Take back Tech


Over the last ten years, the advent of smartphone technology has created the growth of global gig economy monopolies and social media giants. These platforms are re-shaping our entire lived experience by exploiting workers and taking advantage of the frailties of the human mind through manipulative and subversive platform designs. Platforms are being designed with the intention of creating monopolies, paying the minimum to workers, using psychological manipulation to persuade users to increase usage and finally use their data for internal and external advertising profit. Resistance is mobilising to transform the ownership of these platforms and a mindfulness renaissance is underway empowering people to use technology consciously.

Whether you are exploited as a gig worker or not, whether you consider yourself addicted to an app or not, we are all affected by these issues because they are changing the nature and depth of interaction that we experience everyday in our culture and in our communities.

A more open, dynamic and engaged public conversation is needed to better understand what it will take to re-shape the design, ownership, control of digital advances and our cultural response to them so we can resist algorithmically mechanised social automation and claim digital sovereignty to amplify our humanity.

This forum aims to start this conversation by facilitating a community conversation about how we can shape a response to these issues in the Brisbane community. Our speakers will participate in a facilitated conversation exploring some of the key issues before we open it up to the audience to become participants in co-creating the dialogue we need to have and exploring the possibilities for collective action.

Tea, coffee and snacks will be provided.


Shane Millsom, Small Businessman, Rideshare Driver and Rideshare Driver Co-operative Member

Shane Millsom has been a small business owner for many years, operating the adclone.com marketing design & communications platform. As a life-long I.T. professional, He has broad experience across multiple disciplines. Shane is particularly adept at creative problem solving and communicating technical solutions to a wide variety of audiences.

For the past year, Shane has taken on the challenge of becoming a professional rideshare driver. Initially, sourcing rides via Uber, he is now actively using Ola, Muve and GoCatch to diversify his customer base. As his dedication to the work increased, he identified key challenges that were common to other drivers, the rideshare industry as a whole. This lead to Shane seeking out and joining with like-minded individuals, who together are forming the Rideshare Driver Co-operative.

Elizabeth Elliott BA(Hons) MCCP CCLIN

Clinical Psychologist & Principal at Evolve Mindfulness Clinic Pty Ltd

Elizabeth first started operating under the business name Evolve in 2002. She was active in training other health professionals in mindfulness for clinical intervention in addition to offering individual therapies. Since those early beginnings, she expanded to commercial premises in Carina. Evolve mindfulness clinic has now been operating in Carina for six years. It is just a 5-minute drive from Carindale shopping centre on Old Cleveland Road. There are parking spaces at the back of the clinic and there is a regular bus stop just outside the clinic. The clinic offers individual, couples and family therapy programmes using current evidence-based therapies of which mindfulness is an important component.

Elizabeth completed her Masters of Clinical and Counselling Psychology training at the University of Queensland in 1993 and has been practising as a Clinical Psychologist for more than 25 years. She is a highly experienced therapist of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Emotional Focused Therapy. She has also been a practitioner of Mindfulness for 20 years and has a regular daily meditation practice of sitting and contemplation. She also has additional training in clinical hypnosis and dialectic informed behaviour therapy.

Elizabeth began her Mindfulness Training in the UK in 1996 at the world-renowned meditation centre, Gaia House in South West of England. From these beginnings she started to introduce Mindfulness as a core skill in pain management and has written on Attention Regulation in chronic pain management, Attention Regulation for Adults with Chronic Pain (2003) Arnold Press. ​

Elizabeth is a full member with the Psychology Board and is endorsed as a specialist Clinical Psychologist. She also has a special interest in mindfulness and Buddhist Psychotherapy as it applies to managing emotions. She offers supervision for already registered psychologists and other health professionals interested in developing skills in health psychology and mindfulness.

Peter Westoby is an Associate Professor in Social Science & Community Development.

Peter teaches at the School of Public Health & Social Work, Queensland University of Technology (QUT); a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Development Support, University of Free State, South Africa; and a Director with Community Praxis Cooperative.

He teaches and researches on community and social development theory and practice, dialogue studies and forced migration studies. He has worked in youth, community and organisation development for 28 years, within South Africa, Uganda, Vanuatu, PNG, the Philippines and Australia. He has published more than ten books, and 40+ professional journal articles. He is known for monograph’s such as Dialogical Community Development (2013) (Routledge), Soul, Community and Social Change (2016) (Ashgate/Routledge), and The Sociality of Refugee Healing (2009) (Common Ground); and has also edited several volumes including, with Shevellar, Learning and Mobilising for Community Development (2012) (Ashgate).

Peter particularly loves bushwalking, swimming, hanging out in independent bookshops, drinking good quality coffee, and home-making.


Councillor Jonathan Sri

Prior to becoming a City Councillor, Councillor Jonathan Sri has been a mediation facilitator, a youth worker, an events organiser, a law clerk, a carer for refugee children, a musician, a writer and a university tutor. He holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours), a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Queensland.

Councillor Sri was born in Brisbane and grew up in West Chermside. He first moved to the inner-city because he wanted to live in a higher-density neighbourhood with a vibrant nightlife and a flourishing music and arts scene. He is actively involved with a wide range of formal and informal community groups and subcultures, and is particularly passionate about standing up for the needs of residents on lower incomes who might sometimes be marginalised by the mainstream political system.

He loves Brisbane’s inner-south side and is determined to see it develop and evolve sustainably, with sufficient infrastructure investment to cope with a rapidly growing population.

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