Change happens all the time, so why is driving particular change generally so hard? Why are the outcomes often unpredictable? Are some types of change easier to achieve than others? Are some techniques for achieving change more effective than others? Why is even stopping change not easy?
Knowledge about change is fragmented and there is nowhere in the academic or practice worlds that provides comprehensive answers to these and other questions. Every discipline and area has only a partial view and we do not even have a map of those different perspectives. And, it is no one’s business to pull together the range of diverse understandings.
This project gathered a variety of perspectives from the academic and practice worlds. Brief bios are provided below of the eighteen disciplinary experts and practitioners who participated. They covered advertising, advocacy, anthropology, art, conservation-restoration, demography, economics, education, evolutionary biology, industry, international relations, organisational change, philosophy, politics, psychiatry, security-related intelligence, sociology, and sustainability science.
Professor and Director, Research School of Population Health, The Australian National University and Leader, Integration and Implementation Program, ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security
Biography: Gabriele Bammer is developing the new discipline of Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S) to improve research strengths for tackling complex real-world problems through synthesis of disciplinary and stakeholder knowledge, understanding and managing diverse unknowns and providing integrated research support for policy and practice change (see i2s.anu.edu.au). This is described in Disciplining Interdisciplinarity: Integration and Implementation Sciences for Researching Complex Real-World Problems (ANU E Press, 2013). She is Director of the Research School of Population Health and of the National Centre for Epidemiology & Population Health, ANU College of Medicine, Biology & Environment, The Australian National University. She is also an ANU Public Policy Fellow, a Research Fellow at the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the convenor of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security’s Integration and Implementation research program.
Role: Project convenor and book editor, as well as lead responsibility for developing the synthesis of different perspectives.
Professor, Centre for Macroevolution and Macroecology, Research School of Biology, The Australian National University
Biography: Lindell is an evolutionary biologist whose research primarily focuses on the way that we can use analysis of DNA sequence data to understand evolutionary past and processes. She applies comparative analyses to processes of evolutionary change spanning timescales from the beginnings of the animal kingdom half a billion years ago to the emergence of new viral diseases. She established the cross-disciplinary research network Tempo and Mode at ANU to bring together disparate perspectives on large-scale evolutionary patterns and processes (http://www.macroevoeco.com/tempo-and-mode.html), and is the author of Reading the story in DNA: a beginner’s guide to molecular evolution.
Topic: How evolutionary biologists think about change.
Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney
Biography: Dr Craig Browne is currently co-editor of Theory, the newsletter of the International Sociological Association Research Committee on Sociological Theory RC 16, and a Vice-President of the International Sociological Association Research Committee on Concepts and Terminology RC 35. His recent publications include the book Violence in France and Australia – Disorder in the postcolonial welfare state and (in the journal Revue de Internationale Philosophie) Postmodernism, ideology and rationality. The perspective that he is developing on social change is related to his book projects, which include Critical social theory (Sage) and Habermas and Giddens on modernity: A constructive comparison (Anthem Press).
Topic: How sociologists think about change.
Professor and Director, Australian Centre for Economic Research on Health, The Australian National University
Biography: Professor Butler holds a Chair in health economics at The Australian National University and is foundation Director of the Australian Centre for Economic Research on Health (ACERH). He has a PhD in economics from the University of Queensland and over 30 years research and consulting experience in health economics. He has been a Wiener Fellow at Harvard University and Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. His consulting experience includes projects for numerous public and private sector organisations in Australia and overseas, including the World Bank, AusAid, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC), and the Office of Health Economics (London UK). He has also been a member of advisory boards for global pharmaceutical companies. His research interests include health insurance, health care financing, hospitals costs and health technology assessment/economic evaluation. Since 2009, he has been a member of the Australian Government’s Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) which advises the Minister for Health and Ageing on evidence relating to the safety, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of new medical technologies and procedures. This advice informs Australian Government decisions about public funding of these services. He has also been Chair of MSAC’s Evaluation Sub-Committee since 2009. Professor Butler was also recently appointed Chair of the Australian Government’s Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP).
