Sandy Plun­kett in con­ver­sa­tion with David Uren at Swaab Attorneys

Senior Eco­nom­ics Edi­tor at The Aus­tralian and author of Takeover, Daivd Uren spoke with Sandy Plun­kett at Swaab about Aus­trali­a’s rela­tion­ship with for­eign cap­i­tal and invest­ment through time and its chal­lenges ahead. The evening was, unsrupris­ing­ly, an engag­ing and provoca­tive affair and Swaab thanks both David, Sandy and all atten­dees for their valu­able contribution.

On Tues­day 27 Octo­ber this year, we were joined by the incom­pa­ra­ble Sandy Plun­kett who was in con­ver­sa­tion with Senior Eco­nom­ics Edi­tor at The Aus­tralian and author of Takeover, Daivd Uren.

It was a thought­ful and con­sid­ered exchange of ideas and gave guests a his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive of the nation’s rela­tion­ship with for­eign cap­i­tal and takeovers mixed with a robust debate about the future of inno­va­tion and entre­pre­neur­ship. Despite the temp­ta­tion, we did­n’t serve Chikko Rolls!

Sandy and David agreed that Australia’s econ­o­my has been built on the back of for­eign cap­i­tal and observed that Aus­tralians have had a love/​hate rela­tion­ship with for­eign invest­ment for decades.

Dur­ing the con­ver­sa­tion Sandy and David exam­ined whether in today’s hyper com­pet­i­tive and con­nect­ed glob­al econ­o­my, our fluc­tu­at­ing atti­tudes toward for­eign cap­i­tal, skills and exper­tise had come into sharp focus.

They con­sid­ered whether Aus­tralians’ inse­cu­ri­ty about the source of our pros­per­i­ty com­ing from some­where else would abate? Or whether would it become more deeply entrenched.

Dur­ing the drinks that fol­lowed the con­ver­sa­tion, we con­sid­ered whether the impact of rapid­ly accel­er­at­ing tech­no­log­i­cal advances would change Australia’s atti­tudes to for­eign cap­i­tal and exper­tise for the devel­op­ment of our 21st cen­tu­ry indus­tries and jobs. 

Click here to see pho­tographs from the event.


David Uren is The Australian’s Eco­nom­ics Edi­tor and has been lead­ing the paper’s Can­ber­ra eco­nom­ic cov­er­age for the past decade. His career in jour­nal­ism includes nine years as the edi­tor of Busi­ness Review Week­ly, and peri­ods edit­ing the Asian busi­ness mag­a­zines, Asi­a­bank­ing and Asia Inc, as well as pol­i­cy pub­li­ca­tions for the Busi­ness Coun­cil of Aus­tralia, Accen­ture and the Cen­tre for Cor­po­rate Pub­lic Affairs. He has also worked in investor rela­tions, advis­ing blue-chip cor­po­ra­tions includ­ing BHP-Bil­li­ton, ANZ and South­corp on share­hold­er strat­e­gy. As well as Takeover, he is author of The King­dom and the Quar­ry about Australia’s rela­tion­ship with Chi­na and Shit­storm, explor­ing the Rudd government’s man­age­ment of the glob­al finan­cial crisis

Sandy Plun­kett is a thought leader in entre­pre­neur­ship and inno­va­tion ecosys­tems. She has more than 20 years’ expe­ri­ence in the inter­na­tion­al tech­nol­o­gy sec­tor as a com­men­ta­tor, con­sul­tant, ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist and start­up com­pa­ny pro­fes­sion­al. She is an Indus­try Fel­low, Entre­pre­neur­ship at UTS Busi­ness School; and an advi­sor to the Sil­i­con Val­ley VC firm, Bullpen Cap­i­tal. Sandy has writ­ten exten­sive­ly on dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion and entre­pre­neur­ship issues for media and she is an advi­sor to star­tups, cor­po­ra­tions and gov­ern­ments on inno­va­tion-dri­ven strate­gies and dis­rup­tive tech­nolo­gies and mar­kets in and out­side of Australia.

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