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Next25, Making the future Australia wants

As a nation with immense fortune, Australia has the capacity to make the future it wants. But how can this future be achieved, a future where the voices of all Australians are represented? 

Whilst there is broad consensus that “something has to be done”, over the past 20 years Australia has not seen significant reform to address challenges such as First Nations opportunities, women’s equality, ageing and aged care, diabetes, stagnant productivity, a fit-for-purpose tax regime, housing affordability, truth in politics, and climate and energy.
 “There are many challenges presently facing Australia, as well as new (unknown) challenges that will emerge as the future unfolds. It is a precondition to dealing with these effectively and in the public interest that the right decision-making systems and institutions are in place that have our trust and confidence. This is the focus of Next25, and why I believe it is a priority to support, irrespective of the particular issues that concern us personally or where we sit on the political spectrum.” Bill Manos, major donor

Next25 is a non-partisan, non-profit organisation that believes the way Australia is building its future is broken. Their commitment is to ensure Australia maximises and shares its success by improving how Australia designs its future.  They believe that Australia needs three strong pillars in place:
(1) Describe the desired future 
(2) Assess the future-making system’s capability, and 
(3) Fix the system where it is found wanting.


Next25’s deep engagement and consultation with the public, decision-makers, and experts has identified that work needs to be done to strengthen the foundations, remove the weaknesses in the system and enable Australia to build for the future.  Next25 is focusing on how decisions are made in Australia, and what can be improved, with the hope that it provides focus around what those decisions need to be.

In March, they launched Navigator, a ground-breaking study that establishes for the first time what future the Australian public wants and whether Australia is on track. The inaugural report is based on qualitative research and quantitative analysis of a survey of 2,825 people. It reveals a dire situation: institutions are failing the Australian public and most Australians feel like the country is stagnating.

At the core of Navigator is the Public Interest Index, which measures the public’s sentiment about how well institutions in the future-making system (politicians, the public service, business, non-government organisations, media, and experts/academia) are acting in the public interest. A depressing picture emerges. The Public Interest Index is just 31/100. Navigator also reveals a pessimistic nation. 61% of Australians do not believe the country is any better than it was 5-10 years ago and only 39% of Australians are confident that Australia will be better in 5-10 years’ time.

These findings reinforce the need to address systemic challenges in Australia’s future-making system. 

To further strength the pillars, Recoded is an in-depth research program that engages leaders, experts, and the public to collectively understand how Australia makes its future, diagnose where positive change is possible, and then work together to identify and implement the solutions with most impact.

A further finding from Navigator was that 4/5 Australians think politicians have a big say in setting priorities for the nation, but only 1/5 think they are acting in the public interest. At the same time, parliamentarians feel isolated, constrained, and powerless to effect change.  

With the aim to keep Australia’s future-making system fit for purpose in a changing global context, another initiative of Next25 is Leadership, the first Australian professional development course developed by and for parliamentarians. It strengthens the capability of Australia’s parliamentarians to respond to the challenges of the 21st century and restore trust in the political system by reconnecting them to their values and motivations for entering parliament. 

It is with these initiatives, supported by generous philanthropic donors that enables Next25 to work towards making the future Australia wants.

For more information, go to Next25.