Big ideas wanted for a better future

La Trobe University is a key sponsor of the just-announced ‘My Big Idea’ competition organised by the Australian Futures Project.

‘My Big Idea’ aims to spark a deeper conversation about Australia’s future based on shared values, leading to action which supports those values.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar, said: ‘This exciting and ambitious project encourages the grass-roots generation of new policy ideas around ten key issues.’

These range from impacts of the mining boom, our multi-speed economy, tax reform and productivity gains to social inequality, Australia’s growing ecological footprint, public transport, ports and other infrastructure – and how to best position ourselves for the Asian century.

The University will also act as an ‘incubator’ for one of the winning ideas.

La Trobe brainstorming sessions

‘We will be hosting our own brainstorming sessions for staff, students, graduates and the community around these issue to stimulate discussion and encourage people to put forward their ideas,’ Professor Dewar said.

La Trobe University is a foundation partner of the Australian Futures Project, which seeks to overcome the short-term nature of Australian policy debate.

‘We are backing the venture because universities play an important role in nurturing good ideas until they can stand on their own feet – and because La Trobe has a long tradition of engaging in, and stimulating the national conversation,’ Professor Dewar said.

Using an internet platform, ‘My Big Idea’ will allow Australians to share ideas for building a better tomorrow and to vote on-line for the 100 best suggestions. A panel of judges will then select the 10 winning ideas.

Those who put them forward will be invited to work with a ‘My Big Idea’ partner university, company, or non-profit to develop their idea.

The competition runs until 3 August. Ideas should be submitted via

Special Futures Research Scholarships

La Trobe also offers Australian Futures Research Scholarships for outstanding applicants who are interested in exploring how to build Australia’s capacity to make decisions for a flourishing shared future.  Four are expected to be awarded next year.  Applications close on 31 October 2016.

‘My Big Idea’ partners include La Trobe University, News Corp Australia, Channel Seven, Pollenizer, the University of New South Wales, Amazon Web Services, AT Kearney, Foundation for Young Australians, Macquarie Group, the University of Technology Sydney, and Virgin Australia.

The Australian Futures Project finds, tests, and rolls out improvements to how Australia thinks about and prepares for its long-term future. A multi-sector, non-profit, and non-partisan organisation, it works with an extensive network of leaders and thinkers across Australia and overseas.

Media queries: Ernest Raetz, 0412 261 919

Image: Flickr Mike Linksvayer

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