ACoP is delighted to welcome Dr Simon Eassom as our inaugural Chief Futurist for the Professions.
Since 2017, we have been actively working on being the ‘thought leaders in all things professional’, spanning from creating guidelines for national higher education sector on teaching, learning, assessment, placements, and mobility during the pandemic to the appointment of Australia’s first Chief Professionalist in 2021 and our ongoing ‘Australia 2040’ agenda.
At the core of these initiatives is an intrinsic need to capture a stream of forward-looking ideas and visions, enveloped in thought-provoking and future-state scenarios.
ACoP is ideally positioned to provide not only the specific insight into the changes taking place within the professions but also an impartial analysis of the issues facing humanity and the possible directions that resolution of those issues might take. These include implications for the future of work, the future of learning, the future of cities, the future of nationhood and beyond.
With that as the backdrop, ACoP is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Simon Eassom as our inaugural Chief Futurist. In this role, Simon will develop and accelerate ACoP’s presence and value in this area by initiating a series of roundtables and workshops on specific ‘futurology’ scenarios; developing materials and presentations that could be used by ACoP members for their own understanding of the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other challenges facing humanity; and importantly assisting in the advocacy of ACoP as the leading voice in presenting objective assessment of the issues facing the professions, governments and society overall.
As ACoP President Klaus Veil says, “Simon Eassom’s appointment will strengthen our presence inside and outside the professions as an important forward-looking ‘think tank’. Dr Eassom, along with other ACoP appointments such as our Chief Professionalist, will further enhance our value and relevance as the thought leaders on the future of the professions and their professionals”.
Dr Simon Eassom, a research academic for 22 years and former university Head of School, is a prolific public presenter and in-demand speaker for over two decades. After leaving a highly successful career in academia, in 2005 Simon joined IBM Global Business Services, based in Australia. Over the course of 13 years with the company became one of their key thought-leaders and experts on the impact of technology on our lives. He was one of the original IBM executives working with IBM’s “Watson” artificial intelligence (AI) software and presented at numerous international events on both the nature of AI (and what we really mean by AI) as well as on its potential to change the world for better or worse. He led the strategy development of IBM’s “Smarter Education” solutions and initiated several of IBM’s major implementations of AI to facilitate learning, teaching and assessment, ultimately enabling fully personalised learning. His reach also spreads to speaking to audiences on the future of health services, the future of banking, and the future of retail. With his colleagues, he developed IBM’s position statement on the impact of “blockchain” technologies on all industries. Simon was formerly a Board member of Deakin University and has been a board member of ACoP since 2019.
Simon has a PhD in Philosophical Ethics built on a career-long interest in leadership, justice, fairness, and the relationship between philosophy and psychology. In the 1990s he was heavily involved with colleagues researching the use of sport as a vehicle for enhancing mutual respect in the “truth and reconciliation” process across as Northern Ireland, South Africa, and the Middle East.