ThoughtLAB-14: Dead Dirt

Dead Dirt is a ThoughtLAB-14 event where we invite a guest panel to interact with the audience to collaborate on ideas, analyse evidence and dream alternative futures.


Concrete fills the vast open land, fruit, meat and vegetables are 3D printed, and the need for new antibiotics was supplanted by virus technology long ago. It is the year 2050 where Dirt is Dead in our hearts and minds.

News that much of the world’s soils have only five more fertile harvests remaining is met largely with indifference. Surely technology will save us?

However, one world government is concerned and appoints you leader of its ‘Soil Army’. With your panel of experts, it is your task to imagine how we will reconnect citizens to the soil. Can you save our soil and with it, everyone on Earth?

Event facilitated by Maxine McKew, Honorary Fellow, Melbourne School of Education and author of the MUP publication, Class Act.

Date: Wednesday 7 October
Time: 6pm-7pm
Venue: LAB-14, 700 Swanston Street, Carlton
Getting there: Train Stop: Melbourne Central then tram. Tram Stop: Melbourne University
Tickets:  $14 full, $10 concession. Bookings essential, click below to register.

Panel members:
Lizzie Brown – CEO, Engineers without Borders
Søren Dahlgaard – artist
Helen Rowe – Principal, CoDesign Studio
Dr Tony Weatherley – soil scientist, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Science

This event also includes a live performance by Duo, Alice Bennett and Vincent Giles, of music composed by Vincent Giles based upon soil surrounding Carlton Connect and 50-year-old soil samples provided by Dr Tony Weatherley.

More information about the facilitator and panel members

Join us after this event for the opening of Dirty Secrets, an exhibition celebrating the International Year of Soil 2015.