Business Issues To 2020


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The following presentation summarises the Australian Business Foundation’s insights into key issues likely to impact on Australian businesses to 2020 and how to recognize and respond to them.

The significant forces for change that the Australian Business Foundation discerned in its 1999 future scenarios study are still going strong. They are:
- increasing globalisation and its effects on national boundaries, cultural identity, political decisions, and on the speed and ease of business imitations;
- the unprecedented transformations being wrought on business and commerce by online, open, networking technologies;
- the power of the new consumerism, with production decisions increasingly shifting from producers and owners of capital to consumers;
- the rise of the knowledge economy and the ascendancy of intangibles, where what you know is more important than what you make or own;
- the far-reaching effects of new technology advances and the convergence and recombination of old technologies in everything from bioscience to broadcasting;
- new skills and competencies required to compete in an increasingly wired, informed and connected world; and
- the likely impacts on social cohesion of the way the world is moving, whether it’s the gap between the information rich and the information poor, or the increasing mainstream concern with environmental issues and the social record of businesses.
These forces for change and the issues behind them informed and shaped the four alternative pictures of the future for business that the Australian Business Foundation detailed in its 1999 scenarios. These trends and forces of change could play out in different ways and create different futures for businesses to contend with over the next fifteen years. For example, positive or negative trajectories of globalisation; the mainstream effects of the online knowledge economy and the business models it drives; and the response to sustainability where economic, social and environmental issues intersect.

From these, the following four alternative scenarios for business in Australia to 2015 were outlined.

The four different futures imagined in 1999 were as follows:
First Global Nation – characterised by the globalisation of business and the wired, interconnected, online economy, where Australia successfully finds itself a place.
Australia shows leadership in this “silicon valley” world of knowledge industries, global peace, open markets and economic growth. A vital young country reinvents itself to capitalize on the massive transformations of business and society.
Our internet-savvy firms sparkle on Wall Street, our skills are sought after and we manage to retain value at home from the plethora of new, nimble Aussie firms playing globally.
Sound the Retreat – the story of the backlash and consequent decay of globalisation, forcing Australia to revalue its bilateral business relationships as multilateral ones become impossible in the face of trade barriers, global wars and skirmishes, capital and immigration controls and nationalist and protectionist policies of all sorts.
There is economic downturn, a widespread capital retreat and loss of investor confidence. Some manage to forge commercial partnerships with key nations and drawing on our melting-pot past, create a cultural and business gateway to the world.
Brave Old World – where Australia rests on its laurels of strong economic performance and sound social protections and does not see the need or the urgency to pursue the emerging opportunities of the globalised knowledge economy in any systematic fashion.
Over-reliant on tourism and glamorous yet scant biotech breakthroughs, we miss the global tide. Introspective and smug, the lopping of tall poppies continues, fed by a “she’ll be right” complacency. The economy falters, our skills erode, few new start-ups or emergent technologies survive here, and major brands are lost of

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Business Issues To 2020

  1. 1. 16 February 2010<br />Phillip AllenResearch ManagerAustralian Business Foundation<br />Business Issues to 2020 <br />
  2. 2. Introduction<br /> Reflecting on the past and future <br /> Future Revisited - Four Alternative Scenarios<br /> Snapshot towards 2020<br /> Discuss the concepts as we step through them<br />Agenda<br />
  3. 3. <ul><li>Research Manager Australian Business Foundation
  4. 4. Past: Analyst at IDC
  5. 5. PhD Student University of New South Wales
  6. 6. Masters eCommerce - Deakin University
  7. 7. Economics Degree - University of Newcastle</li></ul>Introduction<br />
  8. 8.<br />
  9. 9. The Nucleon…<br />
  10. 10. Alternative Futures: Scenarios for Business in Australia to 2015<br /><ul><li>Published September 1999
  11. 11. Four pictures of the future</li></ul>The future arrived quickly<br />The Future Revisited<br /><ul><li>Published July 2009
  12. 12. How our picture of the future was unfolding and refresh them for the next decade.</li></li></ul><li>7<br />Four Alternative Scenarios <br />First Global Nation<br />Sound the Retreat<br />Globalisation trends continues and Australia rides the wave<br />Backlash and decay of globalisation with a resurgence of protectionism <br />Green is Gold<br />Brave Old World<br />Recognised the impact of environment and of sustainable business practice<br />Resting on our laurels, resistance to change and lost opportunities<br />
  13. 13. Snapshot to 2020 – drivers of change<br />Energy and Resources Conscious 21st Century <br />Changing Global Economic Geography <br />Patterns of Work and Demand for Skilled People<br />Unleashing Innovation as a Prescription for Prosperity <br />An Outward-looking Australia<br />
  14. 14. Energy and Resources Conscious 21st Century <br />Environmental agenda is on the mainstream agenda<br />Tough decisions & new trade-offs<br />There are also opportunities<br />
  15. 15. Changing Global Economic Geography <br />Decoupling of the USA from the rest of the world<br />However, USA still remains the primary engine of global growth, it is unwise to write off the USA<br />Will China get older and more polluted before it becomes wealthy?<br />
  16. 16. Patterns of Work and Demand for Skilled People<br />How we work and who participates has structurally changed<br />Urgent need for Australia to become a higher-skilled, more knowledge-intensive producer in response to global pressures<br />
  17. 17. Unleashing Innovation for Prosperity<br />Active ingredient is using knowledge to do something new and valuable for customers and communities<br />Australia facing a ‘prosperity paradox’<br />Opportunities to innovate by problem solving<br />
  18. 18. An Outward-looking Australia<br />Thinking big and delivering transformation in key areas that we share with the global community<br />To advance our interests at home we must increasingly be engaged with other nations<br />‘Splendid Isolation’ is not feasible<br />
  19. 19. Navigating between Inaction and Hype<br /> Can we envisage and deliver transformation for a big Australia?<br /><ul><li>Economy, infrastructure, our environment, farmers, health care, indigenous Australia, the arts, national security, and strengthening our communities and ensure nobody is left out of Australia’s future</li></li></ul><li>The Western Sydney IT Cluster – 16 February 2010<br />Phillip AllenResearch ManagerAustralian Business Foundation<br />Business Issues to 2020<br />