Meet the team

Meet RMIT’s globally recognised, cross-disciplinary Digital3 (D3) team implementing today's powerful digital tools across the entire economic landscape.

D3 Executive Team

Chris Berg, Director

Professor Chris Berg is a globally recognised researcher and keynote speaker specialising in the intersection of the economy and digital technology.

With 11 authored books, including the recent "The New Technologies of Freedom," he highlights the transformative impact that frontier digital technologies will have on the economy and society.

His current research focuses on Gen AI, blockchain and governance, and he collaborates with private and non-profit sectors to advance this research with a passion to create a digital economy.

Chris is the Director of RMIT’s Digital3, co-founder of the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub and holds a PhD in economics as well as a bachelor’s degree in history and political science.

Stuart Thomas, Director – Learning

Digital3’s Director – Learning, Associate Professor Stuart Thomas, leads the development of innovative, focused education offerings for the emerging digital economy. He is a senior educator, researcher, and regular adviser on industry projects. His academic career has focused on learning and teaching leadership, and program development.

His D3 education program for the digital economy offers a full stack of learning options, from short courses for the technology curious through to formal degrees.

“I’m excited to be translating world-leading research and industry projects from our global thought leaders into education for the digital economy, for all the learners that RMIT reaches,” says Stuart.

David Soderstrom, Partnerships and Engagement Manager

David joins D3 as the Manager of Partnerships and Engagement and is responsible for identifying and delivering research impact and industry outcomes for Digital3 and the Blockchain Innovation Hub. He also identifies and manages commercial opportunities for industry, academia, and research partners to provide improved opportunities for lifelong learning. With over two decades of management consulting and technology delivery experience at Accenture in shaping digital product innovations for transformative change, David has collaborated with diverse industries and sectors, from tech giants to green NGOs, across the globe, helping them leverage technology for strategic outcomes.

David is passionate about sustainability and frontier technologies such as artificial intelligence and the positive impact they can have on our society. He holds a Master of Science and qualifications in Community Leadership, and Sustainability Strategies for Industry.  David is looking forward to meeting the D3 community and making connections to foster and create a digital economy.  If you are interested in learning more about RMIT D3 and working together, please feel free to reach out.

Catherine Cheong, Planning and Operations Manager

Catherine is an experienced operations and project manager in the university sector, bringing considerable expertise from her roles at RMIT, Australian Catholic University, and Monash University to Digital3.

Specialising in workforce planning, student lifecycles and administration processes, Catherine is well versed in compliance, process improvement, policy and procedures, strategy development and reporting. Her outstanding contributions were acknowledged with the Vice Chancellor’s Operational Leadership Award and the CoBRA 'Creating Impact through Innovation' Award from RMIT in 2018.

Luci Kovarcikova, Admin Support Officer

Luci joins D3 from CPA Australia where she played a key role in improving CX and implementing forward-thinking process transformation solutions. Her work involved collaborating closely with both internal and external stakeholders to redesign, innovate, and evaluate new academic progression policies and frameworks.

Within D3, Luci plays a crucial role in overseeing various administrative requirements, project tracking and provides support for our events, ensuring that everything runs efficiently.

Outside of D3, Luci is pursuing a Master of Educational Leadership at UNSW, furthering her knowledge on leading educational transformation and innovation. Her academic journey includes a deep exploration of how digital technologies influence leadership capabilities, highlighting her commitment to staying at the forefront of educational advancements.

D3 Research Directors

Jason Potts, Co-director Blockchain Innovation Hub

Jason Potts, co-director of Blockchain Innovation Hub, is also a chief investigator on the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society

“We’re transitioning from an industrial society to a digital society, with new types of money, new economic infrastructure, new types of contracting, property, and organisations, and a whole bunch of new digital tools,” says Jason. At Digital3, Jason will help to lead research and engage with industry and other stakeholders to develop these “frontiers of new knowledge”

Among his many achievements, Jason has pioneered new fields of analysis, including network-theory-based approaches to evolutionary economics (winning the 2000 Joseph A Schumpeter Prize) and the theory of ‘innovation commons’. Jason has published over 100 articles and his books include Innovation Commons: The Origin of Economic Growth (2019).

Chris Berg, Co-director Blockchain Innovation Hub

Chris Berg is an internationally recognised expert in blockchain, regulation, and civil liberties. His D3 role is to help lead the research, engage directly with industry to solve problems, work with government on public policy matters; and to build D3’s expanding suite of courses.

“We’re collaborating with industry, public policy, the economy and our students at the frontiers,” says Chris. “We are laying the foundations for future jobs and for economic change across the global economy.”

His many articles have been published internationally, and he is the author/co-author of eleven books, including Understanding the Blockchain Economy: An Introduction to Institutional Cryptoeconomics (2019) and The Classical Liberal Case for Privacy in a World of Surveillance and Technological Change (2018).

Matt Warren, Professor of Cyber Security at RMIT and CCSRI Director, leads the cyber security aspects of Digital3. He will work with the Australian safety commission to consider the impact of cyber safety and is leading the development of Digital3’s cyber-security-related courses.

“Digital3 is looking at its key pillars of blockchain, analytics, human rights and cyber security from a technology and business perspective. The rollout of new technologies has unknown impacts for business and society. Digital3 is creating a foundation for applied research with its industry partners.”