Topic: How economists think about change.
Chief Executive Officer, beyondblue; Former Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister
Biography: Kate Carnell AO was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at beyondblue in 2012 and has been a Director of beyondblue since 2008. beyondblue is a national, independent, not-for-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression and anxiety. Previously, she was CEO of the Australian Food and Grocery Council and the Australian General Practice Network and is a pharmacist by profession. Ms Carnell was elected to the ACT Legislative Assembly in 1992 and was elected Chief Minister in March 1995 and re-elected in 1998. Ms Carnell was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2006 for her services to community through contributions to economic development and the medical sector.
Topic: How politicians think about change.
Professor of Public Health, School of Public Health, University of Sydney
Biography: Simon Chapman FASSA has published 450 articles in peer reviewed journals and 17 books and reports. His h-index is 42 (lifetime citations 6686). His Public Health Advocacy and Tobacco Control: Making Smoking History was published by Blackwell (Oxford) in 2007 and his co-authored Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: What Men Should Know Before being Tested for Prostate Cancer by Sydney University Press in 2010. In 1997 he won the World Health Organisation’s World No Tobacco Day Medal and in 2003 he was voted by his international peers to be awarded the American Cancer Society’s Luther Terry Award for outstanding individual leadership in tobacco control. In 2008 he won the NSW Premier’s Cancer Researcher of the Year medal; the Public Health Association of Australia’s Sidney Sax medal; and was a NSW finalist in Australian of the Year. He was deputy editor (1992-1997) then editor (1998-2008) of the British Medical Journal’s, Tobacco Control and is now its editor emeritus. His current research involves examining how health issues are covered in news media; characteristics of public health research (and its dissemination) which impact on public health policy; and the natural history of unassisted smoking cessation.
Topic: Advocacy and change.
Professor, School of Education, University of Queensland
Biography: Robyn Gillies PhD is a Professor of Education at The University of Queensland. She has worked extensively in primary and secondary schools on a number of Australian Research Council projects designed to help teachers embed student-centred pedagogical practices into their classroom curricula to promote student engagement, problem-solving, and learning. Her research interests include inquiry learning in science and mathematics, supporting teachers to improve children’s reading achievements in rural communities, student-centred pedagogical practices in the learning sciences, and improving school engagement for socially disengaged youth. She is the author of five books and over 150 journal articles and book chapters. In 2006 she was the recipient of an Outstanding Contribution Award presented by the American Educational Research Association and in 2010 she received an Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions to Research from the International Association for the Study of Cooperation in Education, United States.
Topic: How educators think about change.
Professorial Research Fellow, Department of Philosophy and Associate Academic Director (Arts and Social Sciences), Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney
Biography: A philosopher of science with a focus on biology and psychology, Paul Griffiths was educated at University of Cambridge and The Australian National University, receiving his doctorate from ANU in 1989. After teaching in Australia and New Zealand, he moved to the University of Pittsburgh in 2000, returning to Australia in 2004 as an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow. Currently he is based at the University of Sydney were he is University Professorial Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy and Associate Academic Director for Humanities and Social Sciences at the Charles Perkins Centre, a multidisciplinary research institute of University of Sydney focused on obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. He is also a visiting professor in the ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society at the University of Exeter, UK. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, President of the International Society for History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology, and from 2006-2012 was a member of the Australian Health Ethics Committee of NHMRC. His latest book is Genetics and philosophy: An introduction.
Topic: How philosophers think about change.
Professor and Director, Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute, The Australian National University
Biography: Peter McDonald is President of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population for the years 2010-2013 and is a Member of the Council of Advisers of Population Europe. He is frequently consulted on the issue of population futures (causes, consequences and policies) by governments around the world, especially in Australia, Europe and East Asia. In 2008, he was appointed as a Member in the Order of Australia. He is Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research. Recently, he has been appointed as an inaugural ANU Public Policy Fellow. He is a member of the Australian Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration. He has worked previously at the Australian Institute of Family Studies, the World Fertility Survey and the University of Indonesia.
