20 Sep 2017

Science and business join forces to shape Australia’s future

Australian National Outlook to explore our opportunities to 2060

A collective of more than 50 business, research and non government leaders have begun work on the second Australian National Outlook to explore nationally significant issues, risks and opportunities – and how as a country, Australia might respond.

Brought together by CSIRO and NAB, project participants will explore issues affecting Australia’s long-term future growth and prosperity across a range of scenarios. This, the second Australian National Outlook, will focus on three major themes of Natural Resources and Energy, Productivity and Services, and Cities and Infrastructure.

David Thodey, Chairman of CSIRO said: “Australian National Outlook brings together science, business, research and community leaders to collaborate and identify what will make the biggest difference to our country’s future prospects.

“As the national science agency, CSIRO will use its unique ability to collaborate to deliver excellent science and research to inform how Australia might respond to future challenges and opportunities.”

The project will draw on CSIRO’s world-leading integrated modelling and assessment capabilities to model outcomes for a number of scenarios that Australia is likely to face, as we look ahead to 2060.

Modelling results will be interrogated and distilled by project members, with the goal of identifying specific actions that can help ensure Australia has prosperous and globally competitive industries, inclusive and enabling communities, and sustainable underpinning foundations including natural resources, environment, public institutions and social capital.

Questions that will be explored include:

  • how Australia attracts investment to continue to build globally competitive industries;
  • the role a world-leading education system can play in creating opportunity for all Australians;
  • how the jobs of the future will evolve; and
  • how Australia’s cities and regions might accommodate a growing population, while maintaining strong connectivity and liveability.

“The Australian business community has a key role to play in shaping Australia’s future,” NAB Chairman Dr Ken Henry said.

“All of Australia’s past successes have had in common a compelling narrative that articulates a vision of what we could be and how as a country, we can achieve that vision. We have to act now to secure Australia’s long-term prospects.

“By discovering what some of Australia’s future could look like, the Australian National Outlook has the capacity to guide all decision-makers – business, universities and other research institutions, community groups, and government – in developing actions today that will shape a strong and prosperous future for all Australians.”

The final Project report is expected to be released in the last quarter of 2018. The research builds on CSIRO’s 2015 Australian National Outlook which explored the link between resource consumption and environmental pressures and pathways to economic growth.

Participants of the Australian National Outlook include: ASX, Australia Post, Australian Ethical Investment, Australian National University, Australian Red Cross, Australian Unity, Baker McKenzie, Birchip Cropping Group, Cochlear, CSIRO, Gilbert + Tobin, Global Access Partners, GrainCorp, Grattan Institute, McKinsey & Company, Monash University, NAB, PwC Australia, Shared Value Project, Shell, UnitingCare Australia, University of Technology Sydney, Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists.

Leaders from these various organisations have already come together on several occasions over the past six months to set the ambition of the project and frame the questions to be answered by CSIRO’s long range scenario analysis.

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