CEDA CEO update: 25 May 2020

CEDA CEO Melinda Cilento shares the latest at CEDA including our Trustee virtual roundtable program, research progress and upcoming livestreams.

This week I want to start by calling out the great response we’ve had to our Trustee virtual roundtables program that has been ramping up during May.
These invite-only discussions provide a great opportunity for information sharing and analysis of state and national issues of significance under Chatham House Rule.
We now have a strong program of state-specific and national trustee virtual events in the pipeline and have, for our national members, been running CEO roundtables each week during May, with CFO roundtables to kick-off from June.

Trustees have been invited from every state and territory. Feedback from participants so far suggests that these are very valuable conversations so watch out for invites.
CEDA's 2020 research agenda is directly addressing the policy reforms necessary to respond to emerging developments here and globally.
Our research will examine Australian trade and supply chains as mentioned last week, with a further focus on the labour market in a time of pandemic, the digitisation of human services, and Australia’s Federation in a time of pandemic.
We are making good progress on our labour market work. April ABS figures highlight the importance of this topic and confirm how dramatic the impacts of COVID-19 have been. Hours worked fell by 9.2 per cent in April alone, a fall roughly 30 per cent larger than that recorded in the full 18 months following the last recession in Australia.
CEDA will be consolidating all that you need to know on the jobs front when we publish our labour market tracker shortly. The tracker will be updated on a regular basis to show Australia’s jobs recovery and it will allow us to deep dive into the trends affecting different demographic cohorts.

Work is also underway on our reports on the federation (late June) and the digitisation of human services (July). Over coming weeks we will be speaking to CEDA members and experts on what Australia needs to do to step out of this pandemic with a federation that drives the right combination of collaboration, coordination and competition at the right times to progress positive reforms. We have also been reaching out to CEDA members and experts seeking contributions to our digitisation of human services report, which will look at pragmatic and practical suggestions for unlocking better digital service delivery across areas like health, justice, mental health and housing. If you would like to discuss either of these projects further, don’t hesitate to get in touch with CEDA’s Chief Economist, Jarrod Ball.

Our aim remains to encourage long term discussion and debate on the policy settings necessary to secure economic and social development. In addition to our research program, we have established an advisory group to consider how CEDA and its members can play a role in enabling the development and adoption of technologies in the public interest. This Public Interest Technology group met for the first time last week, and you can expect to hear more about this in coming months. Thanks to Google and IBM for supporting our efforts in this exciting area.  
We of course also continue to have a full program of activity focussed on promoting discussion of important issues with guest contributors drawn from across our member base.    
On the livestream front, I am very pleased to see that our members are engaging with our livestreams, which are free for members, to keep staff informed of the critical issues during this time. We have had almost 10,000 attendees to our livestreams over the past two months. Special mention must go to PwC; the Queensland Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning; Deloitte; the University of South Australia; and the Federal Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, for your high uptake of our livestream program.
I hope many of you will be able to participate this year in one of CEDA’s cornerstone programs, the annual State of the Nation conference. Our State of the Nation 2020 livestream will take place over 15-16 June with leaders from federal and state politics, (including the Prime Minister, Federal Opposition Leader and three State Treasurers), government, business and the community providing an update on the economy, critical priorities and the path to recovery. I have to say I think the timing could not be better. You can register for State of the Nation here.

More immediately, coming up we have a busy program of livestreams.
Watch: This week’s livestream is Leveraging technology in crisis response, on Tuesday 26 May. Join us as we hear how technology is being leveraged to inform, monitor and evaluate our collective response to crisis management and the public’s acceptance of technology-led solutions.
Speakers on the day include:
  • Google, Government Affairs and Public Policy, Lucinda Longcroft
  • Smash Delta, Managing Director, Ben Morley-John
  • GHD Digital, Australian Digital Leader, Colin Dominish
  • NSW Department of Customer Service, Chief Data Scientist, Dr Ian Oppermann
You can register here.
Also this week, Supply chains and global trade: where to now? is on Thursday 28 May. Join CEDA Chief Economist, Jarrod Ball, and a panel of experts as they explore how we can lead a supply chain and trade reform agenda that focuses on stronger and more diverse global partnerships, innovation and resilience.
Speakers include:
  • Austrade, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Tim Beresford
  • NSW Ports, Chief Executive Officer, Marika Calfas
  • IBM Australia & New Zealand, Global Business Services, Managing Partner, Doug Robinson
You can register here.
Looking ahead to June, Does disruptive technology require disruptive regulation? is on Friday 12 June. Join our expert panel as they explore what the next leaps in AI are and examine whether traditional and existing regulatory frameworks can protect individuals, communities, business and governments.
Speakers include:
  • The Ethics Centre, Executive Director, Dr Simon Longstaff AO
  • Microsoft, Senior Legal Counsel, Clayton Noble
  • The University of Queensland, Professor, Social Data and Analytics, Professor Rhema Vaithianathan
You can register for that event here.
Read: On the blog this week, ACIL Allen Director Science and Technology and Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering Energy Forum Chair, Dr John Söderbaum FTSE, considers the potential of hydrogen generation in Australia, following the Federal Government announcement of further investment in this space earlier this month. He discusses the role that hydrogen could play in the post-coronavirus recovery and the factors that continue to hold back the development of a green hydrogen industry. Read more here.
Also on the blog this week, EY Partner, Climate Change and Sustainability Services, Andi Csontos considers how COVID-19 could increase the already-high rates of suicide in Australia and what communities and employers can do to address this pressing issue. Read more here.
Listen: CEDA’s latest podcast series, The lowdown, presents conversations with leaders and thinkers drawn from CEDA member organisations to understand what they are seeing, hear their plans for the work ahead, and progress ideas for change.
Last week Edelman Australia CEO, Michelle Hutton, joined CEDA Queensland State Director, Kyl Murphy, to discuss Edelman's latest research, which uncovers how COVID-19 has affected the public's trust in institutions. You can find out more here.
And finally a big thanks to our renewing members this week:
National member:
Clayton Utz
State members:
BankSA (SA)
City of Prospect (SA)
Clifford Chance (WA)
Economic Regulation Authority (WA)
Healthdirect Australia (NSW)
Infigen Energy (NSW)
Paxon Group (WA)
Scotch College Adelaide (SA)
TAFE Queensland (QLD)
University of Tasmania (TAS)
All that remains is to say thank you to all our members and the wider CEDA community for your support as we continue to focus on the shape of things to come.

Melinda Cilento

About CEDA

CEDA – the Committee for Economic Development of Australia – is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation.

We identify policy issues that matter for Australia’s future. We work to drive policies that deliver better economic, social and environmental outcomes for Australia. We deliver on our purpose by: Leveraging insights from our members to identify and understand the most important issues Australia faces. Facilitating collaboration and idea sharing to invoke imaginative, innovative and progressive policy solutions. Providing a platform to stimulate thinking, raise new ideas and debate critical and challenging issues. Influencing decision makers in government, business and the community by delivering objective information and expert analysis and advocating in support of our positions. CEDA's membership spans every state and territory and includes Australia's leading businesses, community organisations, government departments and academic institutions. The organisation was founded in 1960 by leading economist Sir Douglas Copland, and his legacy of applying economic analysis to practical problems to aid the development of Australia continues as we celebrate 60 years of influence, reform and impact across the nation.;