Matt’s numerous grants and awards include the Australian Research Council (ARC); the UK’s Engineering Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC); the European Union; and South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF).

Kok-Leong Ong, Director, Enterprise AI and Data Analytics Hub

Professor Kok-Leong (KL) Ong’s expertise focuses on translating and enabling AI and data analytics into business practices, and developing new techniques to meet individual business needs. He helped to start Australia's first Business Analytics degree and has led development of other business analytics courses, as well as winning several teaching and service awards.

KL leads D3’s AI and analytics research and training, which he says is the key to giving Australians a competitive advantage.

“Basic AI fluency and data literacy is important,” says KL. “Other countries in our region are investing a lot in AI. We need to upscale our workforce in a very timely manner in areas like AI, blockchain and cyber security, to be competitive in the international market.”

CPOW Co-Director, Dr Lauren Gurrieri, draws on her expertise examining social inequalities across consumer and digital cultures to explore how digital technologies can be harnessed to drive social change and enhance social inclusion. Lauren’s research has been published in numerous leading academic journals and she has authored over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, case studies and commissioned reports for government and external organisations. She prioritises engagement and impact as part of her scholarly practice. 

“Understanding how organisations and relevant stakeholders can use digital technologies to address inequalities towards better and fairer futures is imperative,” says Lauren. “CPOW researchers will provide these important insights through the varied collaborations driven through D3.”

Dr Lauren Gurrieri, Co-Director, Centre for Organisations and Social Change

Dr Lena Wang, Co-Director, Centre for Organisations and Social Change

Dr Lena Wang’s disciplinary expertise lies in organisational psychology. She uses a psychological perspective towards developing positive individuals, teams and organisations, and her research includes using big data to uncover behavioural insights that have policy and practice implications.        

Lena also has two decades of experience working closely with government and industry partners in their organisational capability development programs and initiatives, enabling them to perform and thrive in a transforming business world. 

“It is important to understand the human impact when driving for digital innovations and implementations,” says Lena.” This is where CPOW researchers are uniquely placed to contribute to the D3 initiative, so that this human focus remains core to organisations’ digital agendas.”

Dr Kate Grosser, Co-Director, Business and Human Rights Centre

Dr Kate Grosser research critically engages with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) theory and practice from feminist perspectives, recently extending to gender analysis of the business and human rights agenda. She is particularly interested in CSR as a process of governance, the contribution of feminist theories, and feminist social movements.

Kate maintains extensive engagement with policy and practice, having acted as advisor on ‘integrating a gender perspective’ to the United Nations Special Representative on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises, and the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights.  Kate sits on the Distinguished Advisory Board at Gender, Work & Organization. 

Dr Jonathan Kolieb, Co-Director, Business and Human Rights Centre

Dr Jonathan Kolieb’s research looks at responsible business in conflict affected areas, business and peace building and children's rights. Jonathan has worked with a range of governmental and non-governmental organisations in the fields of human rights and international affairs - in Australia, the US and the Middle East.

These roles include: Consultant for the United Nation’s Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict (New York); Congressional Liaison at the Embassy of Australia in Washington DC; Special Assistant to Ambassador Morton Abramowitz at The Century Foundation (Washington DC); Project Director, Israeli-Palestinian Human Rights Center (Jerusalem).

D3 Research Program Leads

Dr Emmanuelle Walkowiak

image of Dr Emmanuelle Walkowiak

Dr Emmanuelle Walkowiak is a Vice-Chancellor Senior Research Fellow in economics at the RMIT School of Economics, Finance and Marketing and the lead researcher and founder of the RMIT Digital3 Research Program, The Future of Work with Generative AI.

Her research analyses how the rapid diffusion of technologies is disrupting work, workers, workplaces, the labour market and employment policies. As businesses struggle with the post-Covid workplace models, it is urgent to adapt employment policies and organisational practices to make them fit for a productive, inclusive and sustainable Future of Work. 

D3 Industry Advisory Committee

Laura Anderson

OneGlobalVenture D3 Industry Advisory Board Chair

Stella Avramopoulos

CEO, Good Shepherd

Michael Bacina

Partner, Piper Alderman

Gemma Bailey

GM Data, Core systems and Emerging Tech, Linfox

Jason Bamert

Head of Industries (Education and Healthcare), Optus

Caroline Bowler

CEO, BTC Markets

Nick Delija

Chief Information Officer, Linfox

Kathryn Gulifa

Head of Data and Analytics,

Michael Maher

Co-founder & CEO, One Passport

John O'Loghlen

Managing Director, APAC Coinbase

Mallika Sathi

Vice President Cyber & Intelligence, Mastercard

Assoc Prof Chris Berg

Director, Blockchain Innovation Hub

Assoc Prof Pham Cong Hiep

Vietnam Hub Lead, Centre of Cyber Security Research and Innovation

Honorary Professor Frank Kennedy

Director, Digital3

Dr Binh Nguyen

Senior Program Manager, Blockchain Enabled Business and Fintech-Crypto Hub, RMIT Vietnam

Prof Kok-Leong Ong

Director, Enterprise AI and Data Analytics Hub

Dist Prof Jason Potts

Dist Prof Jason Potts

Gheran Steel

Senior Manager, Planning and Transformation, RMIT Indigenous Education Research and Engagement

Prof Matthew Warren

Director, Centre of Cyber Security Research and Innovation

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.