences’, he has also managed workshops and exhibitions in different parts of the world. Prior to relocating to Sydney, he had been working as a Senior International Consultant at SPI – Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação, Porto, Portugal, an international consulting group with offices located in Europe (Portugal and Spain), North America (USA) and Asia (China) and SPI Ventures. He seconded as a Project Manager at the European Business and Innovation Centres Network (EBN), a network of around 150 quality-certified EU|BICs (business and innovation centres) and 70 other organisations that support the development and growth of innovative entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs.