Tim Longhurst's Blog

Stephanie Rice Bubbles, Anyone?

August 14th, 2008 · 3 Comments

Being a futurist is about anticipating trends, rather than making specific predictions, however, today I’ve decided to do both. First of all, after winning her THIRD gold medal in the pool today, Stephanie Rice is going to be in the public eye a lot more than before. Additionally, I predict a special edition box of Rice Bubbles bearing her name:

Brace yourselves, Australia!

(Americans mistakenly call Rice Bubbles “Rice Krispies”, in case you yanks were wondering…).

Well done, Stphanie! Man, she’s fast, isn’t she?

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Category: From the frontlines of the future

Australia 2020

February 4th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced his intention to gather “1000 Prominent Australians” for a consultative project focused on Australia’s Future. He’s keen to look “beyond the ranks of ministers, politicians and public servants …and see what the rest of the nation has to say.”

The PM’s website advises that Vice chancellor of the University of Melbourne, Professor Glyn Davis, will head up the steering committee to select the participants, and will co-chair the summit.

The project has the potential to be a fantastic futures/foresight exercise. I’m really curious about the models and methodologies that are going to be used. I’m hoping members of Australia’s futures community secure roles both as participants and in the event’s process development and planning.

Basically, 100 experts will be chosen for each of these ten broad topics:

Environment & population
Rural Australia
Family and community
Indigenous Australia
The arts
The future of government
Australia’s security and international relations

According to the PM’s media release, a 10 member non-government ‘steering committee’ will select the 1000, who will be “…drawn from business, academia, community and industrial organisations, the media and include a number of individual eminent Australians”.

This is one to watch. Read more at the PM’s release. [editor’s note: unfortunately this resource is no longer available online and we have therefore removed the link]

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Category: Uncategorized

Billionaires for Bush (Sydney Chapter)

September 9th, 2007 · 3 Comments

No time to give a significant update (stay tuned, it’s coming in the next 24 hours…) but I’ll just say that playing Phil T. Rich at the APEC protests in Sydney yesterday was a lot of fun. Our demands for “Corporate Might, not Workers’ Rights”, “Privatizing Everything” and “Devastation, not Education” were messages that the world’s most neglected minority needed to send. I’ll look forward to posting a full wrap up very soon!

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Category: Tim's Projects

High and Dry – Guy Pearse

July 1st, 2007 · No Comments

Is John Howard dragging his feet on climate change because he’s surrounded by Australia’s biggest polluters? High and Dry promises to explain the politics of Australia’s do-as-little-as-possible attitude to climate change.

“In this damning account, Liberal Party member, lobbyist
and former Howard-government advisor Guy Pearse takes us behind the
rhetoric he once helped write. He reveals that the government has no
plans whatsoever to reduce Australia’s emissions, and explains why this
is bad for Australia’s economy. He exposes a prime minister wilfully
blind to Australia’s real Interests – a man who has allowed climate
change policy to be dictated by a small group of Australia’s biggest
polluters and the lobbyists they fund.”

Unfortunately the website is more of a promotion for the book than a backgrounder. This is an opportunity missed, as a more content-rich site would create a wider audience for the author’s message, more media opportunities for him to speak and ultimately lead to more publicity and more sales. His greatest challenge in the coming months won’t be piracy, it will be obscurity. At least he’s included a brief extract from the book.

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Category: Our living planet

Vision for a fairer world: the Millennium Development Goals

July 5th, 2006 · No Comments

The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) are a list of targets that aim to make life better for the worlds most ripped-off people. This is what they are:

Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Hunger and Poverty
Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education
Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality
Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases
Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability
Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development

The goals have been endorsed by 149 world leaders, including Australia’s John Howard. Naturally, ‘Nice idea!’ is a lot easier to say than ‘Here’s the money!’…

Australia is lucky enough to be one of the world’s 22 “rich nations”, of these, only 3 give less.

While most nations in the “Rich 22” have commited to putting aside 70 cents for every $100 they bring in (some are doing even better than that), Australia is currenty only giving 25 cents. Our stated aim is 36 cents (source). What a cheap, cheap country this is.

(*) Indicates countries that have NOT set a timetable for 0.7%.
(t) Indicates countries even tighter than Australia


Country Aid as % of
Country Aid as % of
Austria 0.52 Luxembourg 0.87
Canada (*) 0.34 New Zealand 0.27
Finland 0.47 Portugal (t) 0.21
Germany 0.35 Sweden 0.92
Ireland 0.41 United Kingdom 0.48

Remember this next time you hear about Australia’s recent tax cuts to
high-income earners – that’s money that could have given a leg-up to
some of the world’s unluckiest citizens.

To read more about the the MDG, check out the UN Millennium Project. To learn about how you can help make sure Australia pulls its weight on this important issue, check out Australia’s Make Poverty History site.

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Category: Peace between people