“Future prosperity will look nothing like the past” – The challenges for today’s regional economies

16 May 2017, by Laurien Maerman

With a growing economic gap between Australia’s major cities and regional areas, there has never been a more important time to examine the policies and strategies that can ensure prosperity for regional, remote and rural economies. Long run labour force data shows the progressive disappearance of routine cognitive and routine manual jobs across the country. Automation, robotics and algorithms in the cloud are likely to hasten this trend. Regional economies are likely to face another round of structural headwinds and need to scope out futures in the world of non-routine activities…

warwick-powellIn the lead up to his presentation at the Transitioning Regional Economies Conference we spoke to Warwick Powell, Founder and Chairman at Sister City Partners to discuss some of the biggest challenges we’re facing today.

Warwick Powell firstly stated that one of the biggest challenges is to cultivate capacity in the community, to actually transition to an economy whose work-skill requirement is increasingly “non-routine” in nature.

He added: “The development and amplification of new non-routine competencies must take place at an individual level, group or organizational level, business/enterprise level through to integrated supply chains and a broader whole-of-community capacity to embrace the need to be “experimental” in what we do.”

The second challenge he mentioned is re-articulating towards global and national capital flows; and in doing so, getting away from what I have previously called the Mendicant Economy Model.

Thirdly, the challenge is driving through major competency and cultural change and development without leaving people behind. “Inclusivity is the key, which means models of local governance must change from being focused on “command-and-control models” to “co-design models”.

Warwick Powell will be speaking at the upcoming Transitioning Regional Economies Conference to discuss how regions can focus on the 21st century, its challenges and prospects without being shackled to the no-longer-relevant models of the 20th century.

The Transitioning Regional Economies Conference on 6-7 June in Melbourne, will bring together industry leaders to share ideas, case studies and discuss the policies and strategies that will future proof regional economies impacted by de-industrialisation.

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