Topic: How demographers think about change.
Executive Director, WA Museums Fremantle & Maritime Heritage, Western Australian Museum
Biography: Ian MacLeod is a corrosion chemist and materials conservator with a passion for decay. He studied at the University of Melbourne for his PhD then research positions at the University of Glasgow and Murdoch University in Perth, Australia prepared him for the transition to studying decay of metals on historic shipwrecks with the Western Australian Museum. Applied electrochemistry has helped him develop new techniques for conserving museum collections including the use of in-situ corrosion measurements on historic shipwrecks, with particular emphasis on the use of sacrificial anodes to preserve materials on the seabed. His studies on the Japanese shipwrecks from WWII in Chuuk (Truk) lagoon in the Federated States of Micronesia have provided the government with data on the decay rates of the wrecks. At the Getty Conservation Institute he worked on preparing detailed notes for a book on the Conservation of Shipwrecks: Sites and Artefacts.
Topic: How conservators think about change.
Principal, Madigan Communications
Biography: Dee Madigan is an Advertising Creative Director with almost 20 years experience in the industry working on almost every major Australian and international brand. She has Bachelor of Education (Secondary) from Sydney University and runs her own company, Madigan Communications, specialising in social marketing. She has been a winner or finalist at almost all major awards. She is a regular panelist on ABC’s The Gruen Planet as well as Sky’s PMLive. She writes for a range of publications including ABC’s The Drum.
Topic: How the advertising industry thinks about change.
Professor, School of Archaeology & Anthropology, The Australian National University
Biography: Francesca Merlan, previously at Sydney University, has been Professor of Anthropology at ANU since late 1995. She has conducted field research, essentially on questions of change, in northern Australia, in Papua New Guinea, and in southern Germany – in all three places, with a focus on transformations in people’s lives associated with shifts in their relationships to place and place-based livelihood. She is currently working on a book on the topic of encounters between indigenous and non-indigenous people at different points in time from early colonial arrival to the present of her field research in northern Australia.
Topic: How anthropologists think about change.
Fellow, Australian and New Zealand School of Government
Biography: Christine Nixon APM was Chair of the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority from February 2009 to September 2010. Prior to joining the Authority, Christine was the 19th Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police leading 14,000 staff. She joined Victoria Police in April 2001, after serving with the New South Wales Police from 1972 and attaining the rank of Assistant Commissioner. Christine is a Fellow of ANZSOG, The Australian Institute of Police Management, The Australian Institute of Management and The Institute of Public Administration Australia. She is also a member of the Monash University Council, Chair of Good Shepherd Microfinance and Monash College Pty Ltd. Currently she lectures with the Australian and New Zealand School of Government in various courses including leading a workshop on Women in Leadership – Achieving and Flourishing. She also facilitates a leadership program with the not-for-profit organisation http://ourcommunity.com.au/ and runs her own “Women Leading Change” workshops. She mentors and advises various organisations on leadership and organisational reform.
Topic: Lessons learnt from bringing about organizational change.
Chief Executive Officer, ANU Enterprise and Visiting Fellow, College of Business and Economics, The Australian National University
Biography: Sarah Pearson’s eclectic career has spanned industrial innovation, academia, management consulting, government, and science communication. In each of these roles she has driven a multi-disciplinary and multi-functional approach to leading edge change. Her involvement in innovation started when working as a strategic management consultant at McKinsey & Co, where she devised strategies for high technology industries and co-authored a book chapter on innovation. She then went on to develop new methods for cancer diagnosis whilst a tenured physics academic, and later moved into industrial innovation, where she was the inaugural Open Innovation Champion at Cadbury and part of the leadership team at their long term R&D unit in the UK. Sarah has published extensively through the media of TV, radio, books, journals, magazines and newspapers, and is an author on eight international patents for cancer diagnosis and novel confectionery. She is passionate about innovation, and heavily involved in helping Australian organisations take on the innovation challenge.
