Tropical conference tackles resilience

@JCU Tropical conference tackles resilience

A key theme of “Resilience in the Tropics” will underpin expert presentations and discussion when the second Future of Tropical Economies Conference (FTEC) is held in Cairns later this year.

Presented by Cairns Regional Council and James Cook University, the 2016 conference program will launch tomorrow to coincide with the inaugural International Day of the Tropics (29 June).

“The declaration of this day by the United Nations recognises the global significance of the tropics – a region of 122 countries with extraordinary biological, cultural and socio-political diversity,” Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said.

“The tropical region is growing 20 per cent faster than the rest of the world; it accounts for 40 per cent of the world’s population and is host to around 80 per cent of the world’s biodiversity plus much of its language and cultural diversity.

“The tropical zone’s growth, sustainability and resilience are critical to international economic prosperity, and these issues are the central focus of both FTEC 2016 and the new International Day of the Tropics.”

JCU Vice-Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding, who is currently in New York for the UN declaration, said that like the International Day of the Tropics, FTEC 2016 would shine a light on the tremendous potential the tropical zone holds for the world.

Held for the first time in Cairns in 2014, FTEC addresses the challenges for tropical advancement, taking into account cultural, social and environmental issues.

This year’s FTEC will feature a quality line-up of international and Australian speakers – all acclaimed experts in their fields – to highlight the importance of the world’s tropical regions and the challenges they face.

The speaker line-up includes:

  • Bernard Salt – Australia’s leading demographer, in-demand global business advisor, social commentator and award-winning author
  • Stefan Hajkowicz - Principal Scientist in Strategy and Foresight (CSIRO), widely published advisor on strategic foresight and author of “Global Megatrends: Seven Patterns of Change Shaping Our Future”
  • Professor Jason Pomeroy – Singapore-based award winning architect, master planner and academic at the forefront of the sustainable built environment agenda
  • Anne-Maree McInerney - international Blue Economy* expert and renowned business leader with a focus on disruptive innovation and technologies that drive sustainable development. (*The term “Blue Economy” originates from a book by Gunter Pauli “The Blue Economy: 10 years, 100 innovations, 100 million jobs” which focuses on tackling environmental, financial and social sustainability through innovative solutions)
  • John Barrett – New Zealand-based founding member of the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance with 35-plus years of management and governance experience in a range of private and public organisations.
  • Fittingly, tomorrow is also the anniversary of the launch of the inaugural State of the Tropics report by Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in 2014. 

    The next State of the Tropics report is due to be released by James Cook University in 2017, with preliminary parts of the report providing discussion points for FTEC.

    Professor Harding said the 2017 report would focus on sustainable infrastructure, a theme that had emerged from both FTEC 2014 and the G20 meeting held in Cairns at the same time.

    “At a global level, northern Queensland has a great deal of expertise in the challenge of developing sustainable infrastructure for the tropics,” she said. “As a developed economy in the tropical zone, we have world-leading expertise in areas such as science, healthcare, technology, human capital, and environmental management.

    “These capabilities are going to be in high demand throughout the tropical world as it continues its exponential growth, presenting enormous opportunities for our region,” Professor Harding said.

    FTEC 2016 will be held at the Pullman Cairns International on 27-28 October, with a special delegate networking event at Salt House at the conclusion of the first day. Tickets will go on sale tomorrow with a strictly-limited number of 50 “early bird” discounted registrations. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

    Early bird conference Registration - $450

    JCU Staff and Students Deal

    Single day access 27 or 28 October.

    Price is $475 inc. GST for one day only.

    They will be able to pick the day when registering.

    This will be available for sale 29 June – 22 October.  Promo code JCUFTEC must be used when registering.

    FTEC 2016 is made possible thanks to the support of sponsors Pullman Cairns International, Salt House, Flanagan Consulting Group, Advance Cairns, Planz Town Planning, Regional Development Australia Far North Queensland & Torres Strait Inc and ARUP.