Forge the future of the state with InQueensland Media’s 40 Under 40 Awards

The 40 Under 40 Awards form a part of Queensland’s long history of innovation, says awards judge Steve Greenwood.

Jun 14, 2024, updated Jun 14, 2024

Queensland Futures Institute (QFI) CEO Steve Greenwood returns as a judge for this year’s 40  Under 40 Awards after serving on the inaugural panel. 

The inaugural 40 Under 40 Awards was an exciting experience. The scope and depth of the applications were simply outstanding,” he said. “The number of highly talented people that we have in Queensland was clearly on display. It was quite a privilege to be able to gain insight into the work and the passions of younger Queenslanders.”

QFI, which Greenwood co-founded in 2014, champions accelerated economic and social growth for Queensland, bringing together the state’s investors and employers in order to generate new ideas and solutions for Queensland’s future. 

“Queensland, of all of the states, is one that has a history of deep and ongoing innovation,” Greenwood said. “A highly decentralised state, people were historically quite isolated, and through necessity developed solutions to their frequent challenges. I think that it is this spirit of [the] innovative Queenslander that has been much of the reason for the state’s success and also the envy of other Australian states. And it is the spirit of innovation that will see our state grow and thrive into the future.”

As part of this year’s awards, Greenwood is hoping “to meet some great young minds who will greatly contribute to our state’s future.”

One part of Queensland’s future that Greenwood is presently passionate about is the public sector, which he calls “one of the often-discounted keys to growing Queensland’s economy”. 

“I am of the view that the more that can be done to encourage the development of the public sector and greater collaboration between the private and public sectors, the better for Queensland’s economy,” he said.

As part of this, QFI is pioneering a “very exciting initiative”, developing an education and training program that Greenwood said is “aimed at enhancing public and private sector development and collaboration”, scheduled to be launched in the first quarter of FY25. QFI has signed a partnership agreement with UQ’s Business School for the project. 

Initially these courses will be focused on providing the public sector deeper insights into the private sector, but in the future Greenwood plans to deliver courses to the private sector providing a closer look into the operations of the public sector. 

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“The Queensland public sector has a major influence and impact on the future of Queensland growth,” he said. “Be it through service delivery, regulatory approaches or funding programs, the public sector is a very important and influential contributor to the state’s future.” 

Always future focused, Greenwood looks to the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to put themselves forward for the awards.

“I’m hoping that in this year’s nominees I see another great cross-section of the seriously impressive talent that we have in Queensland,” he said. “One of the characteristics of many of the applicants from last year was that they were quite humble; many thought that what they had done was not that impressive. Yet in the spotlight of the award process I think that it began to dawn on them that what they were doing was often quite special and quite unique.”

“For this reason, I think that everyone should have a think about nominating themselves or indeed others, as they may be surprised as to how well their ideas will be received. And as I always say in the true Queenslander spirit, ‘Just Have a Go!’”

Nominations are now open for the 40 Under 40 Awards presented by InQueensland and The Weekend Edition. We want to hear about the impact you have made on Queensland in your career or, if you know of an outstanding leader, trailblazer or innovator under the age of 40, please take a few moments to nominate them here.

The awards will acknowledge this year’s alumni of 40 of the state’s brightest, including the winners of the ten category awards.

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