The following is the opening address was dellvered by Gooroo Ventures CEO, Mr Greg Muller at the the Senate Committee hearing on the Future of Work & Workers in Melbourne on Friday, 18 May 2018.

"Thanks for the opportunity to talk to you about the Future of Work inquiry and the way that Gooroo’s better decision platform could build the path from “welfare to work” and enable the next economies.

You are aware that Gooroo is both a technology innovator and a practical program provider that can support the submission we have made. We are proud to have won an innovation award in 2017 in the Big Data/Machine Learning space. 

We’d like you to consider 5 critical concepts which underpin our submission to your Committee:

  1. Seeing “work” as doing something which involves physical or mental effort for money or need, instead of for personal wellbeing. Work is too often only seen as getting a job
  2. “Welfare” in this context is a source of dependency on government benefits that should only be a support in the transition from welfare to work
  3. “New Opportunities for Work” are constantly emerging where there is appropriate match between employers’ need for new skills and appropriate mindsets for job seekers to make the transition to the next economy
  4. “Our Platform” links available skills to emerging requirements that are essential gateways into this next economy - moving beyond commodities and services, to experiences and transformation
  5. We introduce the big picture of “WHealth” which combines the advances in technology & analytics, with an understanding of human thinking, to unlock potential for the entire nation. 

We found two approaches that appear to inform many of the submissions to your Committee:

  • Firstly, recognition that technology is the source of new opportunities for work 
  • Secondly, that people feel technology is moving too fast and leaving too many behind

Over the last 2 years we’ve sponsored Life. Be in it™ in Geelong, to develop a better job matching system for people moving from welfare to work in the Barwon region. We find there are opportunities for all people to move into and engage with the labour market, if we look at it from a perspective of their thinking patterns and not solely as a function of competency and skill. 

In the next decade there will be a further shift that integrates people analytics, machine learning, advanced manufacturing technologies, education, applications of STEM, and R&D initiatives to create the nation’s next economy.

Australia is transitioning through a global transformation from commodities, through services, to experiences and life science transformations. 

  • In information, it’s Google
  • In rides, it’s Uber
  • In tourism & accommodation, it’s AirBnB
  • Better decisions about technology thinking, it’s Gooroo.

Before handing over to questions let me just turn to why we think this is important…

We have to reduce the sense that innovation is a threat, make the shift from welfare to work, and build bridges between skill-seekers and skill-providers for the jobs of the future.

Improving the prospects for real jobs and growth, delivers the social benefit of Australia becoming the world’s WHealthiest nation by 2020. People with hope and a sense of purpose have much lower prospects of preventable chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. 

We submit that Machine Learning (AI) and automation technology will continue to take over a wider range of tasks. Those who can make the most of it, will be the ones who gain the security of jobs and growth. A necessary extension is that Artificial Consciousness (AC) and better access to information will create the jobs of the future. 

Both are necessary as the first provides access to the skills required for the future in a growing economy, and the latter gives opportunities to bring everyone along on the journey.

An earlier government policy was to make Australia the world’s healthiest nation. It is Gooroo’s belief that this should be extended to making us the world’s WHEALTHIEST. 

In our submission to your Committee, we have provided the following evidence you may wish to consider:

  • People have different responses to the threats and opportunities for the future of work.
  • People who feel threatened by technology, are more likely to become obese or suffer preventable chronic disease.
  • Analysis of sport, recreation and other traditional approaches to prevention do not show up in our evidence as being effective in reversing the trends of childhood obesity and preventable chronic disease.
  • It is the future access to meaningful work which drives the anxiety of people feeling at risk of being left behind. The patented approach to job matching, which we refer to as the ColourGrid™, provides the people analytics framework and workforce planning to make this transition.
  • This platform enables better access to vacancies in the same way as automation is matching drivers to passengers, visitors to rooms, information search for industry.

You may wish to consider recommending the extension of the successful pilot of the methodology at Northern Futures, to a broader trial in the Barwon region over the next year, so that this could be made available to all job agencies, employers, and course providers within the forward estimates period.

We would welcome the opportunity to answer your questions on this approach."

Further information

 

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