Looking back at five years of catalytic change

The Australian Futures Project grew out of a desire to build Australia's capacity to make decisions for a flourishing shared future.  

Five years ago, we launched a bold experiment, “a crazy idea to make Australia a better place", and asked three big questions...


1. Can we effectively identify opportunities to improve discrete parts of the system?

Yes: We have strong evidence that our work has produced real impact for organisations and individuals working on the big issues affecting Australia's future. 


2. Can we positively change the system itself?

Yes: We have created programs that focus on the big levers for change: broad leadership and active contribution from all levels of society (especially the political class, public servants and change-makers across sectors); 21st Century Service competence for a complex, fast-changing world (especially public servants and change-makers); and new, productive relationships across sectors. 


3. Can we build trusting partnerships based on a reputation for bold, high-quality, innovative work?

Yes: We have worked with blue-chip organisations and respected individuals across Australia, and built a large, enthusiastic network of supporters that includes leading figures in many sectors.


It has been extraordinary how widespread the concern is about making these issues to do with decision-making for Australia’s future, and just how much support and interest AFP’s initiatives garner
— John Dewar, AFP Advisory Board Member and Vice-Chancellor of La Trobe University
As a nation, we are caught in the terrible vice of short-termism. There are so few organisations that look over the horizon with any sanity, let alone with genuine independence and values, as AFP does
— Alan Oakley, News Corp Australia

By the numbers... 

Constructive Government-Focussed Initiatives

Two new public-sector Institutions: Parliamentary Leaders Program and 21st Century Service 

1,000+ Public Servants from 25+ Departments and 5% of politicians have participated in our courses

100% of 21st Century Service participants have applied skills and behaviours to their work

100% of all Parliamentary Leaders participants stated that the course had a positive influence on their ability to govern


Citizen-Focussed Initiatives

Two new platforms to engage Australians: What's the Future, Australia? and My Big Idea

1,100 Australians surveyed for the National Values Assessment 

30 experts participated to answer the publics burning questions for What's the Future, Australia? 

Four citizen-led initiatives supported through What's the Future? and 12 new citizen-led solutions to complex societal challenges through My Big Idea


Thought Leadership: Articulating the Big Picture

Three major cross-sector roundtables convened, leading to new initiatives 

Two national polls conducted and disseminated through summary analysis 

Anchor of four Boss/Optus 'True Leaders Game Changers' podcasts

12 papers on discrete topics and system-level issues that investigate how the change system works, where the levers for change lie and how to activate them


Fixing short-termism in Australia

Our plans 2018 - 2023