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Systems Engineering for Next Generation Leadership

The Foundation is partnering with ANU Distinguished Professor Genevieve Bell, Director of the 3A Institute, to develop an intensive leadership program for an AI future.

Focused on the cutting edge of understanding the skills and capabilities required for this future, the program will focus on the type of leader and leadership attributes required to lead in an increasingly connected, complex and adaptive world.

Futurists have been heralding the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for half a decade now. But it wasn’t until the cataclysmic events of 2020, which precipitated huge disruption to existing structures such as supply chains, and accelerated uptake of technologies, that we could see that future. The intersecting ecological, social and technological disruptions we have experience this year raise unique opportunities and challenges for shaping our future.

Every decision made now will shape our AI-driven future. Yet many decision-makers in our ecosystem completed their formal education decades ago. The world may look the same – we can take an elevator or purchase food from a supermarket in much the same way as we recall from our childhood – but the systems which make it happen are fundamentally different. We need to find ways to crack open these systems and transform our approaches to them; this means building a network of change agents, and fostering new collaborations across sectors. We need cross-generational, cross-sectoral, or cross-organisational leaders to go on this journey with us. Developing this program will not be easy. It will require the synthesis of thoughts and experiences from those in complex and challenging leadership positions, who are making real change in the world. It will require radical thinking about how leaders around the world can bring people together to achieve hugely complex problems; problems that go beyond the next budget cycle, and speak to the future we are collectively guiding into existence.

During February 2021, leaders from across Australia convened for an important conversation to support the development of a leadership program that will support Australian leaders. Participants included critical friends of Menzies Foundation and 3AI - people who are passionate and divergent thinkers, drawing on their collective experiences through facilitated activities.

We look forward to sharing the outcomes of this workshop.

Meanwhile, we welcome you to join Liz Gillies, Menzies Found CEO and Professor Genevieve Bell as they discuss this initiative and consider the future leadership landscape – Listen here