Topic: An industry perspective on change.
Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, University of Queensland; Professor of Psychological & Addiction Medicine, The Australian National University; Professor of Population Mental Health and Disasters, University of Western Sydney
Biography: Professor Beverley Raphael AM, MBBS, MD (Syd), FRANZCP, FRCPsych, Hon MD (Newc), FASSA has had extensive experience in the development of disaster mental health in Australia and internationally. She has also been involved in research, policy and program development for children’s mental health including promotion, prevention and early intervention, as well as mental health research and policy more broadly. She is Chair of the Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma and Loss Grief Network (funded by the Australian Government). She has extensive research experience in children’s mental health and has research programs in this field at the ANU and UWS. She provides consultation and advice to the Australian Government Child Mental Health Forum, KidsMatter, and other bodies. She is the author of numerous publications relevant to this field.
Topic: How psychiatrists think about change.
Senior Lecturer, School of Art and Visiting Fellow, Fenner School of Environment and Society, The Australian National University
Biography: John Reid is a visual artist. As an artist he works with the media of photography, collage and performance. The environment and human rights are the enduring themes of his artwork. At the Art School, he co-ordinates the Environment Studio and convenes the Field Studies program which provides students with field research opportunities for fine art production. His research is concerned with the visual expression of ideas as fine art; and the investigation of procedures for artist engagement with scientists and community leaders to create aesthetic material that enhances the deliberation of values fundamental to the development of public policy.
Topic: Art and the documentation of change.
Science Director, Climate Adaptation Flagship, CSIRO
Biography: In his role as Science Director of CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship in Australia, Dr Mark Stafford Smith has been oversighting a highly interdisciplinary program of research on many aspects of adapting to climate change, as well as regularly interacting with national and international policy issues. He has over 30 years experience in drylands systems ecology, management and policy, including senior roles such as CEO of the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre in the early 2000s, and Program Leader of CSIRO Centre for Arid Zone Research in Alice Springs in the late 1990s. His significant international roles include being past vice-chair of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme’s Scientific Committee, and co-chair of the Planet Under Pressure: New Knowledge towards Solutions international global change conference in London in 2012 in the lead-up to Rio+20. He continues to actively publish, adding to over 150 peer-reviewed contributions to science, as well as many presentations and publications for less-specialised audiences.
Topic: How climate change and sustainability have influenced thinking about change.
Senior Fellow, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security, The Australian National University
Biography: Grant Wardlaw RFD has held senior executive positions in crime intelligence, research and policy organisations, including being National Manager Intelligence in the Australian Federal Police (AFP), National Director Criminal Intelligence in the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), Executive Director of the Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence (ABCI), Director of the Commonwealth Government’s Office of Strategic Crime Assessments (OSCA) and Acting Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC). Grant has postgraduate qualifications in psychology, international relations and international law and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. He has consulted internationally and published widely in the fields of terrorism, illicit drug policy and law enforcement intelligence and is the author of Political Terrorism: Theory, Tactics and Countermeasures (Cambridge University Press).
Topic: How intelligence analysts think about and deal with change.
Professor of National Security, National Security College, The Australian National University
Biography: Michael Wesley’s career has spanned academia, with previous appointments at the University of New South Wales, Griffith University, the University of Hong Kong, Sun Yat-sen University and the University of Sydney; government, where he worked as Assistant Director General for Transnational Issues at the Office of National Assessments; and think tanks, in which he was Executive Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Michael has also served as the Editor in Chief of the Australian Journal of International Affairs, a Trustee of the Queensland Art Gallery and a Board Member of the Australia Television Network. His most recent book, There Goes the Neighbourhood: Australia and the Rise of Asia, won the 2011 John Button Prize for the best writing on Australian public policy.
Topic: How change is dealt with in international relations.