What We Do
Future Smart Strategies is a trusted and well regarded advisory firm for business innovation, business-to-business relations, business development, corporate and stakeholder engagement, and sustainability advice.
Our high level, strategic business advisory services help create new partnerships though our extensive business networks.
Our knowledge of markets and businesses will bring new market relationships to grow market share, and build and manage business reputation.
We actively identify opportunities for local, national and multi-national companies to grow their commercial interest as well as assist in developing a strategic approach to position clients for the future.
We advise companies on how to meet the challenges of sustainability and make the most of their business opportunities through specialist advice. Our consultancy services include strategic advice on energy, infrastructure projects, market development, policy and planning processes, sustainability and transport, as well as competitive tendering for contracting and potential asset sales.
Our professional evidence-based, results-focused approach has delivered many positive commercial outcomes for clients, helping to build new business-to-business partnerships, and better relationships with all stakeholders. Our unique blend of commercial, sustainability and external affairs experience is unrivalled in Western Australia.
Future Smart Strategies is an alliance partner with Blue Australasia, and we can help your business connect with global leaders in systems thinking, complexity theory, biomimicry and integrative design.
With our knowledge of businesses and markets, and our extensive business networks, Future Smart Strategies provides high level, strategic business advisory services to help:
• Bring new market relationships to grow market share;
• Build and manage business reputation;
• Identify opportunities for local, national and multi-national companies to grow their commercial interest in Western Australia;
• Assist in developing a strategic approach to positioning clients for competitive tendering for infrastructure projects, contracting and potential asset sales;
• Development of risk mitigation strategies;
• Mentor staff as part of engagement strategies and independently test product pitches;
• Provide business valuations, profit & loss forecasting, competitive landscaping studies, develop market entry strategies, assess and monitor merger & acquisition activity in Australia and run operations health checks and optimisation roadmaps;
• Develop economic models of demand and pricing to underpin product and asset pricing strategies;
• Add to your executive capacity through our 'Locum Executives' and Executive Mentors services;
• Maximise representation ensuring your voice is heard in industry forums and working groups; and
• Advise on R&D, innovation and commercialisation to business, commerce and academia.
Globally many companies take an active role in sustainabilty and corporate social responsibiilty that truly reflects company ethos and a desire to build ethical behaviour within the organisation and refleted in interactions with customers, and protecting brand and reputation.
Future Smart Strategies can advise companies on how to meet the challenges of sustainability and make the most of their business opportunities through specialist advice.
Future Smart Strategies provide a strategic view of sustainability needs across your entire business, from the supply chain to your customers. We can help you identify the broader business opportunities in moving to a more efficient, low carbon business model.
Examples of the assistance Future Smart Strategies can offer your organisation include:
• Corporate sustainability strategies;
• Market assessment of supply-chain carbon strategy and product innovation;
• Green investment market appraisal;
• Identification of green growth opportunities;
• Consumer and supplier carbon analytics;
• Footprinting product rules and sector guidance; and
• Change management and employee engagement.
Who We Are
Ray Wills: Managing Director
BSc (Hons), PhD, FAIE, MAICD
Professor Ray Wills has had a wide-ranging career at different times as researcher, academic, planner, consultant, adviser, manager, executive - and futurist. Ray's diverse experience has developed an exceptional network across the political and administrative arms of government, as well as business and the broader community.
Ray has substantial expertise in ecology, sustainability, climate change science and the effects of expected future climates on Australia, and is recognised as an authoritative and respected commentator and adviser on sustainability across all sectors including the built environment, cleantech, energy infrastructure, industrials, manufacturing, resources, transport, and water.
Ray is also Blue Leader for Blue by Design - a new Australian company that seeks to implement the vision of the Blue Economy and to bring about an alternative means of creating prosperity and abundance. Future Smart Strategies is an alliance partner with Blue by Design, and we can help your business connect with national and global leaders in systems thinking, complexity theory, biomimicry and integrative design.
