Analogue leadership in a digital world

Anni Rowland-Campbell

Bachelor of Arts – Fine Arts, History & Philosophy of Science (Melbourne); Master of Arts – Modern European Art, specialising in Design for Theatre (Courtauld Institute, London); Grad. Certificate of Public Policy (UNE); Master of Business & Technology, focusing on Knowledge Management (UNSW); Masters of HRM and Coaching Psychology (Sydney); theory and research towards a PhD entitled “Trust,transparency and technology; the emergence of the digital brand”; Graduate Certificate in Public Policy (Harvard Kennedy School).

Anni is fundamentally an observer and practitioner of Web Science and a passionate advocate for digital literacy and fluency.

In her early years Anni lived in Melbourne, Sydney, Paris and London. She worked in various roles at the Sydney Opera House, the National Theatre of Great Britain, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Julian Ashton Art School, and the Australian Opera. She then entered the world of government serving as Research Officer to the Hon. Peter Collins QC MP, then New South Wales (NSW) Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party and Minister for the Arts, which gave her the opportunity to learn about and contribute to the encouragement and support of the arts industry at a strategic policy level.

In 1990 Anni changed gears by moving to a cotton and grazing property near Narrabri in northern NSW, during which time she worked with both the Moree Gallery Foundation and the Yurundiali Aboriginal Arts Co-Operative, with a focus on business planning and community development. In 1993 Anni returned to Sydney to take up the role of Executive Director of the NSW Division of the Institute of Public Administration, whilst simultaneously developing Intersticia as a new media strategy consultancy in the early days of the World Wide Web.

From 1996 to 2004 Anni juggled young children and her role as Executive Director of GAMAA, the association for suppliers to the graphic communications industries which represented the largest technology suppliers in the world’s third largest industry. During this time Anni undertook research into the impact of digital technologies on graphic communications (as part of Print21); created the PrintEx exhibition in Sydney, and developed an international industry network.  Her most important work was with Sam Crock in creating the GAMAA Leadership Programme which sought to educate and develop 21st leaders for the sector which, after the music industry, was next to go through major upheaval and transformation due to the impact of digital information technologies.

In 2004 Anni was engaged by Fuji Xerox Australia as Industry Marketing Manager and subsequently as a new-media consultant. During this time Anni initiated Fuji Xerox’s research into the future of the Web which involved the management and undertaking of two Australian Research Council funded projects: the first focused on the impact of semantic technologies on printing and publishing; the second developed this further by investigating the practice of Sustainability Reporting (see In addition Anni was instrumental in connecting Fuji Xerox Australia with the globally recognised Xerox Innovation Group as an Australian based research organisation in its own right.

In 2009 Anni began her collaboration with Peter Thompson at ANZSOG (the Australian and New Zealand School of Government) to integrate digital socio-technical concepts (now recognised as the Social Machine) into the Managing Public Communications Executive Programme.  This led to a series of workshops co-created with Leanne Fry which sought – with limited success due to the immaturity of the market – to develop some Digital Literacy within senior managers of the Australian Public Service.

In 2012 Anni met Professor Dame Wendy Hall and Professor Thanassis Tiropanis and so began a partnership that resulted in two ANZSOG funded research projects (1) Government as a Social Machine, articulating the role of Government within a Social Machine ecosystem; and (2) Developing an Australian Government Web Observatory, both of which linked Australia in to the global Web Science research community.  In 2016 Anni was invited to become a Trustee of the Web Science Trust.

The most important result of this collaboration however was the co-creation of Brave Conversations in 2017 with Leanne Fry which brought together all of this previous work and has been held around the World, both face to face and from 2020 Online.  Brave Conversations seeks to demystify digital technologies in order to enable and empower people from all walks of life to more effectively live their lives as responsible digital citizens and Smarter Humans.

In 2015 Anni began working with Tris Lumley and New Philanthropy Capital as a member of the Steering Committee of their Digital Transformation Programme and since 2016 has been delivering workshops and lectures to help Boards, Senior Leadership and Management Teams become more Digitally Savvy. These workshops complement Brave Conversations and are held as Digital Gymnasia to audiences around the world.  In 2015 Anni created a tailor made series for the students of Founders and Coders which is now part of the core coding curriculum and will become increasingly important as the Social Machine evolves with Artificial Intelligence.

Anni has served as a Council Member of the Australian War Memorial; a Member of the NSW Arts Advisory Council and of the NSW Museums Council; and a Member of the National Disciplinary Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and the Advisory Board of Code for Australia.

In 2013 Anni and her family formed the Intersticia Foundation in Australia and in 2015 Intersticia UK.

Anni serves as a Non-Executive Director of Founders and Coders UK and on the Advisory Board of MENA Alliances. Over the past few years she has served as a Non-Executive Director of the Social Change Agency UK, and a Board member of the Digital Enlightenment Foundation, and a member of the Advisory Council of Code for Australia.

Anni is a former Governor and current Fellow of Goodenough College, a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, a Member of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, a Life Member of the House of Saint Barnabas, the Sydney Ski Club and the Royal South Yarra Lawn Tennis Club.