Future Leaders Program

The objective of the Future Leaders Program is to assist AJBCC members prospective leaders develop management skills for dealing in the Asian Century.


The AJBCC established a Future Leaders Program to support the development of the “next generation” of Australia-Japan business leaders. Building on the contributions of current and past leaders, and with the goal of maintaining the longevity and strength of the bilateral relationship over the longer-term, the program has established a network of Future Leaders who participate actively within the AJBCC.


The first Future Leaders’ roundtable was held as part of the 53rd Australia-Japan Joint Business Conference in Darwin in 2014. The roundtable was scheduled as part of the Conference program so the ‘leaders of tomorrow’ could discuss the status of the Japan-Australia bilateral relationship, and workshop ideas and suggestions for the future of the relationship.

Building on the success of the first roundtable, the Future Leaders’ roundtable has then taken place at each Joint Business Conference with participants invited to examine key issues for the future of the Australia-Japan relationship. Topics of discussion include professional development, community engagement and diversity which then form tangible recommendations for strengthening the bilateral Australia-Japan relationship.


The Future Leaders provide feedback to the AJBCC Executive and make active contributions to the annual conferences through the Future Leaders’ plenary and workshop sessions. Throughout the year, the Future Leaders participate in a broad range of industry conferences, professional networking events and organise deep-dive seminars and study sessions on challenges and opportunities across the bilateral relationship. A mentorship program also enables engagement with senior business leaders at other like minded organisations. In addition, the Future Leaders convene via videoconference on a regular basis, post articles and share information via LinkedIn, and meet informally to continue to exchange ideas.

In 2021, the Future Leaders program has over 45 individuals across Australia and Japan, who are considered prospective leaders both within their own companies and the wider Australia-Japan community.

Highlights of recent Future Leaders’ initiatives include:

  • Publication of A Guide to Bridging the Cultural Divide designed to provide unique insights into how culture impacts business practices and offer practical tips on doing business successfully across the bilateral Australia- Japan relationship
  • Future Leaders’ Joint Business Forum Australia and Japan in the New Normal: Perspectives on Embracing Uncertainty in International Business
  • 2021 Future Leaders Mentoring Program – nurturing the next generation of leaders within the evolving Australia-Japan relationship
  • Australia & Japan: Beyond the Bilateral
    Leading up to the 58th Australia-Japan Joint Business Conference in October 2021 the Future Leaders will revisit the enormous potential that exists across the Indo-Pacific region in infrastructure and beyond, engaging thought leaders across government, business and academia for a series of events, including:

    • Roundtable discussions to identify specific issues and bottlenecks preventing Australia-Japan collaboration in third countries;
    • A Think Tank to produce tangible solutions to the problems identified at the roundtable, and in turn underpin successful collaboration;
    • A Plenary Session at the Annual Joint Conference which will bring the enduring strengths of this trusted relationship back into focus by showcasing success stories of Australia and Japan working together across the region.
  • Webinar – Insights into the effects of COVID-19 on the Australian economy (hosted by EY)
  • Webinar – New Colombo Plan Momentum – Our Australia-Japan Economic Partnership a win-win (hosted by Mitsui & Co.)
  • 2020 Future Leaders Mentoring Program – nurturing the next generation of leaders within the evolving Australia-Japan relationship
  • Joint-networking dinner in Sydney with Australia-Japan Society of NSW
  • Future of Energy seminar in Melbourne (co-hosted by Australia-Japan Society of Victoria and Ashurst)
  • Future Leaders’ study session in Tokyo – Cooperation of Australia and Japan in development of global blockchain regulation (Speaker: Chris Brennan, Executive Director, MCIB Partners)
  • Future Leaders’ seminar and reception event in Sydney – Latest political developments in Japan and considerations for Australia-Japan business (Speaker: Benjamin Ascione, Crawford School, Australian National University)
  • 57th Annual joint business conference 2019 – Enablers for Successful New Partnerships


The Future Leaders program principally consists of individuals who are under 40 years of age and are considered by their respective organisations as prospective future leaders in their own organisation as well as in the Japan-Australia relationship.


AJBCC offers a heavily subsidised annual membership rate for a company employee who is nominated for participation in the Future Leaders program.

Follow Future Leaders on LinkedIn and Twitter