Global Trade and Investment Megatrends report cover

Global Trade and Investment Megatrends

Exploring opportunities and risks for the Australian economy during and after the COVID-19 crisis with strategic foresight

This report presents the results of a CSIRO and Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) strategic foresight study exploring changes in the global trade and investment landscape likely to occur over the coming months and years. The report also presents a set of strategic actions for Australian governments and industries to capitalise on significant shifts in the global trade and investment landscape.


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Artificial Intelligence Roadmap

Solving problems, growing the economy and improving our quality of life

Commissioned by the Australian Government, Data61 released a roadmap which identifies strategies to help develop a national AI capability to boost the productivity of Australian industry, create jobs and economic growth, and improve the quality of life for current and future generations. It focuses on three areas of specialisation that draw upon Australia’s existing strengths: natural resources and the environment; health, ageing and disability; and cities, towns and infrastructure.


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New Smarts

Supporting Queensland’s knowledge-intensive industries through science, research and innovation

This report was delivered in partnership with the Science Division in DES. It identified eight emerging knowledge-intensive industries that leverage Queensland’s existing strengths, market changes and the state’s deep science expertise. These industries presented opportunities to transition existing industries into new domains and create entirely new industries for Queensland. The findings have informed the development of a science strategy for Queensland.


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The Future of Australia's Agricultural Workforce (2019)

The Australian agricultural sector plays a crucial role in the national economy. The sector directly employs around 228,000 on-farm domestic workers and contributes nearly $60 billion to the nation's economy. In addition, over 1.5 million Australians are employed in diverse industries servicing and providing support to the agricultural sector across the country, including manufacturers, drivers, retailers, teachers, research scientists, veterinarians, technology developers, biosecurity officers and engineers. The potential for the sector to grow into a $100 billion industry over the next decade will depend on its ability to work collaboratively, grow sustainably, understand the needs of future customers, unlock the value of new technologies across the entire supply chain, and attract people and capital.


Distributed Renewable Energy report cover

The Future of Peer-To-Peer Trading of Distributed Renewable Energy (2019)

The energy industry is transforming. Advances in energy generation and storage, digital technologies and platforms, robotics, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles are driving tomorrow's innovations, and enabling new business models to emerge. Unlike previous industrial revolutions, the digital revolution has no clear boundaries, and its development is likely to be ongoing, ubiquitous and rapid. In addition, accelerated adoption of new technologies and smart devices, especially among the tech-savvy digital natives, is increasingly empowering energy consumers of tomorrow to become 'prosumers' who generate as well as consume energy.


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Digital Megatrends 

A perspective on the coming decade of digital disruption (2019)

Since our inaugural digital megatrends report launched at the Vivid Sydney festival of light, music and ideas in June last year much has changed in the fast-paced world of digital technology. This report represents the first update. We've simplified the structure of the report and we've updated the megatrends making a few additions and edits.


Front cover of the Vietnam's Future Digital Economy Report

Vietnam's Future Digital Economy (2019)

Towards 2030 and 2045 

The next wave of digital technologies has the potential to transform Vietnam into Asia's next high-performing economy, and to bring up the living standards of all Vietnam's citizens over the coming decades.


Front cover of Blockchain 2030 - A look at the future of blockchain in Australia

Blockchain 2030

A look at the future of blockchain in Australia

Few technologies in recent memory have been as polarising as blockchain, with positions divided into camps of ‘blockchain evangelists’ and ‘blockchain sceptics’. The distributed ledger technology – originally developed for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency – has been billed as holding the potential to revolutionise the internet and change the very nature of trust. This report seeks to inform how Australia can become a world leader in blockchain, and be a catalyst for blockchain to enter a plateau of productivity.


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Time Travel 

Megatrends and Scenarios for Queensland Transport out to 2048

This report explores possible future changes in Queensland's transport system out to 2048 and the impact of these changes on the operating environment of the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR). It aims to identify and understand the critical risks, challenges and opportunities for the transport system across the state over the next 30 years, and inform future strategy and policy decisions. It does so using strategic foresight to analyse, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the emerging trends impacting Queensland’s transport system and how these trends could plausibly unfold in the future.


