10.12.2020Future Focus Group – The year in review and looking ahead

The Future Focus Group Program (FFG) is in its 25th year and, as you might expect, it has been a year like no other before it. The restrictions imposed in Melbourne on working in offices and on gatherings meant that all monthly FFG sessions since late March have been virtual. The sustained engagement of participants in both the 2019-2020 Program and the 2020-2021 Program despite these logistical and engagement challenges is a real credit to those participants.

We have vacancies for three more emerging leaders to participate in the 2021-2022 Program to complete the 2021-2022 program. The FFG gives emerging leaders a unique opportunity to shape Melbourne’s Road to Recovery, while becoming a networked Future Melbourne Leader.

The 2019-2020 Program was completed in October after 21 months by 17 participants from 15-member organisations, working on three FFG Projects. The Kids in Docklands Project explored how Melbourne’s apartment complexes can be more child and family friendly, having gathered perspectives on the challenges in raising young children in high density areas. The Grey to Green Project was a study on opportunities to transform privately-owned inner-city spaces into areas of green public amenity. The Docklands Gift Project will deliver an athletics carnival at Ron Barassi Snr Park in Docklands in February that has been accredited by the Victorian Athletics League.

The 2020-2021 Program was the first one in the new, more intensive, 15-month format, with 18 participants from 13-member organisations and a Victorian Government Department with three FFG Projects. The Melbourne International Student Week Project proposes a week-long festival, including a welcome event at Federation Square, in July for all Melburnians aimed at creating deeper connections between International Students and Melbourne communities. The Melb Explore Project is looking to design an immersive walking tour to reinvigorate domestic tourism, integrate and promote our love and passion for art and increase visitation of our iconic sporting venues. The MelBees Project aims to showcase and promote the bees of Melbourne and their preferred habitat by installing a “green roof” on selected public transport shelters. More details on each of these ‘live’ FFG Projects will be provided in future editions of Communiqué as the projects evolve further.

We have been receiving nominations and conducting interviews for the 2021-2022 Program, which is scheduled to start in February and runs for 15 months. The Committee will offer 12 potential FFG Projects where the purpose of each of those projects is to contribute to Melbourne’s Road to Recovery in one or more of the Committee’s 4 Focus Areas. The Project Teams will choose their respective projects from those options.

FFG is an opportunity for an emerging leader to be part of a project team of 5 or 6 that takes on, and delivers, a Committee-sponsored project that can be a real and enduring contribution to Melbourne’s Road to Recovery – while also building Melbourne connectivity and civic leadership capabilities. If you would like to explore the prospect of participation in the 2021-2022 Program, please contact Matt Gaffney, General Manager Future Focus Group.

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