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Shaping the Future

Session 1 | Shaping Environmental Futures
Session 2 | Shaping Youth Futures
Wellbeing Budgets: ideas for a grown up economy
Session 4 | Shaping Social Futures 
Session 5 | Shaping Global Futures 

The Conference

At a time when there is significant concern about the ability of governments at all levels to respond to the complexity of issues they are facing, this conference offers an opportunity to shaping the best possible future for Australia.


Australia21 has been working on ‘wicked problems’ for nearly 20 years and we are in a unique position to share our high-level expertise, at a time where people are looking for skilled advice on complex problems.

The conference was held between 24th - 25th June 2021 for both in person and digital participation. Given the importance of the conversation we have made the sessions available via video. You can watch the entire conference or just the sessions that interest you the most. 

The Australian House of Representatives

The Conference



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Emma Dawson
  • Executive Director - Per Capita

Emma Dawson is the Executive Director of Per Capita. Formerly, she was a senior advisor on Digital Inclusion at Telstra, Executive Director of the Institute for a Broadband Enabled Society at the University of Melbourne, and a senior policy advisor in the Rudd and Gillard governments.

Katherine Trebeck
  • Co-Founder and Strategic Advocacy Advisor - Wellbeing Economy Alliance
  • Co-Founder WEAII

Katherine has over eight years’ experience in various roles with Oxfam GB. Katherine instigated the group of Wellbeing Economy Governments and sits on a range of advisory groups, including for the Democracy Collaborative and the Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity. She was a member of the Scottish Government’s Sustainable Renewal Advisory Group and Zero Waste Scotland’s Demystifying Decoupling Advisory Group.

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Prof Felicia Huppert
  • Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Founding Director of the Well-being Institute, University of Cambridge, UK

  • Honorary Professor with the Body Heart and Mind in Business Research Group, University of Sydney Business School

  • Visiting Professorial Fellow, School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Professor Felicia Huppert is a psychologist with a long-standing research interest in the science of well-being and the promotion of human flourishing.

Dr Carina Wyborn
  • Fellow - Institute for Water Futures

Carina is an interdisciplinary social scientist with background in science and technology studies, and human ecology. She works at the intersection of science, policy, and practice, where she is interested in understanding how decisions are made in complex and contested environmental management challenges.


Carina is particularly interested in the capacities that enable future-oriented decision making, and the methods and practice that are used to support decision-making in the context of uncertainty.

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Dr Aparna Lal
  • Fellow - Environment, Climate and Health, Research School of Population Health

Aparna’s research focuses on the environmental and social risk factors for a range of infectious diseases. With a specific focus on cryptosporidiosis, her work uses non-linear time series modelling techniques and spatial methods to identify areas and time periods of maximum disease risk.

Allan Behm
  • Head of International and Security Affairs at the Australia Intitute.

  • CEO FearLess

is Head of the International and Security Affairs program at The Australia Institute, CEO of FearLess, a charity that works with people living with the consequences of post-traumatic stress.  Allan spent 30 years in the Australian Public Service, as a member of the Australian diplomatic service, the Prime Minister’s Department, the Department of Defence and the Attorney General’s Department.

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Prof John Hewson AM
  • Hon Professorial Fellow, Crawford School of Public Policy

  • Chair, Council for the Human Future 

Prof John Hewson AM is Honorary Professorial Fellow at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU. He is a former Australian politician and was leader of the Liberal Party from 1990 to 1994. Prior to entering politics, Hewson worked as an economist for the Reserve Bank of Australia, an economic advisor to the Fraser Government, a business journalist, and a director of Macquarie Bank. He is currently Chair of The Council for the Human Future.

Ian Dunlop
  • Chair, Advisory Board for the Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration

Ian Dunlop is the Chair of the Advisory Board for the Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration. He was formerly an international oil, gas and coal industry executive, chair of the Australian Coal Association and CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is currently a member of the Club of Rome and Board Member, Australia21.

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Dr Alex Wodak
  • President Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation

Alex is a physician who was previously the Director of the Alcohol and Drug Service, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney.  His major interests include prevention of HIV among people who inject drugs, prevention of alcohol problems and drug policy reform. Dr. Wodak is a former President of the International Harm Reduction Association He helped establish the first needle syringe programme and the first supervised injecting centre in Australia and he is also a Board Director at Australia21.

Peter Yuile
  • Principal - Coaching, Mentoring & Advising 

Peter Yuile is an Executive Coach and was Deputy CEO and Executive Director of AusTrade. Prior to that he held the positions of Deputy Secretary, Department of Transport and Regional Services where he was responsible for aviation, transport security and regional policy and services issues; and Deputy Secretary, Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry. Peter is a Board Director of Australia.

