How can artists and designers make social change? Do Good, Be Good is a symposium about art and creative work that both makes meaning and catalyses change...

Do Good, Be Good: Conference


2006 NSW

Steve Lambert - Sand Ocean Sky - The Commons


Steve Lambert

Steve Lambert (USA)

Artist and Activist

Steve Lambert is an American artist who works with issues of advertising and the use of public space. He is an artist, artistic activist, creative activist, co-founder of the Center for Artistic Activism and and Associate Professor at SUNY Purchase. 

Lambert made international news after the 2008 US election with The New York Times “Special Edition,” a replica of the “paper of record” announcing the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other good news. In the Summer of 2011 he began a national tour of Capitalism Works For Me! True/False – a 9 x 20ft sign allowing people to vote on whether capitalism worked for them. Steve has collaborated with groups from the Yes Men to the Graffiti Research Lab and Greenpeace. 

He is also the founder of the Center for Artistic Activism, the Anti-Advertising Agency, Add-Art (a Firefox add-on that replaces online advertising with art) and Self-Control (which blocks grownups from distracting websites so they can get work done). 

Steve’s projects and art works have won awards from Prix Ars Electronica, Rhizome/The New Museum, the Creative Work Fund, Adbusters Media Foundation, the California Arts Council, and others. Lambert’s work has been shown everywhere from museums to protest marches nationally and internationally, featured in over fourteen books, four documentary films, and is in the collections of The Sheldon Museum, the Progressive Insurance Company, and The Library of Congress.

Buy Tickets:
Do Good, Be Good: Keynote
Do Good, Be Good: Conference 
Masterclass with Steve Lambert 

Yoko Akama

Yoko Akama

Dr Yoko Akama is an Associate Professor in communication design at RMIT University. Her design practice is informed by Japanese philosophy of between-ness and mindfulness, to consider how and what futures can be created together. She has won several awards for her research with communities to strengthen their adaptive capacity for disaster resilience in Australia.

Her current work contributes towards the efforts of Indigenous Nations enact self-determination and governance. Yoko is a leader and co-founder of several design networks – Service Design Melbourne and Design and Social Innovation in Asia-Pacific – to support a diverse community of practice to tackle complex problems through design.

Genevieve Grieves

Genevieve Grieves

Genevieve Grieves is Worimi – traditionally from mid north coast New South Wales – and has lived on Kulin country in Melbourne for many years. She is an educator, curator, filmmaker, artist and oral historian who has accumulated nearly twenty years’ experience in the arts and culture industries. 

Some of her projects include the documentary, Lani’s Story; the video installation, Picturing the Old People; and, she was the Lead Curator of the internationally award-winning First Peoples exhibition at the Melbourne Museum.  Genevieve has a role as a public intellectual and speaker and is currently undertaking her PhD in arts, memorialisation and violence.  

Jill Bennett

Jill Bennett

Jill Bennett is director of the National Institute for Experimental Arts, UNSW, and founder of the upcoming Anxiety 2017 Festival.
She develops creative projects for neurodiverse communities, bringing together art, technology and health research to explore the experience of trauma, anxiety and memory loss.
Jess Scully. Vivid Ideas Curator, Policy Thinker, Festival Director, and Media Producer. AUS

Jess Scully

Vivid Ideas Curator, Policy Thinker and Media Producer

Jess Scully is a curator, policy thinker, festival director and media producer who is passionate about using creativity to inspire social change: she seeks to curate projects that inspire curiosity, spark conversation and explore opportunities for the arts and creativity to deliver impact in communities and add value to the broader economy. Jess is the curator of Vivid Ideas: an annual event connecting creative practitioners and businesses with global leaders, to support professional development and expand market opportunities for the sector. Spanning industries from art and architecture to gaming and filmmaking: the Vivid Ideas program now brings together close to 80,000 participants and has been recognised by the Guardian as one of the top ten ideas festivals in the world.

Jess is one of the curators of TEDxSydney: since 2013 she has collaborated with a talented team of volunteers to help deliver one of the most sophisticated talks events in the world. As a public art consultant, Jess is delivering permanent public art and temporary projects for Green Square Library and Plaza. She is also public art curator for 60 Martin Place and Barrack Place, and public realm activations at Quay Quarter Sydney. In the past, Jess served as policy advisor to the NSW Minister of the Arts, directed the Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards (SOYA), and edited magazines including Empty, Yen and SummerWinter.


Natalie Jeremijenko

Natalie Jeremijenko

Artist & Engineer

One of America’s brightest digital pioneers, Natalie Jeremijenko has been named one of the Top 100 young innovators by the MIT Technology Review, and one of the Top 40 most influential designers by I.D. Magazine. She now directs the xDesign Environmental Health Clinic at NYU. A fascinating speaker, Jeremijenko gives audiences a glimpse into the future of design.

Natalie Jeremijenko is the former Director of Yale’s Engineering Design Studio. Her experimental design—hence xDesign—explores the opportunities new technologies present for social change. It centers on structures of participation in the production of knowledge, information, and the political and social possibilities—and limitations—of information and emerging technologies. Much of it involves biochemistry, physics, neuroscience and precision engineering, and almost all of it is carried out through public experiments.

xDesign’s environmental goal is to develop and prescribe locally optimized and often playful strategies to effect remediation of environmental systems, producing measurable and mediagenic evidence and coordinating diverse projects to effective material change. Some of Jeremijenko’s work includes a permanent installation on the roof of Postmasters Gallery in Chelsea Model Urban Development which provides infrastructure and facilities for high-density bird cohabitation. Her work spans a range of media from statistical indices (such as the Despondency Index, which linked the Dow Jones to the suicide rate at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge) to biological substrates (such as the installations of cloned trees in pairs in various urban micro-climates) to robotics (such as the development of her famous feral robotic dog packs that investigated environmental hazards). 

