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MOD.Cast: Meet Rowan

Posted 16 Mar

MOD. at UniSA
Screen Shot 2019-11-20 at 2.43.20 pm

In this episode of MOD.Cast we’re meeting Rowan. Rowan is a self-taught bio hacker. They have already created a bio-implant that helps to monitor their anxiety, and their new creation is the world’s first completely synthetic and emission-free hamburger. Rowan is ready to take their burger to the world, but will we see lab grown burgers before 2050? Madina Jaffari takes us on a journey to better understand the future of food and learning.

Schools don’t look the same in 2050, in fact learning as we know it has changed completely. Professor Abelardo Pardo, Dean of Programs at UniSA STEM says that technology has meant we are able to better access information than before.

“The technology we have today allows you to narrow down solutions and explore a space much more thoroughly, it enables you to analyse a problem or a situation or a challenge and access knowledge much more efficiently.”

Personalised education will be important in the future, enabling people to use high level skills, something that will be increasingly important the way that society is changing. This is seen already in research. Luckily for us, the future of education looks strong. Professor Abelardo says that by using more creative processes, we will have much more effective ways of solving problems that affect all of us. Hopefully all leaders can agree on this too.

Increased population and climate change could push us to take up artificial meat. These synthetic foods are growing rapidly already, but are there any other benefits to lab-grown food? Professor Rachel Ankeny, from the University of Adelaide, thinks there is.

“Depending on your body, you can change what you eat to supplement that. There are a lot more nutritionally enhanced foods that could help you have better control over your health. In many ways, eating in 2050 is probably more nutritionally sound than it is in 2020.”

There are a few other big changes too. Farming will be forced to be different, with changing patterns in rainfall and soil composition meaning that farming can’t happen the same ways we traditionally have. And when it comes to prices, they are likely to go up. Rachel explains that food has been too cheap in the early 21st century, and increased prices reflect changing consumption patterns, we currently eat – and waste – too much.

2050 is far away, but as we look at the future of food and learning we can see the ways that we are on the way already. With lab-grown meat growing in popularity and learning already changing, it’s likely that we won’t have to wait 30 years to see lots of these changes. Why don’t you meet Rowan in person at MOD. and see what you think of this sort of future?

MOD.Cast Season 2 was developed by and stars University of South Australia journalism students Anna Day, Meika Bottrill and Madina Jaffari. It was produced by Radio Adelaide’s Podcast Works program, with special thanks to Sarah Martin and Nikki Marcel, along with Research Marketing Coordinator, Elke Kleinig.

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