Thinking Like a Cybernetic Engineer

INSTRUCTORS: Paul Wong & Maia Gould (3A Institute, Australian National University)

REGISTRATION & FEES: $100, capacity 25. Buy ticket 13A or 13B during or after conference registration

SCHEDULE: This tutorial has one required session, and it is offered twice:

13A is deal for attendees in the Americas, E+SE Asia, AU, NZ
Tues, Oct 20, 3–6:00 pm San Francisco = 7:00 pm São Paulo = Wed, Oct 21, 9:00 am Melbourne / convert time zone


13B is ideal for attendees in the Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia, AU, NZ
Thurs, Oct 22, 6–9:00 pm Melbourne = 4:00 pm Tokyo = 12:30 pm New Delhi = 9:00 Johannesberg = 8:00 am London / convert time zone


Cybernetic engineering combines next-generation systems engineering with social science and humanities critical and creative thinking skills. This session offers participants an introduction to cybernetics, an overview of some of the concepts, tools and skills in the cybernetic engineering toolkit, and a chance to apply cybernetic thinking to a case study.

  • By the end of the session, participants will be able to:
  • Describe cybernetic engineering and its history
  • Discuss the conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of cybernetic engineering
  • Assess how cybernetic engineering could be applied in their own place of work.


The tutorial will include a mixture of presented content, small-group discussion and activities. No prior knowledge is necessary; participants will require a computer with Zoom capabilities (a phone screen will be too small to engage effectively in the activities).

Participants will be asked to take in short readings and/or videos prior to the session.

This tutorial is adapted from the Data course in the 3A Institute’s CPS Building Blocks series of short-courses.


Paul Wong is a Senior Fellow at the 3A Institute (3Ai) at the Australian National University. He completed his PhD with the Automated Reasoning Group in the Research School of Information Sciences and Engineering at the ANU. Paul was formerly a lecturer in Software Engineering at the University of Wollongong, a Senior Policy Analyst with the Commonwealth Grants Commission, and a Defence Analyst with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation. Over the last decade, Paul has been a data practitioner covering all aspects of the strategic use of data as an enterprise and national asset. Paul has managed enterprise class systems and data, played a key role in the establishment of a national consortium to support digital research infrastructure, and contributed to the improvement of research data management practices nationally.  Since 2014, Paul also founded a private consultancy business to provide strategic data advisory, analytical and training services for organisations.

Maia Gould is engagement and impact lead for the 3A Institute, where she explores collaborations with academia, government, community organisations and private industry. Maia loves working at the intersection between disciplines. After studying arts and science at university 20 years ago, she trained and worked as a science writer and has since held a variety of strategy, research, communications and business development roles. Through a keen interest in emerging technology, she completed a Masters of Bioethics focusing on the communication issues involved in democratic decision-making on complex scientific issues (e.g. stem cell research). She has worked with some of Australia’s premier non-profit organisations and managed large-scale social research on issues such as mental health and corporate social responsibility.

How to Register

Tutorials are open to EPIC2020 attendees on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign up during conference registration, or add a ticket to your existing registration: