As part of the Leader Series Program, our annual breakfast sparked some thoughtful debate on what the future of WA will look like and how we can each take a part in creating a growing community in WA. Esteemed guests took part in the event including the Honourable Sue Ellery MLC, Minister for Education and Training; Professor Dawn Freshwater, Vice Chancellor, UWA, the incoming UWA Chancellor, the Honourable Robert French, US Consul General, Rachel Cooke; and Janet Holmes á Court – UWA Fogarty Scholar Patron.
The discussion was led by an expert panel:
- Professor Peter Klinken – WA Chief Scientist
- Mr Naveen Unni – Partner, McKinsey, Perth
- Mr Mark Shelton – UWA Fogarty Scholar, John Monash Scholarship recipient, co-founder Bloom Labs
The moderator for the event was Elena Douglas, CEO Knowledge Society.
Upskilling our workforce and creating a pipeline of technology savvy workers, ready to take on the changing world of work was a common theme expressed on the day, as well as acknowledging the importance of keeping our best and brightest in WA. They all identified the changing workplace as an opportunity for growth.
Professor Peter Klinken said “data is the gold of the future.” It is how we use it, that will become crucial. Naveen Unni stated the “technology is no longer a choice” and that organisations and individuals will have to demonstrate agility to make the most of these new opportunities. Mark Shelton concurred and saw that WA had an “opportunity to be the creators of tech, not the victim.”
Creating a pipeline of educated passionate workers, well prepared to take on new ways of working, retaining talent in WA, and creating tech opportunities to move WA forward were strong messages from the forum. Harnessing new skills and an entrepreneurial spirit was considered essential to create a growing community in WA. An entrepreneurial mindset can move our state forward, and as Mark Shelton described this: “To be an entrepreneur is to be thrown in the deep end and to learn as you go.”