Future Operating Environment

Welcome to the Future: Drivers and trends that will shape Australia

By Mick Fry May 13, 2019

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The Australian Futures Project is a multi-sector, non-profit, and non-partisan initiative hosted by La Trobe University. The project objective is to build Australia’s capacity to make decisions for a flourishing shared future in the 2020s and 30s.  Fiona McKenzie is a co-founder of the Australian Future Project and authored the discussion paper, 'Welcome to the Future: Drivers and trends that will shape Australia'. 'Welcome to the Future' examines the future, providing a brief overview of some of the best known and more thought provoking assessments publicly available. It aims to inspire thinking and ideas about the future - not as a scary and uncertain place, but as the expression of the decisions and actions we take today and a source of new opportunities for tomorrow. It enables the reader to understand how future scenarios are predicted based on qualitative assessments, modelling and forecasting. The paper identifies eight common mega drivers that will shape Australia's future:

  1. Climate Change (mitigation and adaptation)
  2. Global cooperation and conflict (trends in geopolitics)
  3. Demographic change (population growth, ageing and urbanisation)
  4. Economic shifts (towards emerging-market economies)
  5. Resource security and scarcity (reconciling resource consumption and ecosystem health)
  6. Virtual connectivity (global networking)
  7. Values, behaviours and lifestyles (changing expectations)
  8. Technology (development and application)



Mick Fry


Mick Fry is a member of the Cove Team.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.

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