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Sunrise Industries

ASEAN Countries and their upcoming changes (2018)

Countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their neighbours will undergo significant social, economic and industrial change over the coming decades.

Consumer incomes will rise, advanced technologies will be cheaper and more accessible, and economies will shift from industrial production to the provision of services.


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Innovation Imperative

Risks and opportunities for Queensland over the coming decades of economic and technological transformation

This project was the first from the Q-Foresight program – a joint multi-year partnership between Data61 and the Queensland Government. It explored key patterns of change impacting Queensland’s economy over the next 20 years and what’s at stake if Queensland fails to transition with these changes. This report has informed future policy, strategic and business decisions for the State, including the Advance Queensland Strategy.


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Vietnam Today

First report of the Vietnam’s Future Digital Economy Project (2018)

With youth, innovation and investment, the people of Vietnam have good reason to be optimistic about the future of the economy, and development of the digital economy over the next 20 years.

The paths that may be taken for the development and growth of Vietnam through digital transformation are not risk-free, however, and will need to be navigated carefully.


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Bright Futures

Spotlight on the wellbeing of young people living in rural and regional Victoria

Following on from the prior 2015 and 2017 Bright Futures reports, this project explored the implications of the Bright Futures megatrends on young people living in rural and regional Victoria. This report – in partnership with VicHealth, the National Centre for Farmer Health and Youth Affairs Council Victoria – is the second in the Bright Futures spotlight series and highlighted key challenges and opportunities that are unique to young people living in rural and regional Victoria.


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Opportunities for Growth

Driving forces creating economic opportunities for Queensland companies over the coming decades (2017)

This project was commissioned by the Queensland Futures Institute to examine opportunities for Queensland to leverage its competitive advantages, diversify traditional industries and explore new sectors to meet emerging demand at a national and global level.

The findings of the report shaped a future-orientated narrative for Queensland’s new economy and one which can be used to inform future strategic, business and policy decisions.


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Bright Futures

Spotlight on the wellbeing of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds (2017)

This report drew on findings from the 2015 Bright Futures report, which identified megatrends affecting the wellbeing of young Victorians. Commissioned by VicHealth, in partnership with the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network, this report explored the impact of the Bright Futures megatrends on young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. It identified a number of key emerging questions and implications for future policy, research and practice.


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Distributed Ledgers

Scenarios for the Australian economy over the coming decades (2017)

Funded by the Australian Government’s National Innovation Science Agenda, this project identified a set of four scenarios to illustrate the plausible adoption, risks and rewards of the technology in the future. This approach included scenarios that are aspirational and transformative, establish a new equilibrium and represent collapse.

This report received significant media and stakeholder attention, and put forward a series of recommendations for governments, enterprises and start-ups.


Cover Image ofIP Australia and the Future of Intellectual Property report

IP Australia and the Future of Intellectual Property

Megatrends, scenarios and their strategic implications (2017)

IP Australia commissioned the Data61 Insight team to conduct a strategic foresight project into the future of intellectual property.

This report provided an evidence-based review of the future operating environments that IP Australia may encounter, and informed the agency with respect to their strategic choices and long-term decision making. It did so by identifying plausible future megatrends and scenarios for intellectual property in Australia and their implications for IP Australia.


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Tomorrow's Digitally Enabled Workforce

Megatrends and scenarios for jobs and employment in Australia over the coming decades

In this project, Data61’s Insight team was funded and resourced by The Australian Government Department of Employment, the Australian Computer Society, ANZ Bank and Boston Consulting Group to analyse trends and scenarios reshaping Australia’s jobs and employment markets over the coming 20 years. The report highlighted key issues facing Australia with regard to the likely consequences of digital disruption and transformation.


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Are you ready for change? Farsight for construction

Exploratory scenarios for Queensland's construction industry to 2036 (2016)

The Data61 Insight team was engaged by Construction Skills Queensland to identify scenarios for how buildings and infrastructure could be built by the year 2036, and their implications for skills and recruitment. Specifically, it explored critical trends and alternative scenarios for the future of Queensland’s construction workforce. The report was published and launched in August 2016, and is now influencing workforce planning in the Queensland construction sector.


