Are you dangerously deluded about the future?

You could say “I won’t be around in 20 years so what do I care?” but today’s Australians live generally healthier and longer lives, which means the decisions in the now could still have an impact.

As a country, Australia’s position has been pretty enviable.

You’ve enjoyed the benefits of the mining boom and the demand on the country’s natural resources that have boosted the overall economy, but as they say — all good things must come to an end.

Transitioning to a knowledge-based economy makes the future of Australia just a little bit uncertain according to the experts. However, if Australia is to remain the ‘lucky country’ now is as good a time as any to start creating its own luck.

With that in mind the CSIRO has been looking at what the country’s outcomes on a global scale could be and the findings have been released in the Australia 2030: Navigating our Uncertain Future; a report that identifies four potential opportunities using scientific data and a number of pre-existing global trends.

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These include:

  • A dramatic shift towards a digital services and knowledge-driven economy
  • A second wave of the resources boom driven by growth and urbanisation in developing economies
  • Decoupling economic growth and environmental sustainability, where consumers seek out healthier lifestyles
  • Global geopolitical instability increases driven by climate change and regional conflict over land, food and water.

It’s that last one that has people concerned.

However, innovation (now there’s a familiar word) is proposed as the driving force of future productivity in not just established areas but in developing and emerging industries across the country.

Heading up the report is James Devereall who says, “The decisions we make today have a huge result in where we will end up.”

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“Our world is changing rapidly. We are more connected than ever before. Industries are being transformed by new business models and disruptive technologies,” the report says.

Rising incomes across the world, new markets and constraints on our natural resources means Australian consumers and businesses need to think more sustainably.

Australia needs to act now if it is not to be left behind, according to the report.

Do you agree? What opportunities and challenges do you think will face Australia in the coming years?