DMRC Digital Inclusion and Participation Keyword series – Forum #5 – 'Agriculture'

Key details:

Date: Thursday 28 July 2022

Time: 10:00am – 11:30am

Format: Online only via Zoom (no RSVP required)

Several times per year, the DMRC’s Digital Inclusion and Participation program runs a seminar that involves and engages scholars and practitioners from within and external to QUT. For each event we select a key word to inspire discussion and debate.

Our fifth forum will be on Thursday 28th July from 10.00 to 11.30am (AEST) and will focus on the keyword ‘agriculture’. The intent is to broaden our conversations about digital inclusion to consider economic and social participation associated with agriculture in both rural and urban settings.

The key word event will be a 90-minute Zoom seminar comprising of three speakers: an established researcher, a higher degree researcher, and an industry practitioner. Each panel member will speak for 15 minutes addressing the theme of ‘agriculture and digital participation’ in relation to their field of work or research. This will be followed by 30 mins of Q&A from the audience.

Topic introduction: Digital participation and agriculture

Agriculture: (

Noun: the science or practice of farming.

Agriculture is one of Australia’s leading industries, representing 55% of Australian land use and 12% of goods and services exports in 2020–21 [1]. Government and industry bodies have set an ambitious target for Australian agriculture to be a $100 billion industry by 2030, which will only be achieved if there is wide-spread adoption of digital technologies such as autonomous machines, IoT, drones, sensors, blockchain and more [2].

Yet the transition to digital agriculture is not being achieved evenly across agricultural sectors and geographies. Owing to a combination of digital inclusion challenges (such as digital connectivity, availability and affordability of technologies, digital skills), many rural and urban farming businesses and communities are being left behind. Moreover, digital agriculture evolves differently depending on the context, a reality which has not been well canvased in policy and research related to adoption of digital agriculture.

Our panel will address a broad range of issues related to if and how digital agriculture may be taken up in different contexts, for what, and whose benefit.


We will hear three diverse interpretations of the theme ‘agriculture and digital participation’.

Dr Rudolf Messner is a Research Associate in the QUT School of Management, Faculty of Business & Law. He is a Chief Investigator in the QUT Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy in the Agrifood Systems program. Rudolf was involved with the Food Agility CRC project How to Build a Digital Circular Food Economy. He is now employed on a new Fight Food Waste CRC project Meat Waste Mapping, a QUT & RMIT partnership with Meat & Livestock Australia and the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Jessie Roberts is Studio Lead at Dirt Lab – an impact-driven AgTech Venture Studio that builds, partners and scales early-stage Food and AgTech ventures in regenerative agriculture. Jessie comes from a background of industry engagement for academia, specifically focused on data science and agriculture. Jessie holds a Master of Philosophy in Statistics that investigated the communication of statistical uncertainty to non-expert audiences, and a Bachelor our Biotechnology and Commercialisation. While her current role has taken her one step away from academia, she loves the challenge of translating or transferring knowledge, insights, and innovation from academia to start-ups and new ventures.
Carrie-Ann Wilson is a Research Fellow in the QUT Digital Media Research Centre. Her area of specialty includes technology adoption and digital inclusion in rural, regional and remote Australia. Her MPhil research explores the adoption and effective use of connectivity technologies in small and medium enterprises in rural, regional and remote Australia. Carrie’s commitment to this work stems from experience in delivering digital solutions to regionally based businesses and organisations, as founder of a digital design business. Carrie has a strong background in design thinking and experience in the application of human-centered methodologies to understand user needs, motivations and behaviours. Formerly an IT specialist at Griffith University, she is well-versed in supporting users in the adoption and effective use of new technologies.

Read more about the DMRC Digital inclusion and participation program here.