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The Vet Era

Equipping Australia's workforce for the future digital economy (2016)

This project was commissioned by TAFE Queensland and investigated how the vocational educational and training sector can best support Australia's future workforce. A key focus here was the evolving skills requirements inherent in the forthcoming digital disruption. The research provided valuable insights into the types of future skills and learning, and the ways of working that will likely be required in the future.


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Fast Forward

Scenarios for Queensland in the year 2025 describing the marketplace for education, healthcare, policing, transport and other public services (2015)

This project was commissioned by the Queensland Government and identified four scenarios for Queensland's public service delivery out to 2025. These scenarios describe alternative and plausible futures for the delivery of public services such as healthcare, education, policing and transport. They are being used by the Queensland Government to make important strategic and operational choices about a multi-billion dollar service portfolio.


Cover of the 2015 Bright Futures: Megatrends impacting the mental wellbeing of young Victorians report

Bright Futures

Megatrends impacting the mental wellbeing of young Victorians (2015)

VicHealth commissioned this report to provide a clearer understanding of the future challenges and opportunities for young people in Victoria. This report has fuelled key conversations among government, practitioners and service providers and has led to subsequent collaborations with VicHealth, exploring trends for specific groups of vulnerable youth (e.g. the 2017 Bright Futures spotlight report on migrant and refugee youth report).


Cover Image of Rural Industry Futures report

Rural Industry Futures

Megatrends impacting Australian agriculture over the coming twenty years (2015)

The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation commissioned CSIRO to perform a foresight study of Australia's agriculture and rural industries. It identified five key megatrends and a future narrative for rural industries in Australia over the next 20 years. This report aimed to help communities, individuals, companies and governments make informed and strategic decisions to secure better outcomes for Australian rural industries.


Cover image of The Future of Australian Sport report

The Future of Australian Sport

Megatrends shaping the sports sector over coming decades (2013)

In this project, the Australian Sports Commission commissioned CSIRO to identify megatrends impacting high performance and broader community sporting activity. It was designed to inform decisions about Australian sport by constructing a narrative about the future. Launched by the former Minister Kate Lundy in 2013, this report has been used to inform sport policy by the Australian Government.


Cover image of Future Shaping at GPT report

Future Shaping at GPT

Megatrends impacting the office, retail and industrial property sectors (2013)

This project, commissioned by the GPT Group, explored megatrends impacting the office, retail and industrial property sectors out to 2030. The report detailed six megatrends that would significantly alter the business context for GPT and outlined how GPT could respond to these risks and opportunities. Notably, the 'Behind the Scenes' megatrend identified the importance of logistics property as e-commerce becomes more prevalent, informing GPT's sizeable investment in logistics property.


Cover image of Strategic Directions report

Strategic Directions

Towards sustained growth of the Australian chemicals and plastics industry (2013)

Extending on the 2013 Element of Everything report, this report took a market-centric approach in exploring pathways forward for sustainable growth in the chemicals and plastics industry. Among its findings, this report identified key market growth areas that are currently or expected to experience significant growth and the factors that will enable such growth. It was designed to inform future discussions and policy actions for industry and government.


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Elements in Everything

Current profile and future trends for the Australian chemicals and plastics industry (2013)

This project was jointly funded by the former Australian Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association (now Chemistry Australia) and the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. It explored current and emerging trends and issues (including megatrends) within the chemicals and plastics industry. It was designed to inform long-term strategic decisions in the industry.


Our Future World Cover Image

Our Future World

Global megatrends that will change the way we live (2012)

This project, produced by CSIRO and led by Dr Stefan Hajkowicz, identified six social, economic and environmental megatrends which will have a major impact on Australia and the world over the next 20 years. The report has garnered widespread interest and has been used as the basis for numerous strategic planning workshops and exercises across Australian industry and government. Today, this global megatrends work continues to generate immense interest at forums and conferences across government, industry, university and community sectors.



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