Jeremijenko is also a visiting professor at the Royal College of Art, in London and an artist not-in-residence at the Institute for the Future, Palo Alto.

Buy Tickets: 
Do Good, Be Good: Keynote
Do Good, Be Good: Conference 

Rebecca Conroy

Rebecca Conroy

Rebecca Conroy is an interdisciplinary creature working across site, community engagement, and performative interventions through artist led activity. Her work is bound up in mimetic strategies and the playful occupation of non-art fields such as urban planning, economics, and housing, particularly where it concerns the behaviour of cities and the rise of the creative entrepreneur within finance capitalism.

She has previously worked in the role of Festival Director (Gang Festival), Associate Director (Performance Space); Provocateur (Splendid Arts Lab & Artist Wants a Life) and has been the co-founder and co-director of two artist run spaces in Sydney, The Wedding Circle and Bill+George.  From 2011 – 2014 she was conductor of The Yurt Empire, a rogue housing project and encounter in the inner city of Sydney.

Right now, she is developing a project involving radical archiving with a network of artist run libraries. She recently built a bike-book-machine and is currently devising plans for an alternative economy in the shape of A Very Beautiful Laundromat for 2017. She is also the conductor of The Drip Feed an online curated platform of critical nutrition for the small to medium arts sector, and in 2015 spent 3 months going on a series of dates with economists in Europe and North America, for an audio piece called Dating an Economist produced by Radio National (June 2016).

Paul Dwyer

Paul Dwyer

Senior Lecturer, Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Sydney

Paul Dwyer is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Sydney. His research focuses on performance and social change, particularly in relation to the politics of reconciliation. He has published widely on the work of Brazilian theatremaker and activist, Augusto Boal, as well as restorative justice practices in settings as diverse as the NSW juvenile justice system and the villages of Bougainville (PNG). His professional theatre credits include a series of documentary theatre works made in collaboration with companies such as version 1.0, Belvoir St, Ilbijerri Theatre and Powerhouse Youth Theatre.

Patricia Hoeppe

Patricia Hoeppe (GER)

Patricia Hoeppe is Professor of Intermedia Arts at the University of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt. Her practice as a performance artist focuses on unresolved social situations, seeking to “form” them artistically. Patricia is represented by imai, the intermedia arts institute of Dusseldorf, and has exhibited throughout Germany, Europe and the US. Recent projects include The Big Arrival (workshops with recently arrived refugees) and Performed City (where thousands of residents performatively examined the problems of social integration in their small town).

In 2017, Patricia and her colleagues at Frankfurt University will launch a new Masters program: Performance Studies in Social Fields.


Event Details

How can artists and designers make social change?

Do Good, Be Good is a symposium about art and creative work that both makes meaning and catalyses change. Thinkers from the worlds of art, design and performance are coming together to:

  • Advance understanding of art with impact in changing behaviours and conditions

  • Build support structures for socially engaged art

  • Explain the diversity of approaches and strategies for making work with meaning

  • Discuss how we evaluate and quantify the impact of engaged projects.

In this half-day event, leading Australian and international practitioners will present short presentations and participate in a series of conversations exploring the both the ethical and aesthetic considerations that arise in socially engaged projects.



1.00pm : Session 1

TIME - comparing outsider vs embedded approaches

  • Moderated by Paul Dwyer (Senior Lecturer, Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Sydney)

  • Artist and activist Steve Lambert explains his work in public space, creating work that he takes to various places, and engaging the diverse communities within them

  • Genevieve Grieves will discuss her work in countering racism and empowering Indigenous communities


2.10pm : Session 2

PLACE - highly localised vs globally distributed projects

  • Moderated by Jess Scully (Vivid Ideas Curator)

  • Australian-born, US-based artist Natalie Jerimijenko will take us through her work at NYU and establishing the Environmental Health Clinic - developing and prescribing systems that improve local human and environmental health.

  • Designer Yoko Akama will detail the role design can play in building strength-based approaches to empowering communities


3.00pm : Introduction to The Drip Feed

  • Rebecca Conroy takes us through The Drip Feed, an online portal for the community arts and small to medium sector: a go-to place for new thinking, a guide to opportunities and callouts, a portfolio for projects, connecting the local and international stages.


3.35pm : Session 3

OUTCOMES - measuring impact and generating action

  • Moderated by Rebecca Conroy (The Drip Feed)

  • Artist Patricia Hoeppe will discuss drawing in audiences in her work, to performatively examine unresolved social situations

  • Jill Bennett explains how she’s quantifying the impact of her projects, working with people with anxiety and dementia


Towards the end of the symposium, the speakers will come together in a panel discussing conclusions, with the outcome of producing tangible next steps and furthering the dialogue of creating art and driving social change. There will also be an opportunity for Audience Q&A.

Do Good Be Good will provide useful case studies for models that have worked around Australia and the world and will suggest research and reporting methodologies that can measure the impact of arts in communities, causes and campaigns.

This event is presented by Vivid Ideas, Sydney Ideas and the Seymour Centre. You may also be interested in the Do Good, Be Good: Keynote


Image: Steve Lambert: Sand Ocean Sky - The Commons (2009)

*Booking and transaction fees may apply.

Personalise MyVivid

Want the site to get more relevant to your tastes? Tap a few taste bubbles.

Want the site to get more relevant to your tastes? Sign up for a MyVivid Account.