Keynote speakers

Futurist, Columnist, Author and Managing Director & Founder of The Demographics Group 

Future trends from a demographer

Bernard Salt is widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading social commentators by business, the media and the broader community. He heads The Demographics Group which provides specialist advice on demographic, consumer and social trends for business. Bernard writes two weekly columns for The Australian newspaper and is an adjunct professor at Curtin University Business School. BHe also holds a Master of Arts degree from Monash University. 

He is perhaps best known to the wider community for his penchant for identifying and tagging new tribes and social behaviours such as the ‘Seachange Shift’, the ‘Man Drought’, ‘PUMCINS’ (pronounced pumkins) and the ‘Goats Cheese Curtain’. 
He was also responsible for popularising smashed avocados globally.

Bernard has popularised demographics through his books, columns and media appearances. His body of work is summarised in six popular best-selling books. Bernard appears regularly on radio and television programs and recently hosted a business television program "The Next Five Years" on SkyNews Business Channel 602.He was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2017 Australia Day honours.

Co-founder, Chairman and Global CEO of High Resovles

Future of Assessment

Mehrdad Baghai is a world-renowned strategy and leadership expert and the author of three international management bestsellers. He is the chairman of Alchemy Growth, a boutique strategy advisory firm. Previously, he completed a three-year term as an Executive Director of CSIRO and before that, he was the co-leader of the worldwide growth practice at McKinsey & Company. Mehrdad, and his wife Roya, co-founded High Resolves, an international not for-profit venture that has empowered over 200,000 Australian teenagers to be purposeful global citizens and leaders. Mehrdad has stepped away from his business interests to serve as Global CEO of High Resolves and to drive its expansion into Canada, the U.S., Brazil,China and beyond. This year, Mehrdad was awarded the internationally recognised John P. McNulty Prize, which celebrates the boldness and impact of individuals who are using their expertise and entrepreneurial spirit to address the world’s toughest challenges. Mehrdad earned a J.D. with high honours at Harvard Law School, an M.P.P. as a Kennedy Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, as well as a B.S.E. with highest honours at Princeton University. In his keynote address, Mehrdad will draw from a leading-edge project funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative that has created a new way to measure citizenship competencies through micro-assessments embedded in actual curriculum. It is being piloted in Australia this year. No tests. No marking. Just formative advice at your fingertips in near real time. Such advances in artificial intelligence can combine to revolutionise our approach to assessment in education.   

Thought leader on the intersection between technology and humanity

Evolving Intersections Between Technology & Humanity

Dr Jordan Nguyen is one of Australia's most innovative engineers and is on a mission to improve the lives of as many people as possible. By re-imagining and re-defining the boundaries between human and technological evolution, Jordan is at the forefront of bringing about positive, sustainable and life-altering change.

An internationally renowned engineer for humanity, Dr Nguyen designs life-changing technologies that are intelligent, futuristic and inclusive, and many of these are made to transform the lives of people with disability.

A passionate advocate for social change, Jordan follows the mantra of: “One Life. Persist to Improve Many”.  He whole-heartedly believes that each life has the capacity to improve the lives of many, and that this simple yet profound idea can change the world and shape the future.

Jordan is a passionate ambassador for STEAM education, adaptable mindsets and big-picture thinking and believes our young generations are the change-makers of tomorrow and have the potential to create solutions to the world's greatest challenges. 

Jordan has a natural ability to translate highly technical concepts and future trends into insightful, entertaining, clear and concise content. In the process, he inspires to ‘throw away the box’ and collaborate universally on the potential of technology for humanity, purpose and positive global impact.


Senior Policy Analyst/Project Manager
The OECD Project Future of Education and Skills 2030
Early Childhood and Schools Division, Directorate for Education, OECD

Future trends in international education

Miho Taguma is Senior Policy Analyst in the Early Childhood and Schools Division of the Directorate for Education at the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). She is currently leading the OECD initiative, Education 2030 which aims to help countries explore different dimensions of 21st century competencies which modern education systems need to develop in students who will be citizens of the world in 2030. 

The project will focus on secondary level education including vocational education and training while also recognising a lifelong learning continuum. Prior to the current project, she was the project manager for the OECD’s work on early childhood education and care (ECEC). She has also conducted various policy reviews such as on migrant educaiton and recognition of non-formal and informal learning.
During her post at the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, she worked on "E-learning in Tertiary Education". She was also involved in the UNESCOOECD Policy Review of Education Sector for Mauritius as a review team member. Prior to joining the OECD, Miho was working in the Education Sector of UNESCO (2002-2003) on intercultural dialogue and education projects.

Social researcher, advisor, author, thought leader and Principal of McCrindle

AHISA Social Capital Survey findings

Mark McCrindle is a social researcher with an international following. He is recognised as a leader in tracking merging issues and researching social trends. He is an award winning researcher, bestselling author, an influential thought leader, TEDx speaker and Principal of McCrindle Research. His advisory, communications and research company, McCrindle, count among its clients more than 100 of Australia’s largest companies and leading international brands.

Mark’s highly valued research and reports, presented through infographics, data visualisations, videos, media input, resources, and blogs, have developed his regard as an expert demographer, futurist and social commentator. Mark joins us to present the findings from the AHISA Social Capital Survey.