Economy // Technology | Innovation

CEDA CEO update: 8 June 2020

This past week saw the release of the national accounts data for the March quarter which confirmed what most already knew, Australia is in recession. While thus far Australia has fared better than many if not most other countries, it is not smooth sailing from here and all eyes remain on how we stabilise and then rebuild economic activity.

Based on my conversations with CEDA members and CEOs, many are trying to be very deliberative about how they ‘restart’ their own businesses and operations with a clear focus on what they hope to continue to do differently and the scope for new opportunities to emerge through recovery and beyond. 

 There is a sense that we now have a real opportunity to drive lasting change across many aspects of our lives.
One key driver of change and opportunity is technology – and we have had something of a great leap forward on the digital front.  CEDA is bringing together technologists, policy makers and business to discuss how to best manage new technologies and foster the collaborative approaches necessary to support solutions to the issues of rapid technological change in a program of work to drive a Public Interest Technology (PIT) discussion and agenda in Australia.

By bringing together industry, research, government and the community sectors in a collaborative effort, CEDA hopes to create a unique voice that speaks across traditional silos to build consensus around the scope for and benefits of technology led economic development and recovery in Australia.  As preparations for PIT continue, I am delighted to welcome Google, IBM and KPMG as PIT Foundation Partners.

PIT Foundation Partners will help shape a significant agenda not only for CEDA but for the nation, as the program delivers a range of activities aimed at driving discussion, facilitating collaboration and guiding CEDA’s program of work in this space. Keep an eye on CEDA’s website and social media for some of KPMG’s extremely creative scribing of the issues that PIT will be covering.
You can read more about PIT from our first meeting here.
More generally, in recognition of CEDA’s digital transformation over recent months, I would like to thank all of CEDA’s sponsors, most recently Microsoft who are sponsoring our livestream Does disruptive technology require disruptive regulation? on 12 June. Special thanks also go to KPMG, NBN Co and Stellar who are the sponsors of this year’s State of the Nation conference.
Coming up we have a busy program of activity.
Watch: Keeping with the technology theme, on Friday 12 June our panel of experts will be exploring what the next leaps in AI are and whether traditional and existing regulatory frameworks can protect individuals, communities, business and governments as we pose the question, Does disruptive technology require disruptive regulation?
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.
On 15 and 16 June our annual State of the Nation conference will be held. Over two half days, you can hear from keynote speakers Prime Minister the Hon. Scott Morrison and Federal Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Anthony Albanese. Other speakers include ACT Chief Minister and Treasurer, the Hon. Andrew Barr; Treasurer of Victoria, Tim Pallas; NSW Treasurer, the Hon. Dominic Perrottet; Austrade, Chief Executive Officer, Dr Stephanie Fahey; Australasian Supply Chain Institute Chair, Alexandra Riha; AlphaBeta Director, Dr Andrew Charlton; CEDA Board Member, Dr Gordon de Brouwer PSM; RBC Capital Markets Managing Director and Head of AU/NZ Economics & Fixed Income Strategy, Su-Lin Ong; Australian Council of Trade Unions Secretary, Sally McManus; Federal Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations, the Hon. Christian Porter; CEDA National Chairman, Diane Smith-Gander AO; and Programmed Group Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer, Glenn Thompson.
You can register for our 15-16 June State of the Nation here.

Watch: Also coming up is Australia’s competitiveness in economic recovery, on Thursday 18 June. This event will coincide with the release that week of the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook rankings and analysis. CEDA is the Australian partner for the yearbook. Join us to discuss Australia’s global competitiveness and more specifically in the Asia Pacific region.
Speakers include:
  • International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Professor for Finance and Director of IMD World Competitiveness Centre, Professor Arturo Bris
  • Asialink, Group Chief Executive Officer, Penny Burtt
  • CEDA, Chief Economist, Jarrod Ball
You can register here.
Other events coming up in June include:
The National economic outlook on Tuesday 23 June. Join Westpac Chief Economist, Bill Evans and myself as we provide our latest analysis and forecasts for the national economy.
You can register for that event here.
The future of financial services on Thursday 25 June, with Australian Banking Association CEO, the Hon. Anna Bligh AC and The University of Queensland Professor of Management, Professor Nicole Gillespie.
You can register for that event here.
Tickets for these online events are free to CEDA members, with low cost tickets available to non-members. You can also catch up with CEDA’s livestreams on demand on the video archive page of the website. 
Read: On the blog this week Former Industry Commission Chairman, Bill Scales AO; Swinburne University Centre for Transformative Innovation Director, Professor Beth Webster; and Centre for Transformative Innovation PhD Candidate, David Paynter argue that we need to understand what Australian manufacturing looks like today before we decide what role it should play in the economy after COVID-19. You can read more here.
Also on the blog, in the first in a regular series of labour market updates for CEDA's Recovery: coming back better project, CEDA Senior Economist, Gabriela D'Souza, shows the impact that COVID-19 is already having on the Australian labour market and how it is affecting young workers in particular. 
And finally, CEDA NSW Associate Director, David Bowtell concludes CEDA's recent series of work on supply chains and trade after COVID-19 with a wrap-up of CEDA's panel discussion and some insights collected from consultations with CEDA members. 
As always a big thanks to our renewing members this week:
New state member
Step Beyond Strategy (WA)
Renewing members
National member
State members
Adani Mining (QLD)
Barwon Water (VIC)
Brownes Dairy (WA)
CanDo Group (SA)
Curtin University (WA)
Prominence (QLD)
Queensland Department of the Premier and Cabinet (QLD)
Stanwell Corporation (QLD)
The Bethanie Group (WA)
Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (QLD)
University of South Australia (SA)
Victorian Agency for Health Information (VIC)
Victorian Department of Transport (VIC)
Thanks once again to all of our members and the wider CEDA community for your support and I hope you can join us for our online State of the Nation next week.
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.;