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Title: Regional development in an age of accelerating complexity and uncertainty: Towards survival strategies for a sparsely settled continent
Contributor(s): Sorensen, Anthony (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2015
DOI: 10.1177/0269094214564034
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Abstract: Australia's rural and remote regions operate in a complex and uncertain environment. Global economies and markets are rapidly shifting; the arrival of the Second Machine Age is continually stretching the frontier of innovation and will destroy or modify many jobs over the next two decades or so; the tyranny of distance is contracting; natural resources appear to be more threatened and/or finite; while social structures become increasingly mobile, older and affluent. This combination of complexity and uncertainty bodes ill for sparsely settled rural regions, already constrained by narrow economic bases, the oscillations of seasonal conditions and unstable commodity prices and exchange rates. Their already fragile economies and societies, using Taleb's terminology, are likely to become more so. Worse still, complexity and uncertainty, married with the enormous spatial heterogeneity and the fragmentation of government, militate against top-down public strategies designed to promote regional development. So is there any place for regional policy in the emerging world order? Taleb's recent work on anti-fragility suggests ways forward, especially in the realm of regional self-help guided by a raft of community and business leaders focusing on creating innovative, creative, scientifically literate, highly networked, investment ready and risk accepting cultures. These, in return, require an effective flow of venture capital and mutual support systems. This article suggests the pathways to these outcomes and, in the process, flags research agendas designed to focus and accelerate the processes involved.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Local Economy, 30(1), p. 41-52
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1470-9325
Field of Research (FOR): 140202 Economic Development and Growth
160404 Urban and Regional Studies (excl Planning)
160401 Economic Geography
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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