Nicholas Gruen


Speaker Nicholas Gruen

Nicholas Gruen is a widely published policy economist, entrepreneur and commentator.

He is currently CEO of Lateral Economics and Chair of The Federal Government’s Innovation Australia Board; The Australian Centre for Social Innovation; and Deakin University’s Arts Participation Incubator The Open Knowledge Foundation (Australia) The bid for the Partnership for Digital Services for Ecologically Sustainable Development

He is Patron of the Australian Digital Alliance, which brings together Australia’s libraries, universities, and major providers of digital infrastructure such as Google and Yahoo. He is also member of the Council of the National Library of Australia.

He was second shareholder and first Chairman of successful San Francisco based startup, data analytics crowdsourcing platform He is an Angel investor in a number of other startups in Australia and the US including a Sydney based cloud delivered application delivering ‘smart phone’ capabilities to the feature phones of the developing world, Melbourne based OneTouch which is developing semantic document management systems, and of which aims to be the AirBnB for share houses as well as some silicon valley based startups. 

He has advised Cabinet Ministers, sat on Australia’s Productivity Commission and founded Lateral Economics and Peach Financial. He has had regular columns in the Courier Mail, the Australian Financial Review, the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald and has published numerous essays on political, economic and cultural matters several of which have been published in annual “Best Essays” anthologies.

He was a member of a major review into Australia’s Innovation System in 2008, a review of Pharmaceutical patent extensions in 2013.

In 2009 he chaired Australia’s internationally acclaimed Government 2.0 Taskforce. 

He has a BA (Hons - First Class) in History (1981) a Graduate Diploma in economics and a PhD from the ANU (1998), and an LLB (Hons) from the University of Melbourne (1982).