Other roles include Board Member of Western Australia’s remote energy services provider Horizon Power; Partner and Director of the cleantech business, Sun Brilliance Power, building Australia's largest solar farm; Director of the bioenergy startup BioTek Fuels Pty Ltd; and, Principal Strategic Advisor to Australia’s largest private training organisation, Careers Australia.
Prior to joining FDRW Pty Ltd T/A Future Smart Strategies (formerly Duda & Wills) as a Partner, Ray was Chief Executive of the energy chamber, the Sustainable Energy Association, a business peak body actively supporting action on sustainable energy in all sectors of Australia's economy in all regions of Australia. Ray also ran his own consultancy, Future Smart Strategies, providing strategic advice on ecology and sustainability that extends on a previous career as an ecologist.
Ray continues his 18 year long relationship with the School of Earth and Environment at The University of Western Australia contributing to the academic program and lecturing on the science, economics and politics of environmental change. Ray's current research interests include adoption rates of technology, and the impact of social media on markets and technology adoption rates.
Ray was conferred the title Adjunct Professor in 2009 in recognition of his contribution to the University.
Ray was recognised as one of the Top 100 Global Leaders in Sustainability in 2011 by Singapore-based ABC Carbon, an honour renewed each year since. Separately, from 2014, Ray was listed by UK-based SustMeme Magazine as one of the top 100 Global Influencers in Social Media on Climate Change and Energy, based on independent social media metrics. Further, in 2016, analytics firm Onalytica listed Ray in the Top 100 Influencers and Brands for Renewable Energy in the world.
Howard Buckley: Executive Director
B.Bus (Inf. Tech.)
Howard has worked across service, manufacturing, government, resource, utility and life-science sectors; and for all organisation scales from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. He combines sector experience with his professional capabilities in technology, accounting, auditing and business management to identify issues, prioritise actions, plan delivery and harvest improvements.
Howard has held several GM and CEO level roles as well as various directorships. Independent of the size or industry sector of your organisation, Howard will work with you and your team to identify key short and long-term improvement needs, design a practical roadmap, fully engage stakeholders and then deliver results. He will help stimulate the evolution of your organisation towards improved operational efficiency, targeted business effectiveness, and enhanced cultural behaviours.
Bob Blakiston: Executive Director
Bob Blakiston has 25 years' experience in general management and at board level, successfully leading and managing operational business models for private families, public companies and not-for-profit industry associations. Bob's leadership has grown organisations wanting to take the next step, ensuring the business has a clear strategic direction for growth, measuring and improving key performance, and establishing a sustainable business model to position the business for the future.
Bob's hands on career experience spans manufacturing, wholesale and direct to market channel streams, direct mail marketing, retail, Installation and maintenance services, distribution, logistics, solar renewable energy and mining services.
Bob has developed sound business acumen, demonstrating ability to grow shareholder returns in a collaborative manner. He is always focused on making the right things happen while facilitating change, managing costs, and meeting all challenges.
Bob's area of specialisation is commercialising innovative products and services and ensuring entrepreneurs are rewarded from their intellectual property.
Carolyn Wills: Director
Carolyn Wills has worked in both the private industry and the education sector as an ICT expert and project management professional providing and delivering technology services to a range of private industry, government and non-government organisations, and to private clients.
Carolyn's strong background in computing and her broad knowledge of IT systems developed over more than three decades in using and maintaining computers, in training and supporting computer users in a range of situations from classrooms and research laboratories to conventional office environments, and in managing large projects of new technology deployment, both hardware and software.