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Prof Raina MacIntyre
  • Head of Biosecurity Program, Kirby Institute UNSW

  • NHMRC Principal Research Fellow

Prof Raina MacIntyre is an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow and Professor of Global Biosecurity. She heads the Biosecurity Program at the Kirby Institute, which conducts research in epidemiology, vaccinology, bioterrorism prevention, mathematical modelling, genetic epidemiology, public health and clinical trials in infectious diseases She is a dual-specialist physician with training in epidemiology and modelling

Dr Jane O'Sullivan
  • Honorary Senior Research Fellow, University of Queensland

Dr Jane O’Sullivan is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Queensland. She researches the environmental and economic impacts of demographic change, challenging the many myths that are used to dismiss concerns about population growth.  In particular, she researchers the environmental, social, micro- and macro-economic impacts of population growth, and the efficacy of policy and program options addressing it

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Julian Cribb
  • Author & Public Speaker

  • Co-Founder, Council for the Human Future

Julian Cribb is a distinguished science writer with more than thirty awards for journalism. He was a newspaper editor, founder of the influential ScienceAlert website and author of eight books, including The Coming Famine. He is a member of the Council for the Human Future.

Dr Nicky Grigg
  • Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO

Dr Nicky Grigg is a Senior Research Scientist at CSIRO who works in interdisciplinary teams on a diverse range of projects concerned with global change and social-ecological systems. Recent and current projects include profiling Australia's vulnerability to natural hazards, funded by Emergency Management Australia, the National Resilience Taskforce and CSIRO

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Dr Graeme Pearman
  • Professorial Fellow, Melbourne University

Dr Graeme Pearman joined CSIRO, in 1971 where he was Chief of Atmospheric Research, 1992–2002. He contributed over 200 scientific journal papers primarily on aspects of the global carbon budget. He is now a consultant and Professorial Fellow, Melbourne University and was the Australian science advisor to the Hon. Al Gore.

Dr Lynne Reeder
  • National Director Australian Compassion Council

  • Adjunct Research Fellow, Federation University

Dr Lynne Reeder is a Board Director of Australia21, and in that role she established the Mindful Futures Network to map innovations in the science of mindfulness, empathy and compassion within Australian organisations. She is the National Director of the Australian Compassion Council, linked to the global Charter for Compassion, a network of collaborative partnerships. She is an Adjunct Research Fellow, School of Science and Psychology at Federation University Australia.

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Mark Dorman

Mark Dorman holds a Bachelor of Psychology and a Master’s of Environment, specialising in Education and Social Change. He has worked with Australia21 on projects relating to education, climate, and public engagement on complex topics for over five years. Mark hosts a podcast titled Making Waves that champions the projects and people that are committed to promoting social cohesion and increasing public awareness of important social and global issues."

Hugh MacKay
  • Author and social researcher

Hugh MacKay is a psychologistsocial researcher and writer. He is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and the Royal Society of NSW, and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Hugh was a weekly newspaper columnist for 25 years and is still regularly appearing commentator on radio and television. His most recent book was written during the COVID lock down of 2020 and is entitled The Loving Revolution:

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Mick Palmer AO, APM
  • Barrister and 33 year career Police Officer

Mick Palmer, AOAPM is a retired Australian police officer and lawyer who was the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police. Between 2004 and 2012 he was the Federal Government's Inspector of Transport Security, a position created after the 9/11 and Bali bombing terrorist incidents to review air, sea and land transport and off-shore critical infrastructure and advise government of the efficiency and effectiveness of existing security arrangements


Welcome & Overview - Prof Bob Douglas AO
  • Social revolutions in an enduring COVID world - Hugh MacKay AO
  • Addressing increasing anti-social behaviour in society: The criticality of honesty, evidence, courage and casual connection - Mick Palmer AO
  • The Economics of Inequality: Implications for Social Outcomes - Emma Dawson
  • Next Gen Reflection - Carla Alexandra Phd Student ANU
  • Getting the system working for next generation scientists: A lived experience - Dr Aparna Lal
  • Creating the world young people want to live in - Prof Felicia Huppert
  • How did my generation screw things up for young people? - Dr Alex Wodak
  • Next Gen Reflection - Mark Dorman Youth Advisor to Australia21 
Protecting our Human Future while Facing Existential Threats
  • Julian Cribb - The Human Futures Challenge
  • Prof John Hewson AO - The Council for the Human Future
  • Dr Jane O'Sullivan - Human Population Growth
  • Prof Raina MacIntyre - Pandemics and the Future
Discussion facilitated by Allan Behm
Thursday 24th June
Registration Open
Friday 25th June
  • Shaping Environmental Futures - Why Facts Aren’t Enough - Dr Graeme Pearman
  • Where to next for Climate Change Policy - Ian Dunlop
  • Todays decision making for tomorrow's water future's - Dr Carina Wyborn
  • Next Gen Reflection - Hannah Feldman Phd Student ANU
Wrap up and final remarks
6.45pm -  9.30pm
  • Introduction - Dr David Morawetz Australia21 Director
  • Global Developments in Wellbeing Budgets, the Economics of Arrival: Ideas for a grown up economy -  Dr Katherine Trebeck 
  • Vote of thanks - Dr Lynne Reeder Founder Mindful Futures Network



The ANU Union Bar venue is the home of University House Events. A modern open venue in the Canberra CBD. Close to the Canberra light rail city stops and numerous accomodation options.


The venue is adjacent to the Fellows@Rimmer Cafe 

3 Rimmer St,
Canberra ACT 2601