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Towards a Positive Internet

July 6 - July 7

Towards a positive internet

This interactive workshop aims to identify the necessary building blocks of a more positive internet including platform policy, conditions for meaningful community formation and personal wellbeing.

Creating positive internet futures for everyone, including children and young people, requires attention to the already successful elements of the internet and social media. By identifying the spaces where the internet supports human flourishing we can create a more positive internet and social media spaces. This workshop aims to identify the necessary building blocks of a more positive internet including platform policy, conditions for meaningful community formation and personal wellbeing. This will be achieved by bringing together experts from across Australia to direct future research attention to internet spaces where people experience joy, fun and connection as understanding these spaces can help build a better internet for everyone.

This interactive workshop seeks to generate creative responses to the perceived internet ‘crisis’. The internet, and specifically social media, is often positioned as a threat to democracy and a disruption to a functioning society, to which the only solution is to ‘turn it off’. Critiques of the internet are important work, however, in this workshop we seek to move away from ‘big critique’ (Burgess, 2022) and focus on the conditions that could produce a more positive version on the internet. Drawing from the work of Halberstam (2011) this workshop seeks to uncover alternative internet futures that “dwell in the murky waters of a counterintuitive, often impossibly dark and negative realm of critique and refusal” (2011, p. 2).

This workshop focuses on what Halberstam might consider the “rewards of failure” (p. 3) by focusing on where the internet has functioned and produced positive and pro-social outcomes amongst its many shortcomings. Through hands-on and engaging activities, the focus of this workshop is to combine the expertise of our participants and collectively generate new research-informed insights that help us move towards a positive internet. The workshop aims to bring together a diverse range of academics, from HDR students to senior researchers, to collaboratively tackle this question and consider how we can build a better internet by rescuing the failures of this present. 


This workshop focuses on the following key themes:

  • Designing internet spaces
    The technological affordances that support human flourishing online.
  • Existing success
    Identifying ‘successful’ internet space and critically examining how and why they work.
  • Looking back to look forward
    What lessons can we apply from the internet past to create a positive internet in the future?
  • Speculative internet futures
    Using their expertise, attendees will design what their ‘ideal’ future internet would look like.


The objectives of this workshop are to:

  • Bring together scholars who are working broadly in the area of a ‘positive internet’
  • Create a collective, public-facing manifesto for ‘building a positive internet’
  • Create a community of practice across social science disciplines that are working on identifying and designing for human flourishing online
  • Generate open-access academic outputs that speak to the theme of a positive internet
  • Contribute to imagining better internet futures


Expressions of Interest for this event have now closed.


This event is co-sponsored by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child and the ARC of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S).


If you have any questions, please contact


July 6
July 7
Event Category:


Brisbane, 4000