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Dr Nicholas Gruen - Innovation - Australia’s leading policy economist

Travels From Victoria

Speaker Topics

Detoxing Our Democracy: A new role for ordinary people in politics

Discover how by creating space for ordinary people to influence our politics at every level could see our democracy reborn. Read less
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Economics: What is it good for?

In this talk, Dr Gruen will show you how poor economics has been at answering the questions many ask of it, but how it could be used to make the world a better place. Read less
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Five Ways Innovation Talk is Too Vague to Help Anyone

Discover how the extended technology stack can really promote innovation Read less
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How did New Zealand lose the race against Australia?

New Zealand had the highest living standards in the world at the turn of the 20th century. By 1970, its income levels were the same as Australias. And yet a generation later, they are around 20 per cent lower. Dr Gruen explores these facts and also looks at various theories as to how it happened. Read less
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How the Internet is Changing Our Economy and Our Lives

While we have been reforming our economy in the image of a normal market, something huge has happened. A whole slew of new public goods has been built. And most have been built privately. This calls for a whole new agenda. What do those new goods look like? And how do we start? Read less
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How to Protect Your Organisation from Our Toxic Politics

Dr Gruen shows how self appointed spokespeople are usually hugely unrepresentative of the group they claim to be representing and explores ways your organisation can cut through to deal with the people themselves. Read less
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How We Are Wanting Change We Can Believe In Before Change we Need

The young want change, as well they might. But not all change is worth having. And change makers use the tools of marketing to convince us of the value of their causes. In this talk, Nicholas Gruen will interrogate change making and conclude that some of the causes we are invited to get caught up in are unlikely to achieve much and might even make things worse. Meanwhile, other changes we need to make are as urgent as ever. Read less
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How We Blew It In International Negotiations

In this presentation, Dr Gruen explores the basic economics of Intellectual Property and suggests some principles to which we should adhere in negotiating international agreements; principles we have ignored so far. Read less
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Is GDP All There Is? Better approaches to measuring our well being

In this talk, Dr Gruen will explain why GDP is not all that bad. But not for the reasons you think. He will also explain why many attempts to provide more holistic measures of wellbeing amount to little more than distractions. Read less
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Not Drowning, Waving: Education and the revolution of web 2.0

Dr Gruen will describe the opportunities and challenges that face formal learning with the unfolding use of web technologies. Read less
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Nudging Towards Innovation

Dr Gruen discusses the myriad ways governments can promote innovation without spending money. This is the Innovation without money agenda he championed as Chair of Innovation Australia. Read less
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Six Ways to Tell if You Are REALLY Thinking Strategically

It is crucial for your business to get its strategy right. Often, we go away and agree on some central goal and then work out how you will get there working down from high levels to detail. Yet, this is a kind of anti thinking. The goals and capabilities you need to get there are interdependent. Dr Gruen will look at six things you really need to do to get your strategy as good as it can be. Read less
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The Culture Wars: How they’re holding us back and what to do about it.

Dr Gruen shows how culture wars work in education, in economics, in health and in many other areas before explaining how we can tackle culture war and build a better world. Read less
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Want Your Business to be Smart? Maybe Try Not Being Stupid.

There are hundreds of cognitive biases, many of which get stronger in groups, particularly hierarchical groups. That’s pretty much every organisation. What are these biases and how can you and your business protect yourselves? Read less
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Why Aren’t Business Decisions More Evidence Based and What Can We Do to Make Them So?

In this talk, Dr Gruen will show how you can revolutionise the performance of your business by using expertise first developed to measure and track the effectiveness of value creation in the business and report it independently to all stakeholders. Read less
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Dr Nicholas Gruen

Australia’s leading policy economist

Described as “Australia’s foremost public intellectual” by former Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner, Dr Nicholas Gruen is Australia’s leading policy economist, entrepreneur and commentator. 

As a strong academic, Nicholas received First Class Honours when he completed his Bachelors’ in History, an LLB (Hons) from University of Melbourne, before going on to complete a Graduate Diploma in economics and a PhD in Public Policy from Australian National University.

Originally a school teacher and cartoonist in the 1980’s, Nicholas pivoted his career towards economics and policy.

Now the CEO of Lateral Economics, Nicholas coordinates a team of international experts to lead economic reform. He is also the Chairman of Health Metrics, the global software provider for aged care services, as well as the Chairman of the Australian Chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation.

Nicholas was also founding Chairman and a major shareholder of the hugely successful San Francisco-based start-up Kaggle before they sold to Google. He continues to be a prominent angel investor in innovative start-ups across domestic and international markets, including Breezedocs and HealthKit.

Currently a Visiting Professor at Kings College London Policy Institute, and an Adjunct Professor at UTS Business School, Nicholas also contributes his expertise to a range of Australian organisations and government agencies, including the National Library of Australia, the Federal Government’s Innovation Australia, and The Australian Centre for Social Innovation. He has also advised Cabinet Ministers, sat on the Productivity Commission, and chaired the internationally acclaimed Government 2.0 Taskforce in 2009.

Outside of this, Nicholas is a frequent contributor to various media outlets such as Courier Mail, the Australian Financial Review and Sydney Morning Herald.

Highly regarded for his expertise on various political, economic and cultural topics, Dr Nicholas Gruen is the go-to speaker for any audience looking to gain insight into the contemporary political and economic landscape.


Enquire about Dr Nicholas Gruen to speak at your next event