A Worthwhile Journey Cover Story

  • Date:01 Jun 2005
  • Type:CompanyDirectorMagazine
The 2005 AICD National Conference in Perth 11-14 had as its theme "The Outward Journey" and judging by the enthusiastic response of delegates and guests, it was an immensely worthwhile journey. It was a also a very busy journey with members attending, for the first time, a session on the Wednesday evening called the Global Baby Bust with KPMG Partner Bernard Salt (author of The Big Shift) and Rhonda Parker from the Positive Ageing Foundation.

A Worthwhile Journey

The 2005 AICD National Conference in Perth 11-14 had as its theme "The Outward Journey" and judging by the enthusiastic response of delegates and guests, it was an immensely worthwhile journey. It was a also a very busy journey with members attending, for the first time, a session on the Wednesday evening called the Global Baby Bust with KPMG Partner Bernard Salt (author of The Big Shift) and Rhonda Parker from the Positive Ageing Foundation.

Population shifts, migration and the effects on respective economies is an issue for all companies formulating business strategies. One of the ironies to come out of this session was the fact that Italy has the lowest birth rate in the world - yet it is one of the most Catholic.

The global theme was carried throughout much of the opening day presentations from John Hopkins Professor of Political Economy, Francis Fukuyama talking about the clash of cultures in an ever narrowing economic world. A few years ago Fukuyama wrote about the "end of history" a term by which he meant that with the death of Communism the rise of liberal democracy would be the ultimate form of government.

Dr Martin Cetron, founder and president of US company Forecasting International, provided members with some interesting predictions about the future one of which is that in the next six years, management levels will be half of what they were in 1990 and there will be about one-third the number of managers. In other words, computers and information management systems mean fewer bureaucratic managers and managers will have to be more hands-on.

As usual, the Corporate Tales from the business battleground with Michael Norris (Verge Trading), Bob McKinnon (Austal) and Therese Rein (Ingeus) providing stories from the trenches.

Professor Peter McDonald, Dr Jim Gill, Professor Fiona Stanley and Janet Holmes a Court provided a most informative session on what Australia needs to do to prioritise its goals. Issues such as education, health, environment, population, water and indigenous issues were discussed.

Jim Gill, the head of WA Water Corporation put Australia's water shortage in perspective with the exhibit of the jerry can and the spoon - one spoonful of bottled water costs as much as one full jerry can of "free" water.

But at least he said West Australians were trying their best to preserve water and made the point that one of Australia's richest women and his co-panellist, Janet Holmes a Court always has a bucket in the shower to save water.

On the Friday, members decamped to the various forums situated in and around Perth and returned to listen to Graeme Samuels (ACCC chairman), Jeff Lucy (ASIC chairman) and Tony D'Aloisio (ASX CEO) talk about their respective roles as regulators.

One interesting exchange was the suggestion by D'Aloisio that the ASX is always looking at its dual function as a regulator and a participant in the market and would not be unhappy to shed its regulatory role. Jeff Lucy on the on the other hand was not enthusiastic about taking up any regulatory slack.

Overall, the conference was a huge success and enjoyed by all.

Next year, it is back to the Gold Coast.

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