Future Shapers

Bringing together the capable, innovative and engaged next generation of Australian leaders.

Bringing together the capable, innovative and engaged next generation of Australian leaders.

Future Shapers will connect the next generation of Australia’s leaders from Government, business, research, advocacy, social enterprise and the media.

A series of unique, tailored activities will be offered to each participant that will provide them with real opportunities to make a difference. The forum’s core activities will expose participants to leading thinkers from across the country and around the world and will equip them with tools to imagine and create a future of their choosing.

Future Shapers is an initiative of the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation, Australian National University and is supported by the Crawford Australian Leadership Forum, Australian National University.

Key Dates

  • 20th June: Welcome reception


The Future Shapers two day program features a series of thought provoking discussions, hands on workshops, intimate dinners with current leaders and meetings tailored to our participants interests and needs.

The Sir Roland Wilson Foundation

The Sir Roland Wilson Foundation was established with a donation from the Wilson family estate to the Australian National University. The Foundation’s purpose is to honour his contribution to the nation by advancing the study and development of public policy in Australia, its regions and the rest of the world.



Ms Yassmin Abdel Magied
Engineer and social advocate

2015 Queensland Young Australian of the Year, Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a mechanical engineer, social advocate, writer and ‘petrol head’. Debut author at 24 with the coming-of-age-memoir, Yassmin’s Story, the 2015 Queensland Young Australian of the Year advocates for the empowerment of youth, women and those from racially, culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Ms Kristin Alford
Futurist & Founding Director, In Situ Foresight

Kristin uses foresight and strategy frameworks to help organisations and individuals discover new insights. She established Bridge8 in 2004 following careers in engineering, human resources, strategy and product development for companies including BHP Billiton, Ansett-Air New Zealand, the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria and Nanotechnology Victoria.

Professor Genevieve Bell
College of Engineering and Computer Science, The Australian National University

Professor Genevieve Bell is an Australian-born anthropologist and researcher. Genevieve has recently joined the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science. Dr Bell joined the ANU in February 2017 from global innovation company Intel, where she served as a Dr Bell has served as a Vice President of Intel where she became the first woman in the company’s history to be appointed an Intel Senior Fellow.

Dr Andrew Charlton
Director, AlphaBeta Advisors

Dr Andrew Charlton is co-founder of AlphaBeta, a leading economic analytics company based in Sydney and Singapore. He has previously worked for the United Nations and the London School of Economics.

From 2008-2010, through the period of the global financial crisis, he served as senior economic advisor to the Prime Minister of Australia and Australia’s senior government official to the G20 economic summits.

Ms Marita Cheng
Young Australian of the year 2012, Engineering visionary

She is a technology entrepreneur and women in technology advocate. On a day-to-day basis, Marita works as the founder and CEO of 2Mar Robotics doing mechanical engineering. The company began by creating robotic arms for people with limited upper limb mobility. Marita was named the 2012 Young Australian of the Year for demonstrating vision and leadership well beyond her years as the Founder and Executive Director of Robogals Global.

Professor Gareth Evans AC QC FASSA FAIIA
Chancellor, The Australian National University

Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC FASSA has been Chancellor of the Australian National University since January 2010. He was a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne from 2009 to 2012, and is now an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the ANU. From 2000 to 2009 he was President and Chief Executive Officer (and is now President Emeritus) of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, the independent global conflict prevention and resolution organisation.

Dr Nicholas Farrelly
Deputy Director, Impact and Engagement, Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, ANU

Dr Farrelly’s research stretches across the Southeast Asian region and focuses on relationships between government control, spatial organisation and political conflict. In 2006, he co-founded a website on mainland Southeast Asia called New Mandala. It offers regular analysis of social and political issues in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Myanmar, and the other countries of the region.

Ms Virginia Haussegger AM
Award winning journalist & gender equity advocate

Virginia Haussegger AM is a passionate women’s advocate and communication specialist. She is also an award-winning television journalist, writer and commentator, whose extensive media career spans more than 25 years. In 2014, Virginia was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to the community, as an advocate for women’s rights and gender equity, and to the media.

Dr Ken Henry
Chair, National Australia Bank

Dr Ken Henry has been one of Australia’s most outstanding public policy contributors, especially as Secretary to Treasury from 2001 – 2011. He was also a member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia and a member of the Board of Taxation during this period. He received an AC in 2007 and had previously received a Centenary Medal for his contributions. Ken is Co-Chair of NAB’s Indigenous Advisory Group.

Dr Jeremy Howard
Founder & deep learning researcher @ fast.ai

Jeremy Howard is a serial entrepreneur, business strategist, developer, and educator. He is the youngest faculty member at Singularity University, where he teaches data science, and is also a Young Global Leader with the World Economic Forum. Previously he was the President and Chief Scientist of Kaggle, a community and competition platform for over 150,000 data scientists.

