Pause Fest speakers predict the key trends for 2019

In a little over a week, one of the creative, business, and tech industry’s biggest events, Pause Fest will take over Federation Square, Melbourne. To get prepared we asked some of their speakers to predict what they think the key trends for 2019 will be.

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Across three days, Pause Fest will bring together over 200 of the best and brightest minds leading the way in creative, business, and tech industries around the world. For a little insight into what you can expect, we spoke to three of the festival’s speakers to hear what they are predicting for 2019.

– Read our chat with Pause Fest founder George Hedon here –

– Check out our guide to convincing your boss about Pause Fest here – 

Dr Marissa Rosenberg – Senior Research Scientist, Neuroscience, NASA


I think that we will start seeing a lot of wearable biosensors embedded into augmented and virtual realities in the next year both to improve the user’s experience and to increase the meaningful data on how the human body and mind are being affected.

Astronauts return to Earth extremely disoriented and have difficulty performing even basic tasks like standing up from a chair. We have developed a virtual simulation of their disorientation and are working to train them to be less affected by it. This work will be critical in reducing risk for astronauts when they go to the moon or Mars where there won’t be a team of people waiting to help them out of the capsule.


How To Prepare For Space Travel, Wednesday 6 February, Deakin Edge Stage, 12.40pm

Dr Marissa Rosenberg will explore what happens to the human body when we leave Earth. Learn how zero gravity affects an astronaut’s ability to walk, talk and think, and what NASA is doing to prepare our bodies for space travel.

So Let’s Say We’ve Made It To Mars…Now What?, Thursday 7 February, Deakin Edge Stage, 4.10pm

Dr Marissa Rosenberg will moderate this interactive panel discussing what would happen if we could get humans to Mars with their basic needs met. How would we build a sustainable society, and could a Mars colony develop its own self-sufficient economy with Martian resources? Jocelyn Dunn (NASA), Rose Herceg (WPP AUNZ), Guy Murphy (Mars Society Australia), and James Beacham (CERN) will discuss.

Hugh Forrest – Chief Programming Officer, South by Southwest (SXSW)


With 25 tracks that range from Food to Design to Film Industry (and many many more), we cover so many different kinds of issues at SXSW. So it’s hard to pick out just a few trends. But within all these topics that we cover, the theme of massive creativity almost always rises to the top. I think this theme becomes even more important as artificial intelligence transitions from theory to reality. In the next few years, the ability to think, to act, and to build in massively creative ways becomes an increasingly valuable commodity.


Digital Distrust Is The New Normal. Friday 8 February, NGV Theatre, 10.40am

“At PauseFest, I’ll be talking about how the tech industry can and should move forward after a very tough 2018, as more and more consumers are distrustful of many of the systems that only a few years ago filled the world with such optimism for a better future,” Forrest says. In his session (broadcast from SXSW headquarters in Austin), Forrest will offer a few concrete solutions for how we can all adopt a more balanced and reasonable view of tech in 2019 and beyond,.

Parneet Pal – Chief Science Officer, Wisdom Labs


As we step into 2019, a lot of us will continue to report a crisis of meaning at work i.e. we are increasingly disengaged in the workplace, while also facing a lot of uncertainty about the future, given the advancements in technology and how artificial intelligence might affect our livelihoods. In addition, mental and emotional health will continue to stay at the forefront when it comes to our wellbeing in the workplace. Stress and burnout are epidemics across professions. Our attention spans are at the mercy of our digital distractions. Anxiety and depression rates show no signs of abating. For employers and entrepreneurs alike, this means that they will need to pay more attention than ever to their own and employees’ mental health. They will also have to reconsider the kinds of cultures (connected or disconnected) they are creating in their organizations.


Scaling Wisdom in the Age of Technology and Uncertainty, Friday 8 February, NGV Theatre, 11.20am

“My talk will dive deep into the state of the workplace and the challenges, but focus mostly on a key solution to address these issues. Using the science of mindfulness – and the evidence of its effects on health (mental, emotional and physical) as well as workplace culture (productivity, creativity, social relationships) – I will offer a tangible way we can scale the kind of wise business leadership that is crucial at this point to navigate this uncertain technological future,” Pal says. Her sessions will discuss how we can use mental resilience and emotional intelligence to better prepare for an unpredictable future where our jobs, wellbeing and planet are at stake.

Pause Fest 2019 will take over Federation Square, Melbourne from Wednesday 6 February until Friday 8 February 2019. Tickets are available through the festival’s website.