Engaging graduates in critical conversations that facilitate positive change for Tasmania’s future

Thinkbank is a forum for participatory conversations in which our graduates apply the theories they have learned and the knowledge they have gained from the TLP in a practical context. It operates in a creative and positive space that allows our graduates to practice and hone their skills in critical thinking, analysis and communication while advancing public discourse and key stakeholder involvement in critical issues. By exploring complex ideas, concepts and issues, TLP graduates gain new insight and perspective, while contributing to a brighter future for Tasmania.

Our commitment to diversity ensures our graduates have a broad cross section of backgrounds, experiences, vocations and come from across Tasmania. This makes the group fertile ground for robust conversations and also the ideal group to test new ideas, challenge traditional thinking, explore new approaches and processes, broaden insight and understanding of complex issues and devise innovative solutions.

In most cases, the outcome of each Thinkbank will be a public document, distributed to influential stakeholders, to contribute to the debate around the chosen topic, issue or policy and to ultimately create change and shape Tasmania’s future.

Thinkbank delivers the following benefits to TLP graduates, stakeholders and the Tasmanian community:

  • It challenges traditional thinking and explores new approaches and processes
  • Stimulates and promotes conversation about matters that can impact on the future of Tasmania
  • Builds on the skills and theory learned by graduates during the program
  • Broadens insight and understanding about complex issues and opportunities relevant to Tasmania’s future for those involved
  • Creates a publicly available document to enable the conversation to continue beyond the Thinkbank and beyond our graduates
  • Publicly acknowledges the skills and intellect of the graduates

Each event is tailored, in consultation with the facilitator(s), to maximise outcomes around the topic of conversation. We have identified a number of key factors necessary for the success of each Thinkbank and steps are taken to ensure that:

  • The input is balanced and non-partisan
  • The “right” topics are selected and the group remains focused on the relevant issues
  • The outcomes of Thinkbank go beyond the conversation process
  • A review process can measure the impact of each Thinkbank

Future of Work Thinkbank, 2017

The 2017 Thinkbank on ‘the nature of the future of work’ held in June at Entally Lodge, was a fine example of the Thinkbank concept applied to a real issue and a real client – the University of Tasmania – in a partnership approach that brought together thirty Tasmanian Leaders alumni over two days. Professor David Sadler and Karen Eyles, key leaders from the University of Tasmania, set the scene, together with a thought-provoking presentation by Loretta Joseph, an international leader on blockchain technology.

The bulk of the work was done by Tasmanian Leaders graduates working in large and small groups over the two days, building on pre-readings, their own research including consultations with colleagues, and the breadth and depth of individual and collective experience. They identified five key areas critical to the nature of the future of work in Tasmania and analysed implications for the University and its offerings.

The five key areas were:

  • people
  • technology
  • sustainability
  • skilled and unskilled workforce, and
  • leadership.

The diversity of Thinkbank participants, their real world experience in the workforce including experience of employing people, and their energy and commitment, contributed to spirited discussions and a substantive document that was largely created at the event. This document is available here.

In addition to quality conversations, debates and output, it was a fabulous opportunity for participants in Thinkbank to re-engage with Tasmanian Leaders and captured the spirit of the Tasmanian Leaders Program.

The success of this Thinkbank provides a template for future, similar activities and demonstrates the unique value that Tasmanian leaders offers through the strength of its ever-growing, diverse alumni who continue to be committed to developing Tasmania and Tasmanians.

We look forward to working in partnership with other organisations in Tasmania on future Thinkbanks to support endeavours to frame and lead a vibrant socioeconomic future for Tasmania and Tasmanians.

Special thanks go to Andrew Pitt – a graduate of TLP8 in 2014 – who represented the University of Tasmania and to Gillian Biscoe, a founding and current Tasmanian Leaders Board member, for the design and facilitation of Thinkbank.

Education Thinkbank: Working Together to Skill Tasmania, 2013

In November and December 2013, 12 graduates of the Tasmanian Leaders Program participated in a Thinkbank focused on education in Tasmania with the aim of better understanding the purpose of education and its role and value to the Tasmanian community, in order to determine ways we might influence and contribute to educational outcomes that provide benefit to all Tasmanians.

The group attended four sessions, totalling 20 hours, and undertook an independent investigative study which each participant interviewing at least three stakeholders.

To read more about the Education Thinkbank or to download the final report, please click here.

Do you have an idea for a Thinkbank topic? All suggestions are welcome – just email us at info@tasmanianleaders.org.au.