There are many challenges to finding funding for innovation and modernisation in Australia.

Futurism is the art of future thinking and how futurists can help find better answers to big problems.

Big problems are those that have a high degree of uncertainty and a lot at stake.

In this presentation Simon Waller – Futurist and Business Advisor, presents data from the International Monetary Fund’s World Uncertainty Index, showing that uncertainty has increased significantly over recent years.

He emphasises the need to set aside time for deep thinking and be open to discomfort when exploring the future.

Simon highlights the importance of having clarity about the problem and choosing the right time horizon for exploration.

He also discusses the role of curiosity in futurism and the power of imagination to inspire future possibilities.

Futurists look for signals and the drivers behind them to make future forecasts while encouraging collaborative futurism and the involvement of diverse perspectives.

He reminds organisations to start thinking about how futurism can be used to make better strategic decisions and find better solutions to your big problems.


Key Takeaways:

  • When things are stable or relatively stable, there are actually strategic objectives that make sense around productivity and specialisation. We know what our customer wants, we just have to do more of it and do it cheaper and faster than anyone else. If we can do one thing really well, we will be successful.
  • In times of uncertainty, we can be less clear about what the customer wants. Instead of having just one specialisation, we need to have options. And instead of being able to produce one thing productively, we must have flexibility.
  • Good futurism is actually about contemplation. It is about giving us visions and forecasts of the future. We use that to contemplate and imagine what would take us towards that future. What are the options that we could actually see occurring? What are the challenges and opportunities we might find and how are we going to change our actions in the present to create the futures that we want?
Simon Waller Digital Champion, Author and Advisor
Simon fervently believes that as a society we have the opportunity to do things better – whether it’s through the commercial practices... More

Simon fervently believes that as a society we have the opportunity to do things better – whether it’s through the commercial practices of organisations or personal actions of individuals. Motivated by the importance of personal responsibility, Simon left his position in scenario planning at Rio Tinto to explore how organisations could use emerging technologies and new ways of working to drive improvements in both the way we work and the way we live.

Simon’s natural ability in teaching and authentic and affable nature encourages others to positively question the world and why we do the things we do. Simon has extensive experience in both managing projects as well as and coaching and mentoring for performance improvement.

During his time at Rio Tinto Simon provided business improvement support to a tyre retread facility that serviced Rio Tinto iron ore and bauxite haul truck fleet before moving into Rio Tinto’s scenario planning and strategy team. Simon has also previously worked as a sustainability consultant where his work focused on developing holistic approaches to behavioural change. Simon holds a Master of Business Leadership and post graduate qualifications in futures thinking.

Since leaving corporate life Simon has focused his efforts on helping organisations identify ways technology can drive operational improvements. Initially he did this working as an external consultant and more recently as the founder of the Digital Champions Club, a digital transformation program for SMEs that trains internal agents of change. Along the way Simon has also written two books Analogosaurus: Avoiding Extinction in a World of Digital Business and The Digital Champion: Connecting the Dots Between People, Work and Technology.

Simon is also an in demand conference speaker having spoken to audiences both across Australia and overseas

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