MELBOURNE 4.0 Taskforce

We cannot assume that our city's success will continue without preparing for 'over the horizon' challenges which are approaching with unprecedented speed.



The strategic options for Melbourne’s future will be outlined in the MELBOURNE 4.0 report to be launched at our 2017 Annual Dinner on Thursday 11 May at the Melbourne Museum. The report will outline four plausible scenarios for Melbourne’s future economy with matching strategies that will underpin our city’s continued liveability and prosperity.

Currently, the key challenges and strategic options for Melbourne’s economic future, identified by Taskforce members, are being further tested with our members and other key stakeholders.  


MELBOURNE 4.0 Taskforce is preparing Greater Melbourne for the accelerating speed of innovation and disruption that has catapulted us to the early stages of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’.

The MELBOURNE 4.0 series of workshops identified four scenarios for Melbourne’s future economy built on two key change drivers out to 2030 – technological change and geopolitical shifts.


Figure: Four scenarios plotted against the two key change drivers


  • Scenario 1: Urban Rust – establishment of a Greater Metropolitan Melbourne Council, insufficient digital talent and human capital, as well as declining markets
  • Scenario 2: Asia’s Bargain Basement – timid governance, establishment of a Melbourne-Sydney mega-region and second-tier economy on the edge of a thriving Asia
  • Scenario 3: Metropolitan Misery – disappearance of the states with councils delivering more services, sustained recession, and lack of adequate infrastructure
  • Scenario 4: Riding the Wave – by dependence on Chinese markets, strengthened higher education, agribusiness, healthcare, tourism and construction, while Asian investment appetite potentially a growing challenge.

The MELBOURNE 4.0 report will outline a set of matching strategies presented by these four divergent and challenging scenarios, scoped by Taskforce members, to ensure that our city can continue to thrive towards 2030. 

These plausible range of futures for Melbourne’s economy will provide a frame of reference to have a structured dialogue and generate strategic options so we can prepare for each possible future economic environment.

Workshop participants  workshop participants 2

Taskforce members in discussion as the workshops


Thought leadership pieces

'Yarra Valley Water's contribution to MELBOURNE 4.0' - Pat McCafferty
Managing Director, Yarra Valley Water

'Melbourne the hub of technology innovation' - Scott Tanner
Chair, Committee for Melbourne and Chief Executive, Bank of Melbourne

'What’s needed to prevent a digital divide? Power and money.' - Melanie Raymond
Chair, Youth Projects

'Flexible executive roles the key to securing Melbourne’s future as a global city of choice' - Jo Fisher
Managing Director, Jo Fisher Executive

'Design Capital? Reasons why Melbourne should assume the title…' - Professor Paul Gough
Pro Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, College of Design and Social Context, RMIT University

'How can innovation and technology assist in making Melbourne the arts, culture and design destination?' - Tony Ellwood
Director, National Gallery of Victoria

'Creating globally connected, free thinking and creative behavioural spaces (Retaining the next gen artist and audience)' - Andrew Nicol
Principal, Arts and Culture Leader Australasia, Arup

'The role of technology and innovation in improving transport and traffic management' - Harry Wijers
Managing Director, Transdev Melbourne 

Key questions

Recognising the profound and unpredictable changes that will shape Melbourne’s future economy, the Committee for Melbourne has set up its MELBOURNE 4.0 Taskforce to:

1. Develop a clear understanding of – and shared language around – the future economic environment of Melbourne, across the city’s key stakeholder; and

2. Provide credibly informed policy programs to help our city and our member organisations prepare for the ‘over the horizon’ challenges and opportunities.

The taskforce will employ the vast collective knowledge and insight of the Committee’s diverse membership base to utilise a comprehensive City Strategy Model.

The process of the City Strategy Model can be broken down into a number of steps that cover the following key stages:

1.    Business model analysis
Creating a ‘heat map’ of Melbourne’s value proposition.

2.    External influences
Identifying the external trends and realities that are outside our control, but critically impact Melbourne’s future economy.

3.    Scenarios
We cannot predict the future, but we can credibly explore the range of possible futures by developing scenarios arising out of the external influences.

4.    Strategic options
The scenarios enable us to develop credibly informed policy options for our city, creating the next policy programs to help Melbourne’s economy thrive well into the future.

For over 30 years, the Committee for Melbourne’s influence has been built on the breadth, depth and calibre of our membership base and it is this collective strength that has been a major driving force behind the development and progression of our city.

Over the course of the MELBOURNE 4.0 Taskforce process, we will be organising workshops and conducting interviews to capture the knowledge and expertise of our diverse membership.

As a member of the Committee, you will be a key participant of – and active contributor to – the MELBOURNE 4.0 Taskforce. Through your participation, you and your organisation will be intimately involved in each stage of the process.

This is a fantastic opportunity to make a meaningful difference and help shape our city’s future.

To register for the MELBOURNE 4.0 Taskforce, click here.

"Digital is the main reason just over half of the companies on the Fortune 500 have disappeared since the year 2000."

Pierre Nanterme, CEO of Accenture