2023: A Year of Consequence


2023 was a year of consequence, at home and across the world.

For Australia, the year was dominated by the Voice to Parliament, shifting security challenges, and the plight of everyday Australians grappling with a housing crisis, inflation and economic uncertainty.

Globally we saw continuing war in Ukraine and deadly new conflict in Israel, ethical considerations of artificial intelligence and devastating reports on climate change.

Working together, The Conversation’s academics and journalists covered these issues and more, providing evidence-based research to help guide policy-makers and everyday Australians to make informed decisions at a pivotal time.

We are delighted to welcome Justin Bergman, editor of this collection of insights on our most significant challenges in a year of consequential decisions. He joins a panel of Australia Institute researchers, economists and experts who have contributed to this incredible book; Dr Richard Denniss, Executive Director, Dr Jim Stanford, Director of the Centre for Future Work, and Dr Emma Shortis, Senior Researcher, International & Security Affairs program.


  • Richard Denniss, Executive Director of the Australia Institute and is a prominent economist, author and public policy commentator, and a former Assoc Professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy at ANU. He is the author of several books including: Econobabble, Curing Affluenza, Dead Right: How Neoliberalism Ate Itself and What Comes Next? and Big: The Role of the State in the Modern Economy
  • Dr Jim Stanford is Economist & Director of the Centre for Future Work at the Australia Institute. Jim is a former economist at Unifor and the author of Economics for Everyone: A Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism, which has been published in six languages.
  • Dr Emma Shortis is historian and writer, focused on the history and politics of the United States and its role in the world. She uses her expertise in history to interpret and explain what is happening in the world today, and what it means for Australia, in a compassionate and accessible way. In a conversation often dominated by the same voices, Emma offers a fresh perspective on international relations grounded in moral questions about how we might imagine a post-American future. Emma’s first book, Our Exceptional Friend: Australia’s Fatal Alliance with the United States, was published by Hardie Grant in 2021. She writes regularly for Australian and international outlets, and appears regularly on Australian radio and television. Before joining The Australia Institute, Emma was a Lecturer at RMIT University, where her academic work focused on international relations and climate transition. Before that, she spent a year in the United States as Fox-Zucker International Fellow at Yale University, where she finished her PhD in History.
  • Justin Bergman has been with The Conversation since 2018, initially as the Deputy Editor on the Politics and Society section and currently as International Affairs Editor. He is the editor of the newly released anthology of The Conversation’s best essays of 2023, A Year of Consequence. Prior to joining The Conversation, Justin spent seven years covering news, business, travel and culture in China and Southeast Asia as the Shanghai correspondent for Monocle magazine and as a frequent contributor to Time magazine, The New York Times, BBC, The Associated Press, Mashable, and others. Originally from the US, he is also a former news editor on the International and National desks at The Associated Press in New York and European digital news editor at Time magazine in London. In addition, he has taught magazine writing with Stanford University and food writing with Le Cordon Bleu.


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