The must-attend events at Melbourne Knowledge Week

Lyrics by Niam Hegarty

Melbourne Knowledge Week (MKW) is back, May 9-15, with an exciting and inspiring program of innovative ideas.

Melbourne Knowledge Week asks this year: “What if we could shape a future we could all be proud of?” A diverse program has been crafted by looking at cutting-edge ideas across film, music, technology and food; many events are free.

It’s exceptionally exciting given the palpable sense that this city may be on the brink of a new era. We jumped on the schedule as soon as it was announced, so you can check out some of our other top picks here, but today we’re taking a little more in-depth look at some of the most exciting festival events this year.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around Melbourne here.

Naarm Ngarrgu MKW 22 Opening Night

Opening night will begin with a welcome festival with the Djirri Djirri Dancers, a tobacco festival followed by song and storytelling with social historian Jessie Lloyd at the State Library. Jessie will explore the lineages and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander songs and their influence on contemporary Indigenous identity and music. A chance to learn about native musical history and have fun while you’re at it.

Innovators and Entrepreneurs Breakfast

An exciting breakfast and networking event presented in partnership with Melbourne Connect, University of Melbourne includes a keynote address and Q&A with Jodie Imam (entrepreneur and investor) on Female leadership in Melbourne’s start-up culture. Vicki Stirling, CEO of Startup Victoria, will join Jodie to lead a conversation on the way forward for women in tech.

Cumulus Inc: Earth

An immersive culinary experience about Melbourne’s future food systems. At this special dining event, Cumulus Inc. presents a three-course menu that reflects the restaurant’s approach to sustainability and seasonality. Hear from featured expert speakers Daisy Slade (Head of Industry at Food and Drink Victoria) and Phoebe Gardner (CEO and Co-Founder of Bardee) as they share their thoughts on the impact of food waste on the environment. Guests will leave with some creative tips for minimizing food waste at home. Admission includes the three-course meal and a drink upon arrival.

The metaverse store

Step into the Metaverse with this interactive installation showcasing virtual NFT products from the Metaverse in a real-world retail store. One of the first of its kind in Australia, the Metaverse Store is an immersive experience that will feature virtual merchandise from local artists. Visitors can purchase products with cryptocurrency, a forward-thinking environment indeed.


Algorave is an outdoor event/party that will feature cellular automata showing Melburnians how live coding can create electronic music. Come experience innovative technology while having a dance at Signal on Northbank.

Round table on cryptoethics

Experimental comedy duo Nemeses (Vidya Rajan & Alistair Baldwin) host a panel of artists, technologists and thought leaders to examine NFTs and the world of crypto. This humorous and insightful event is a lighthearted look at the ethical issues surrounding the latest technologies and how we interact with them. This event is sure to make you laugh and think as you step into the emerging world of cryptoethics.

Mona Chalabi: Eliminating the Numbers

Mona Chalabi is an American data journalist, writer and broadcaster. She discovered how easily people with specific goals can manipulate data while analyzing statistics for the United Nations. Mona explored the date in the form of illustrations, animations and articles for outlets such as The Guardian and the New York Times. In this free livestream, she’ll talk about voting trends, race, and politics, as well as quirky questions like “how many Americans eat pizza for breakfast?” Now you want to know, don’t you?

Indigenous Knowledge Film Festival

This short film festival celebrates indigenous knowledge; After each screening, a discussion will take place with the filmmakers and knowledge holders on the issues discussed. This is a powerful selection of short films whose directors come from various countries in Australia and Timor-Leste, secure your free ticket now and expand your knowledge.

The Future in Cinema: The Matrix

A screening of the groundbreaking and cult classic sci-fi film The matrix is followed by a panel discussion on identity, celebrity culture and the ritualization of “coming out”.

After the screening, a talk by Naja Later will explore a number of ideas, including identity and social metaphor. Naja is an academic tutor at Swinburne, holds a PhD in 21st century American horror films and their relationship to the culture of terror, and has published research on superheroes, monsters and transmedia storytelling. This discussion is sure to be one of the illuminating highlights of the festival.

This is just a preview of what’s happening in mid-May in our city, check out the full program here.

In partnership with Melbourne Knowledge Week.

Donald E. Patel