Youth take stage at Futures Conference

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Youth take stage at Futures Conference


Published on 26 November 2015

The Sunshine Coast’s future leaders will be front and centre at a major economic forum at the University of the Sunshine Coast tomorrow (Friday 27 November).

Twenty local high school students will champion the future they want to see to an audience of industry, academic and community representatives at the 2015 Sunshine Coast Futures Conference.

The annual forum is shaping up to be the largest in its six-year history, with more than 200 delegates already registered for the wide-ranging program of international speakers, hands-on workshops and discussions.

The students’ involvement throughout the day will be paired with a presentation from Generation Innovation founder Ted O’Brien, who has collected the views of about 1,000 young people in ‘visioning’ workshops held over the past month.

USC Pro-Vice Chancellor (Engagement) Professor Mike Hefferan said the central inclusion of ideas from local youth, who will put forward their vision for the year 2030, was an innovative new direction for the 2015 conference.

“Feedback last year indicated the need to involve future leaders in our deliberations and we have taken these ideas on board in perhaps a world first,” Professor Hefferan said.

“This year’s conference is very much focussed on identifying the concrete steps we can take to ensure strong and sustainable development for the Sunshine Coast.

“Listening to the views of our young people is absolutely critical to that process, and so we’ve made sure that the students will play a significant role at the event.”

Economic experts Ed Morrison Dr Rob Greenwood have travelled from the United States and Canada to give presentations and offer their advice on steps that can be taken to take to boost development on the Sunshine Coast.

People can still register to attend the conference, which will be held at USC’s Innovation Centre auditorium from 8am to 4pm. More information can be found at

— Gen Kennedy

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