Australia has traditionally been a highly successful and prosperous nation. On almost every important business index, we are accelerating. The stakes – the financial, social, environmental and political consequences – similarly are rising. Being lucky is no longer enough
We lag well behind many other nations on innovation. We have to nurture our entrepreneurs and innovate faster in order keep up with the pace of growth. To compete globally we must welcome, include and empower the many diverse voices of our citizens, migrants and the refugees who are seeking a haven here.
Over the next 5 to 10 years it is estimated that up to 40 per cent of companies on the Standard and Poors index will be disrupted by rapidly advancing technologies and the entrepreneurs adapting quickly to this new environment. According to international research, 47 per cent of middle-class jobs will become redundant due to robotics and new technologies. And some jobs will continue to exist but will be performed in cheaper labour markets overseas.
Australia doubles the research outputs of the United States per capita but produces half the amount of patents. We generate plenty of ideas and research but we don’t commercialise them enough. We urgently need to train our young people to be entrepreneurs: makers and creators of the jobs of the future. We need to build a culture of innovation to sufficiently develop our capabilities to turn ideas into enterprises. Willingness to experiment and fail, leads to innovations creating opportunities and prosperity for millions. FAIL, after all, stands for First Attempt In Learning.
I invite you to watch the video below to hear more about my definition of the world FAIL. This short video also highlights the incredible entrepreneurial story of my Grandmother who failed fast and eventually invented the very first foldable umbrella in Vienna in 1929! I also share my purpose and passion for giving back to the community and the world!
Turning ideas into enterprise also benefits from diversity. With skilled migrants and refugees seeking a home here, we have real opportunities to foster a new wave of entrepreneurship and innovation.
We surround ourselves with people who make us feel safe, who come from similar backgrounds and educations, who think, feel and dress like we do – and who agree with and endorse us. Yet our biggest gains as humans come from “creative abrasion”, where we rub up against people who make us feel uncomfortable and challenge our notions of ourselves and the world we live in. This is where creativity and innovation truly spark.
Inclusive leadership must be paramount. Instead of fearing people from different backgrounds and cultures, there is an opportunity for all of us to choose to create a happy, healthy, inclusive and innovative Australia.
This is about removing the ‘us and them’ mentality and acknowledging our common humanity. Ultimately we are more similar than different, yet our negative focus on the differences between us creates a lot of our problems.
Let’s remove the walls between us and build bridges of understanding. As a community we need to empower all voices, no matter what their faith, background, disadvantage, disability or age. People need to feel like they have a place here, a true home, a sense of belonging, a sense of self and respect from others. Then they will truly be able to contribute to our future.
And does our size matter? No. Look at Israel, a nation founded by refugees that faces permanent geographical, political and social challenges. It thrives because it has a risk-tolerant culture producing massive innovation. Imaginations are allowed to run free, ideas are nurtured and entrepreneurs celebrated: Israel is home to over 5,000 tech start-ups and lists more companies on NASDAQ than all of Europe combined. Israel proves that small countries can be engines of entrepreneurship and innovation.
When refugees and migrants come to a new country they want to restart their lives. They work incredibly hard and bring a diverse and rich cultural background that contributes economically, politically and socially. They just need to be given a voice.
We do accept people from diverse backgrounds into Australia. Now we need to put out the welcome mat and provide everyone with the education, skills, engagement and opportunities to participate in this accelerating environment.
Tania de Jong AM is one of Australia’s most successful female entrepreneurs and innovators having developed 5 businesses and 3 charities over 3 decades. Tania works across the public, private, creative and social sectors. She founded Creativity Australia, Creative Universe, MTA Entertainment & Events and The Song Room and works with disadvantaged communities through Creativity Australia’s ‘With One Voice’ choir social inclusion programs. She has also recently co-founded Mind Medicine Australia.
Tania presents keynote speeches and leadership programs and performs internationally as a soloist and with her group Pot-Pourri. She has released ten albums including her new solo release Flying Free.
Tania’s TED Talk How Singing Together Changes The Brain has been viewed over 80,000 times globally. Tania empowers people to find their purpose so that they can unleash their true potential. Her mission is to change the world, one voice at a time.
She is Founder and Executive Producer of Creative Innovation Global winning national and international awards. Creative Universe and Creative Innovation Global were ranked among the top 20 event organizers and agencies from around the world as part of the newly released Eventex All-Stars Index.
Tania has founded a co-working space called Dimension5 in Melbourne to drive social innovation and collaboration.
Tania’s awards include Ernst and Young Australian Social Entrepreneur of the Year. She was inducted into the AGSE Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame at Swinburne University and named Brainlink Woman of Achievement. In 2018 Tania was named in the 100 Women of Influence and the 100 Australian Most Influential Entrepreneurs in Australia. She was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in June 2008 for service to the Arts as a performer and entrepreneur and through the establishment and development of music and arts enrichment programs for schools and communities.
Tania speaks and performs around the world inspiring diverse audiences of 10 to 10,000 people ranging from corporate executive teams, boards and entire organisations to universities, hospitals, schools, business and entrepreneurship forums and at major national and international conferences and public events.
She consults to a number of national and multinational organisations at C-Suite level providing keynotes, performances, leadership, team building and innovation workshops, connections and strategic advice.
For more detailed information on Tania’s presentation topics or to book her for your next conference or special event please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org // +61 (0)3 8679 6000 // www.taniadejong.com // @Taniadejong
Please be inspired by these short videos about Tania’s grandmother and the Duldig Studio: