Tech entrepreneur and astronaut to headline ACTIVATE 2022 event

17 August 2022

220815 ACT Ansari

The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) has today announced astronaut, entrepreneur and global change maker Dr Anousheh Ansari will headline ATSE’s inaugural ACTIVATE Symposium from October 25-27 at the Sydney Masonic Centre.

ATSE is also delighted to announce the Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR) and Australia’s national science agency CSIRO as Platinum sponsors of the event.


Dr Ansari is CEO of the XPRIZE Foundation, the world’s leader in designing incentive competitions that tackle the world’s grandest challenges in exploration, environment and human equity. To date, XPRIZE has launched 25 competitions totaling more than USD292 million in prize purses. Additionally, Dr Ansari has pioneered several new initiatives focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning – including eliminating algorithmic bias to improve diversity and inclusion in AI.


High profile speakers joining Dr Ansari at the symposium include The Hon Alister Henskens SC MP, NSW Minister for Science, Innovation & Technology; Professor Michelle Simmons AO FRA FAA FRSN FTSE, 2018 Australian of the Year and quantum physicist; Professor Tanya Monro AC FAA FTSE, Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist; Andrew Penn, Telstra CEO; Mikaela Jade, Cabrogal woman and Founder & CEO of Indigital and Professor Veena Sahajwalla FAA FTSE, UNSW SMaRT Centre Director


Professor Hugh Bradlow FTSE, President of ATSE said, “We are thrilled to have Dr Ansari and a cast of over 50 other speakers join ATSE’s inaugural symposium. With the support of the Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR) and CSIRO, ACTIVATE will identify immediate actions to tackle the dire skills shortage Australia faces in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).


“We are proud to highlight Dr Ansari, the first Muslim woman in space, and the first woman private space explorer, as a change maker who is ensuring that diversity and inclusion are incorporated in solution-seeking for challenges from climate change to sustainable food supply and the digital revolution.”


Dr Ansari is proud to be part of ACTIVATE as it promotes the human drive to create a better economic, social and technological future. She says, “The Academy is presenting the opportunities to act now to make changes to the lives of global citizens in this decade and the next. The issues of climate change, the STEM skills shortage, and translating research into real world solutions are universal and each of us must consider how we can contribute to change.”


Professor Bronwyn Fox FTSE, Chief Scientist of CSIRO and ATSE Fellow said the national science agency was proud to support ACTIVATE 2022.


“Solving Australia’s greatest challenges will need diverse groups of people to harness a range of STEM skills, so events like ACTIVATE 2022 are important for collaboration and inspiring our next generation of STEM leaders.


CSIRO is proud to support opportunities for our leaders to turn to science for answers.

— Professor Bronwyn Fox FTSE, Chief Scientist of CSIRO and ATSE Fellow

About ACTIVATE 2022

ACTIVATE 2022 will bring together 500 high-level representatives from across government, business and academia and feature keynote conversations between global and national future shapers, prominent technology entrepreneurs, industry leaders and researchers who will share their vision for a technology powered, human driven future for all Australians. ACTIVATE will also celebrate the outstanding achievement of Australians across five prestigious award categories, working in applied science, technology and engineering. The annual ATSE Awards will showcase the winners in an exclusive gala dinner event on October 26 at Doltone House Jones Bay Wharf in Sydney.


For more information and to register for the ACTIVATE 2022 symposium visit





Note to media
Professor Hugh Bradlow FTSE, President, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering is available for interview.


Media contact
Aidan Muirhead – Communications Manager | 0409 856 886


The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering is a Learned Academy of independent experts helping Australians understand and use technology to solve complex problems.