Dr Parag Khanna
Global Strategist, National University of Singapore

Parag Khanna is a leading global strategist, world traveller, and best-selling author. He is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre on Asia and Globalisation at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. He is also the Managing Partner of Hybrid Reality, a boutique geostrategic advisory firm, and Co-Founder & CEO of Factotum, a leading content branding agency.

Ms Nakkiah Lui

Nakkiah Lui is a writer for theatre and TV and proud Gamillaroi and Torres Strait Islander woman from Mount Druitt, western Sydney. She is an associate playwright in residence at Belvoir and a 2013 artist in residence at Griffin Theatre under the emerging cultural leader program. In 2012, Nakkiah was the inaugural recipient of The Dreaming Award from The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Arts Board of the Australia Council, and the inaugural recipient of the Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright award.

Ms Tory Maguire
Editor in Chief, HuffPost Australia

Tory Maguire is the Editor in Chief of Huffington Post Australia, which launched in August 2015. Prior to joining HuffPost Tory spent 15 years at News Corporation, in various reporting and editing roles.

Mr Aaron Maniam
Director, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore Government

Aaron Maniam is a Singapore government official, having served in his country’s Foreign Service, the Prime Minister’s Office Centre for Strategic Futures and the Institute for Public Sector Leadership at the Civil Service College, where he started a Lab to create serious games that could aid in the policymaking process.

Ms Shen Narayanasamy
Executive Director & Human Rights Campaign Director, No Business in Abuse - GetUp

Shen Narayanasamy is the Human Rights Campaign Director at GetUp! She leads the No Business in Abuse campaign which targets corporate involvement in mandatory detention of asylum seekers, and #LetThemStay which aims to prevent the deportation of hundreds of asylum seekers to Nauru. Shen’s background is as human rights lawyer and advocate working in Australia and across the Asia-Pacific on issues of economic justice and land rights.

Ms Clare O'Neil MP
Member for Hotham, Victoria

In 2013 Clare  was elected to the Australian House of Representatives as the Australian Labor Party member for Hotham in Melbourne’s south-east. Prior to entering Parliament, O’Neil worked at McKinsey & Company as a management consultant; and at 23 became Mayor of the City of Greater Dandenong, making her the youngest female mayor in Australian history.

Ms Holly Ransom
CEO, Emergent

Holly Ransom is the CEO of Emergent, a company specialising in the development of high performing intergenerational workforces, leadership and social outcomes. Holly is renowned for generating innovative solutions to complex multi-stakeholder problems for corporations, governments and non-profit organisations, and for coaching and professionally mentoring leaders around the world.

Ms Jessa Rogers
National NAIDOC Committee, Fulbright Scholar 2017

Jessa is an Aboriginal educator holding the position of Assistant Professor in Education at the University of Canberra. She was awarded QUT Young Alumnus of the Year in 2016 and in 2014 she was the recipient of the ANU Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Reconciliation. In 2010, Jessa was National NAIDOC Youth of the Year.

Ms Tory Shepherd
Journalist & Acting Editor, News Ltd

Tory Shepherd is an opinion writer and journalist best known for her contributions to Australian News Limited media publications and websites, including The Advertiser and The Punch. She has worked as Political Editor at The Advertiser, as a senior reporter at news.com.au and as a panellist on the ABC TV discussion program, Insiders.

Professor Brian P. Schmidt AC FAA FRS
Vice-Chancellor, The Australian National University

Professor Brian P. Schmidt was appointed Vice-Chancellor of ANU in January 2016. Professor Schmidt is the 12th Vice-Chancellor of The Australian National University (ANU). Winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, Professor Schmidt was an astrophysicist at the ANU Mount Stromlo Observatory and Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics before becoming Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Helen Sullivan
Director, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU

Professor Helen Sullivan is the Director of the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University. Prior to this position, she was Professor and Director of the Melbourne School of Government. Professor Sullivan has also held leadership roles in the United Kingdom, and is an internationally-recognised expert in democratic accountability and the evaluation of government policy.



Canberra, ACT

The nation’s capital is not only home to the nation’s leaders, but is also home to some of the best food, coffee and attractions that the country has to offer. Participants will be able to experience these as part of the program and will be able to explore many more.
Winter in Canberra can be a glorious season with crisp, clear sunny days. Be warned though, it can be very chilly and it’s not uncommon for the mercury to drop below zero in the early morning and late evening, so remember to pack your woollies.


General enquiries

Lauren Bartsch
Future Shapers Convenor
+61 2 6125 4127

Media enquiries

ANU Media
+61 2 6125 7979