The Australian National Outlook 2019, developed by CSIRO and SVP Founding Member NAB along with a range of additional partners including the Shared Value Project, proposes two possible futures for our nation in 2060 – and the choice is up to us.
Released in late June, the report paints a picture of either ‘Slow Decline’ or an ‘Outlook Vision’ scenario; outlining the stark contrast between continuing as we are, versus taking immediate and impactful action.
In doing so, it delivers the resounding message that if we are to ensure a prosperous future for our country, we need to adopt a long-term approach to how we protect and improve our economy, environment and society. And as part of this, we need to commit to an urgent culture shift; using shared value as a tool.
Report explores 13 different national issues
Based on the scientific research of CSIRO and business expertise of NAB and other partners, the report explores 13 different national issues, as well as two global contexts relating to trade and climate change in 2060.
The project was built on the 2015 Australian National Outlook, which was CSIRO’s first attempt to understand and analyse the potential future state of Australia’s economy and society many decades into the future.
For the 2019 National Outlook, 50+ leaders from more than 20 non-government organisations met every three months to study and discuss new scientific data provided by CSIRO that models the future of Australia’s natural resources and energy, productivity and services, and cities and infrastructure.
Shared value among proposed key actions to be taken
The report acknowledges that pursuing the Outlook Vision path will not be simple, given the multiple challenges pertaining to the rise of Asia, climate change, technological change, changing demographics, social cohesion and a decline in public trust.
The suggestion is that long-term action, including the adoption of social impact tools such as shared value, is required across five key ‘shifts’ related to industry, urban environments, energy, land and culture.
The movement within these shifts would be manifested in some of the following ways:
- Australian firms adopting new technologies to increase productivity
- Enhancing education and training, along with investment in growing export-facing industries
- Increasing the density of our major cities by between 60-88%, and combining this with more varied housing types and land uses – enabling more accessibility to employment and services
- Enhancing transport infrastructure to alleviate congestion
- Transitioning to nearly 100% renewable generation by 2050, with electric vehicles accounting for 80% of passenger vehicles
- Tripling our energy productivity to use only 6% more energy, despite population and GDP growth
- Adapting how we use our land to devote approximately half of marginal land within more intensively farmed areas to carbon plantings
- Offsetting up to 700 million tonnes of CO₂, to become a net exporter of carbon credits
- Regaining public trust in the public and private sectors
Realising an urgent culture shift
The Outlook Vision relies on Australia having the right culture, with inclusive civic and political institutions that foster greater engagement, curiosity, collaboration and solutions.
The report offers three levers to support a more inclusive and resilient national culture:
- Reforging institutional trust in business, politics and social institutions, which creates a licence to act
- Encouraging healthy risk taking to support innovation in all parts of the Australian economy and community
- Broadening decision-making to recognise the importance of social and environmental outcomes in government and industry
The private sector is recognised as a powerful agent for scalable change. By leveraging their innovative capabilities and expertise, businesses can elevate their competitive positioning by accessing new markets, creating new products, driving operational efficiencies or investing in local clusters, whilst also addressing social challenges. In this way, shared value is offered as an important method to achieve meaningful progress.
Given the breadth of the issues facing our nation, this type of self-resourcing approach – which strengthens our economy and society simultaneously – is vital to making significant strides forward.
Read the full report here.