Show transcript

[Text appears on screen: What will Australia look like in 2030?]

[Music plays and image changes to show Vivek]

Vivek Srinivasen: My name is Vivek Srinivasen and I work in CSIRO Futures. When you start thinking about the role that science and technology can play in the future, there’s a number of different directions that you can go in and there’s a number of different technologies that you can chose.

[Image changes to show Vivek standing in front of screens with different information on them. Image then changes to show Vivek seated at a desk and working on a computer and then moves to show Vivek talking to colleagues]

One of the big challenges that I think we need to address is our digital maturity, making sure the everybody across the nation understands how to interact properly with the digital world, and it’s only after doing that that we’ll actually be able to capture some of the big opportunities we have in front of us.

[Image changes to show Vivek standing and looking at a city scape. The sky is darkening and lights from the tall buildings can be seen]

[Image changes to show Vivek seated and talking to a client about their product]

What we try to do is help our customers understand what the right technologies are for them, when they should start investing, what they should start prioritising and really unpick those decisions, which are extremely complicated and, to me, really interesting.

[Image changes to show Vivek riding a bicycle and then changes to show him in a laboratory type setting]

I’m really inspired by people who push the boundaries and push their own boundaries, particularly people who apply science and technology to create new industries, change people’s lives, or just change the way people see the world.

[Image changes to show Vivek and his father working on a 3D printer that’s laid out on a table]

A number of years ago I became quite interested in 3D printing and built a 3D printer at home with my father, and I’ve always been fascinated with learning about them and other things that I could get my hands on.

[Image changes back to show Vivek]

Since joining CSIRO I’ve been exposed to an endless amount of science and technology areas and it has literally blown my mind. I feel really lucky that I get to do this a lot, I’ve started to understand what science can and can’t do and I’ve seen unlimited amount of opportunities that can be created with the work that we do here and that’s pretty fun.

[CSIRO logo appears with text: Find out more csiro.au/seven]

Show transcript

Meet Vivek

With today’s world changing so rapidly, creating larger and more complex problems, developing solutions requires people who can work across different fields, anticipating what’s next, then making decisions based on what might be just around the corner. With his background in engineering and deep interest in technology, management consultant Vivek Srinivasan spends his days asking the big question, ‘What is coming next and what can we do about it?’.

What impact can your job have on Australia and on the global scale?

Geopolitical, economic, environmental, social and technological trends are creating enormous opportunities and challenges for industry and society.

The challenges are complex and require many different skills and minds to come together to create solutions. While I can’t claim to solve the challenges of the future, I can help companies and whole industries make decisions around ‘future proofing’ their business. 

With the help of 5000 experts in CSIRO, and the broader research community, I help industry and government understand the role that science, innovation and technology may play in the future, which helps them to ultimately make better decisions about the future.

Cyber security wasn’t even on our radar 10 years ago, but it is now, what can you tell us about that?

Think about the things you take for granted, like having electricity to power your home and having access to health services. Imagine if this was all compromised because of a cyberattack that could shut down crucial infrastructure. In seconds, your local energy company could be unable to deliver power to your home and your confidential health records, bank account details and passwords could be compromised.

It’s scary for most of us to think about but it’s great to understand all the various scenarios that could play out, because it helps industry and the government work out what sort of technology, innovation and science is needed to solve the problem.

So, what is there to look forward to in our future?

We’re working with a lot of forward-thinking leaders across industry and government, both here in Australia and overseas, to understand their vision for the future – for their company, industry and entire country. We’re looking at the role that tech, science and innovation will play.

For example, we’re looking at the manufacturing industry and trying to understand what paths it may go down in the future. One scenario could be that the industry moves more and more into 3D printing. In this scenario manufacturing would no longer be printing millions of parts hoping for a sale, but instead printing items only when we need them – meaning a huge reduction of waste and custom products for customers.

Ultimately our work aims to start conversations about what future decisions we need to be talking about today so we can use tech, science and innovation to prepare for growth or mitigate upcoming risks we might face together.

Facts & figures

Future proofing

  • We find the opportunities and challenges linked to economic, environmental, social and technological trends.
  • Science, tech and innovation are key to maximising opportunities in the future.
  • If you prepare for various future scenarios you can make better business decisions.

Our future challenges

  • Aging population, finite resources and digital immersion are just a few of the major challenges we will face in the future.
  • Find out about the megatrends changing the way we will live, see Our Future World.

Find out more

Ask Vivek a question or get the very latest news, stories and breakthroughs that will help you, your family and Australia.

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Meet the seven

About CSIRO

It takes creativity to ask the interesting questions and it takes innovation, science and technology to answer them.

CSIRO is where creativity meets innovation, developing solutions to make a difference to you, our economy and the planet.

We imagine. We collaborate. We innovate.

More about us