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Influencers are the New Public Intellectuals

With Hannah Ferguson, Mary Mcgillivray and Sisonke Msimang, Moderated by Bri Lee

10 March 2024

In the Studio

Sydney Opera House Presents

Talks and Ideas

In theatre and livestreamed

These days on Instagram you’re just as likely to get a lesson in medieval architecture as you are a teeth-whitening strip. But what does it mean for education and public discourse to be wrapped up with online personas and monetisation?

Co-curated by Bri Lee

The public intellectual has been reborn as the public influencer.

Nicholas Carr 

Knowledge and culture in the online marketplace

For a long time, the word 'influencer' conjured stereotypes of activewear and dubious hot takes. But it's 2024 and social media has well-and-truly revolutionised the public square. Today, the word influencer can refer to an activist or academic who shares short videos on TikTok, YouTube, or Instagram to explain complex concepts on niche subjects for a global audience. From Substack to Twitter threads, podcasting to Patreon, there are many opportunities to monetise knowledge-sharing. What does it mean for women to be able to build audiences free from traditional gatekeepers? Or are the gatekeepers now just the shady algorithms of BigTech bros? Come along for a heated and hilarious debate with five very public, very intellectual influencers.

Presented by Sydney Opera House


Other information

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