We are determined to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature.



    Enact new visions for economic transitions through ethical economic and ecological relationships (prosperity)


    Harness the benefits of AI and automation in planning for sustainability (prosperity).


SDG 1.4: By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance.

SDG 5.b: Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women.

SDG 8.2: Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors. 

SDG 8.3: Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation; and encourage the formalisation and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services.

SDG 9.4: By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities.

SDG 9.5: Enhance scientific research; upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people; and public and private research and development spending.


“The 21st century calls for a far more ambitious and global economic goal: meeting the needs of all within the means of the planet. The challenge now is to create economies, local to global, that ensure no one falls short on life’s essentials – from food and housing to healthcare and political voice – while safeguarding Earth’s life- giving systems, from a stable climate and fertile soils to healthy oceans and a protective ozone layer.”



“Many businesses in the region are aware of the need to automate function in their businesses but not across the technology that exists and ways it could be implemented. Even more than this, most businesses don’t know who can assist them in finding out this information.”



Manufacturing in NSW beyond business as usual

  • Manufacturing remains a significant activity in Australia’s economy and supports 1.27million jobs.
  • NSW contains nearly 30% of Australia’s direct manufacturing workforce, with Food manufacturing far outstripping other product areas in terms of numbers employed (followed by Fabricated Metal Products and Other Machinery).
  • Manufacturing plays a major role in the social inclusion of people from many different backgrounds and is where the productive capacity of the society is nurtured.
  • Our research in the manufacturing sector has found that there is a move to a businessculture that is ‘more than smart’ and ‘more than green.’
  • This culture of manufacturing situates technological advancements in the wider social context where concerns for good jobs are placed alongside the demand for greater productivity and financial returns. It also focuses on environmental sustainability at all stages of the production process and supply chain, as well as looking to the greenfield renewable energy sector and its associated new business opportunities.

The United Nations 2030 Agenda is predicated on the basis that gross domestic product (GDP) can be decoupled from resource use and carbon emissions. However, an important number of scientific and economic studies warn that the planet can only safely sustain human consumption at or below 50 billion tons of ‘stuff’ each year. This includes everything from raw materials to livestock, minerals to metals: everything humans produce for consumption. At present the world is consuming 80 billion tons each year – roughly 60% more than the safe limit. Under business-as-usual conditions, economic growth will likely drive global resource use to an astounding 180 billion tons per year by 2050. That is more than three times the safe limit. Globally, the building and construction sector accounted for 36% of final energy use and 39% of energy and process-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2018, 11% of which resulted from manufacturing building materials and products such as steel, cement and glass.15 Rebuilding sustainable and resilient communities and regions begins with rethinking this approach and acknowledging the land as pedagogy, where healing, mobilisation, decolonisation, healing and transformation are necessary steps towards the sustainability and resilience of our region.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. There is no internationally agreed definition of AI however it can include any software technology with at least one of the following capabilities: perception (including audio, visual, textual, and tactile); decision-making; prediction; automatic knowledge extraction and pattern recognition from data; interactive communication; and logical reasoning.16 The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) is shaping an increasing range of sectors and AI is expected to affect global productivity, equality and inclusion and environmental outcomes. The capabilities of AI such as automating routine tasks, analysing big data, and bringing intelligence and learning to various processes, can enhance capacity to understand and solve complex, dynamic and interconnected global challenges such as the SDGs. There are also potential negative impacts of AI on sustainable development and there is currently a lack of research assessing the medium- and long-term impacts of AI. Research shows that AI may act as an enabler on 134 targets across all SDGs, generally through a technological improvement, however, 59 targets (35%, also across all SDGs) may experience a negative impact from the development of AI.

Algorithms and AI currently shape all our lives and have the potential to renew longstanding inequalities when designed by a non-diverse workforce. We urgently need new digital platforms that are underpinned by different values and visions. The ethical and societal implications of algorithms, data and AI (ADA) is an area of critical data studies and emerging research at Western. With advances in the Internet of Things (IoT) and Communication Technology Systems (CTS) space, current initiatives at Western include enabling sustainable houses, precision agriculture and co-construction with agricultural landholders. These all require connections with critical data studies. We believe these tools hold great prospective development over the next decade and we are committed to ethical and careful developments through our CORE areas.


  • Deliver 21C Curriculum Challenge ‘Innovative Entrepreneurs’ to develop graduates that are resilient, technologically-savvy leaders with advanced knowledge and practical skills; and
  • An inter-disciplinary teaching program across schools from Undergraduate to Masters that includes Science and Technology Studies, critical data studies, data and digital literacies, applied AI and ethics.
  • Enable accessibility through transport strategies that support the connectivity across the community and campus network;
  • Sustainably manage space utilisation and increase  flexibility across the campus network to support Hy-Flex teaching methods;
  • Enablement of AI through incorporating supporting infrastructure and tools into technology roadmap; and
  • Leveraging the Penrith Innovative Sustainability Precinct as a demonstration site for leveraging ethical data to underpin research and teaching activities.
  • Ethical and equitable technologies;
  • Beyond business-as-usual manufacturing;
  • Smart computing for agriculture research expansion;• Sustainable construction and housing; and
  • MARVI: Managing aquifer recharge and sustaining groundwater use through village- level intervention as an economic model for liveability and prosperity.
  • Develop Western Growth – emerging CBD campuses providing the opportunity for important cross-sectoral collaboration, such as with UNSW at the Parramatta Engineering Hub;
  • Incorporation of ethical economic and ecological relationship development objectivesinto the University’s partnership strategies;
  • Development of the Penrith Sustainable Innovation Community with embedded collaborative teaching, research and engagement with industry partners committed to the same vision; and
  • Development of the Western Sydney AgriPark to leverage the concentration of industry, teaching and research innovation in agriculture and horticulture located at Hawkesbury Campus, with the focus on developing intensive, high-yield, sustainable, technology-interfaced, agricultural commercial practices to provide a continuum between teaching, research, innovation and commercial activation.


Embrace Indigenous knowledges for pathways to sustainability and Caring for Country.

Value biodiversity linking human wellbeing to environmental health.

Enable urban resilience and adaptive capacity in our region.

Step up efforts to support climate action in our region.

Promote agroecological principles for just food systems.

Activate environmental justice and social inclusion to tackle inequality in our region.

Collaborate with regional, national and international organisations across all sectors to deliver impact across these priority statements.

Engage with the Strategy

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