What is Global Directions?
The company assists people to make sense of the world. This is done for two audiences:
(i) explaining international politics and
(ii) explaining the economic revolution through which we are now living. In both instances, there is an emphasis on looking to the long-term future.
What approach do you take to international politics?
In political science terms, I am a Realist (rather than an idealist). I examine the world how I see it (and not how I would like it to be). By contrast, politicians for example, are Idealists: they are spinning out a viewpoint based on what they hope will take place.
I operate in a spin-free zone (which some people may find uncomfortable for its directness).
What approach do you take to economic change?
I think the world is undergoing the biggest economic change since the British Industrial Revolution in 1750. Politicians and others are not doing enough to warn people about all the changes.
In all times of change, there are opportunities for people who wish to take them. Therefore, we also need to look for the faint signals of change and business opportunities.
What approach do you have for thinking about the future?
There are three main ways of thinking about the future, different but equally valid:
(i) prediction, such as looking at where current trends could go, for example, whether there will be a continued high level of economic growth in China and how this could affect Australia, what are the implications of artificial intelligence for society and what are the implications of an aging population?
(ii) preferred, such as creating new business opportunities and new markets;
(iii) possible: this is the role of scenario planning, whereby we are dealing with “futures” which are not currently being predicted and not necessarily what one would like to see happen; it means thinking about the unthinkable.
What are some of the projects in which you have been involved?
(i) the Australian Government in 1997 began a revolution in residential care which continues to this day. A report was produced in 2001 warning residential aged care providers of what could happen to their industry:
(ii) a similar revolution is now underway in caring for people in the community and another report was produced:
(iii) there has also been a study on the future of the Uniting Church:
(iv) China has been an important economic partner for Australia and a report was produced looking at the lessons of that trade and what opportunities existed:
(v) a study was done of four scenarios of a rural local government area (disguised in the report as “Littletown”):