Changes to how we think about ageing in response to the pandemic may have profound impacts across a number of sectors, both as increased risks, but also opportunities

Me and my dad at his eightieth birthday

I am lucky that both of my parents are still going strong in their early eighties even though they have both had significant health challenges in the last couple of years.

Given the experience and knowledge I have of disease issues I have been pretty strong on my messages to them on what they should be doing during the Pandemic, especially as they both have pre-existing conditions that make them more vulnerable.

Their situation and the thought of my impending 60th birthday (I cannot believe that I am typing that) has led me to think about the changes that the…


One future for commercial office space in Australia

Image is from: http://gallica.bnf.fr/iiif/ark:/12148/btv1b85624763/f744/1439,1521,1245,1007/1245,1007/0/native.jpg

A lot has been written about the future of working in the office because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. One possible future is a slow-moving ongoing crisis for the owners of commercial office space in the CBD centres of our major cities driven by the forced experiments of working from home.

That possibility is most stark in my home city of Melbourne. Cushman and Wakefield Market Beat Report details that in Melbourne an extra 24.3% of premium space, 12.8% of A-grade space and 15.9% of prime space (combined premium and A-grade space) is under construction at the same time that demand…


and the implications for the next 12 months across Australia

I live in Melbourne, Australia.

We have just entered six weeks of restrictions being put back in place for the community in Greater Melbourne (but not most of the regions). Those restrictions are basically to stay at home except to shop for food (including takeaway), exercise in your family group, work if you cannot work from home, and for giving or receiving care.

Moving forward, I think there are four basic scenarios that inform us about what will happen in the next six weeks and their impact on the next 12 months.

We have got to this position because local…


In my home state of Victoria, we have had increasing numbers of COVID-19 confirmed cases in the last few days:

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-17/coronavirus-cases-data-reveals-how-covid-19-spreads-in-australia/12060704?nw=0#testsvscases

Not very high numbers in international terms but a very high percentage of total Australian cases given we are only 25% of the population:


What Might Happen to Tourism

In Australia, we are now at the stage of the pandemic/epidemic where people are starting to think through the next stage. If we can keep numbers relatively low in the next few weeks, then the pressures will grow about relaxing the current restrictions. The result will be a combination of:

· Government decision making, which will be informed both by modelling and the results of what other countries do.

· The reactions of people to the change. This will vary in light of what individuals have experienced over the last few weeks. …


What does looking at South Korea tell us?

Now that the initial numbers of COVID-19 cases have been suppressed in Australia, and are looking promising, it is time to start thinking more deeply about what the next 12 months looks like. In this first of a series of posts, I want to look at what South Korea has done to think about the Australian future. In order to do that I have trawled back through all of the press releases from the Korean CDC website since February 17 [ The Korean CDC is an excellent source of information on what has been happening. See: https://www.cdc.go.kr/board/board.es?mid=a30402000000&bid=0030].

The data from…


Speculative Foresight Fiction to Help People Think About what Might Happen

Let me be clear from the beginning that this is a piece of speculative fiction designed to help people think about what might happen. It is not a prediction. It is also trying to use a possible future story to help people understand some of the technical details.

I have also written a set of wider scenarios that you can see at: Potential COVID 19 Scenarios

This story has been driven in part by what I believe is some fundamental misunderstanding of things by the general public, so I have included some technical information at the end if people want…


The COVID-19 pandemic has left a lot of people in fear and confusion.

We have made these scenarios free to download and we are regularly updating them. You can get the document at :

http://www.emergentfutures.com/frontpage-article/covid-19-scenarios/

In recent discussions with clients, I realised that there was a need for some foresight-based work to help them clarify what their strategy might be over the next 18 months. I have written some scenarios for specific clients, but I also have a view that disseminating some summary scenarios is useful for a lot of people. Therefore, I created this summary and made it freely available via our blog and our website so people can be better informed, and others can weigh in with critiques.

This is a very long read but I think it is important to disseminate…


Embracing uncertainty and thinking more deeply about the future equips us to respond better to external change

Lately, I have had a significant increase in inquiries on how to think about the future and deal with uncertainty due to the problems that the CoVid 19 disease has caused.This is an opportunity to embrace uncertainty

In discussions the questions generally divide neatly into what I should do now, and how should I change my thinking and strategy processes? While both questions are contextual, the first is highly specific to the individual organisation so this article focuses on how to bring future thinking into a strategy.

In thinking about foresight and strategy I think about it as a funnel…


An economic strategy for your own carbon footprint

Picture: From Unsplash (Joseph Greve) https://unsplash.com/photos/TII6axq3eo4

I am a big fan of the view that in many cases markets are the greatest driver of change once research and regulation have played their part in getting costs down.

This post describes my strategy for reducing our carbon footprint per person in our household in a staged and profitable way in Australia. It only applies to people with the capacity for rooftop solar and with sufficient capital to start off the process. I would argue that if you have both of those you are morally obliged to significantly reduce your carbon footprint. …

Futurist Paul Higgins

Futurist & Speaker @ www.emergentfutures.com Partner SVP Melbourne. Churchill Club Committee Member (Melb). Very slow triathlete.

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