The Next Economy

The Next Economy supports communities dealing with economic change to build resilient regional economies that are good for people and planet.


The Next Economy supports communities dealing with economic change to build resilient regional economies that are good for people and planet.

The Next Economy works across all economic sectors to accelerate the transition to a climate-safe, socially just and regenerative economy by:
• Supporting communities across regional Australia to develop plans and strategies that reduce carbon emissions while simultaneously creating good social and economic outcomes. We also connect them to the resources and expertise they need to implement those plans.
• Applying what we learn from regional projects by working with decision makers across industry and government (State and Federal) to develop new policies and frameworks for systems change.
• Inspiring the public to act by raising awareness about the range of solutions available to tackle climate change and regenerate the environment while creating a more prosperous, cohesive and peaceful society.
• Training people working across environment, climate, union and social service organisations to work more effectively with people across regional Australia for long-term mutual benefit and meaningful climate action.

The Next Economy was established in 2018 to support communities struggling with economic change to stimulate their economy in ways that protect and regenerate both people and planet.

The idea for The Next Economy came about after Dr Amanda Cahill was asked to do a presentation in Mackay about what communities could do to protect themselves against changes in the international demand for coal. She thought the presentation was a one-off, but instead Amanda was inundated with requests from coal mining areas in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria to help them explore how they could manage the economic transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy. What was most surprising about these requests was that the majority were coming from unlikely suspects: elected local government officials, heads of economic agencies and chambers of commerce, union representatives, state and federal government departments and industry peak bodies.

Amanda quickly realised that there was a huge gap in the current climate movement, in that most organisations were focussed on national campaigning and activism, or on developing and promoting technical solutions. Very few were talking about climate change as an economic opportunity that could create new jobs and industries, while also addressing a number of other challenges that regional Australia was facing, including ongoing droughts, population decline, workforce shortages and reduced services. Furthermore, in her visits to regional areas, Amanda started to see how climate change was increasingly being used to drive a wedge between rural and urban communities.

Concern about this growing division, along with ongoing political opposition to climate action and a growing demand for support to manage the already changing economies in coal regions led to Amanda establishing The Next Economy in 2018. The Next Economy is a not for profit company limited by guarantee and is a registered charity with ACNC. We have Deductible Gift Recipient status through the auspices of The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.

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