Carolyn has a keen interest in the application of appropriate technology to aid research, training, education and workplace operations, and has specialised in supporting the people using computers - and resolving problems.View Carolyn Wills's profile
Martin Blake: Associate Director
BSc MBA DBA
Professor Martin Blake is an internationally recognised sustainability expert and a Professor of Sustainable Business Development with a working portfolio of board directorships, advisory roles and keynote speaking engagements throughout Asia, Australia, Canada and Europe. He is highly valued for his innovative business strategies which save money, save energy and support businesses to add value to the triple bottom line: people, profit and planet. Prof Blake has pre-eminent expertise from over 30 years of developing strategic plans and influencing high profile stakeholders within Governments, NGOs and industry including the postal, construction, healthcare, oil & gas and charity sectorsView Martin Blake's profile
Libby Walford: Associate Director
Libby Walford has a strong academic background in Business Management and Organisational Psychology and over ten years experience successfully delivering projects within the resources, financial services, healthcare, government, and not-for-profit sectors. Libby has worked for a ‘Big-4’ Professional Services firm, and clients have included fortune 500 companies, as well as, large and medium-sized organisations in Australia and the United Kingdom
Tony Leahy: Associate Director
Tony Leahy is a qualified CPA and Registered Tax Agent with 3 decades of experience in Government, the accounting profession and in business serving in management and executive roles including Chief Executive. Tony has provided taxation and management advice to a wide range of business and industry groups while in private practice, as well as leadership, auditing and legal interpretation roles in Government.View Tony Leahy's profile
Amish Sheth: Associate Director
Amish has a proven track record of delivery with over 14 years’ experience and a record of superior results in a variety of challenging environments within government, mining and private sectors. Amish provides visionary leadership and sharp business competencies to spearhead strategic planning and bottom line results. With projects across government, mining and private Sectors. Amish has demonstrated problem solving skills and a proven ability to manage and contribute to strategic outcomes with the highest standard. Amish utilizes creativity, leadership and teamwork to design and execute solutions that create customer value.View Amish Sheth's profile
Courtney McBarron: Senior Associate
Courtney McBarron has worked in senior management in all areas of business, operations and strategy spanning 15 years in the Mining, Information Technology, Telecommunications, Automotive and the Utilities industries. Core duties have included legal and regulatory business requirements, and governance and quality assurance, and driving major operational expenditure savingsView Courtney McBarron's profile
Cara Garz: Associate
Cara Garz has a BA in Business and Sustainability at Arizona State and interned with Freeport McMoRan – the world’s largest copper and gold producer – developing and enhancing business processes in their Social Responsibility and Community Development department. Cara is now focused on delivering operational support and process improvement in the sustainable energy sector and in Not-for-Profits.
What We Can Do For You
Whoever controls the media, controls the mind
Before the internet, the only way to get your corporate message out was in a press release. Now, anyone can publish content, across hundreds of channels and platforms - but there is no guarantee your message will be heard or shared. So who better to market your content than the influencers who already have your target audience’s attention? This is something we understand, because our two professors, Ray Wills and Martin Blake, are listed among the Top 100 influencers globally in sustainability, energy and climate change.
A good idea is only that, until...
The spark of a new idea needs to be nurtured, moulded and structured into a product that can effectively find its way onto a shopping list. We have deep, international experience across the spectrum from idea through supply-chain integration to the customer.
You don't need to be King Canute to realise it...
Modern businesses are also facing the accelerating tide of environmental, economic and social challenge. At the same time, business investment and value must be protected and restructured in order to continuously deliver success. We apply sound analysis, evaluation, future-trend analysis and planning protocols to suggest effective roadmaps for your particular organisation.
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
We help you refine the message that motivates your primary, secondary and tertiary stakeholders, and we help you deliver that message effectively. Whether the message is in relation to a new product, a share price or a new company we understand the context and can help make the message highly topical.
We don't give speeches, we share knowledge that stirs heartbeats and brings optimism.
Looking for an inspiring, broad-ranging, stimulating speaker for the next Board room meeting, staff retreat, stakeholder outreach, or public event? We can help - our two professors, Ray Wills and Martin Blake are entertaining and knowledgeable and certain to engage the crowd and get the creative juices flowing.
Business strategies must evolve with market changes
We do not create strategies for your business, we listen to you, your stakeholders, your colleagues, suppliers, competitors, customers, etc. Their input contributes to your most effective strategy which we document for you. We then also take that strategy and help turn it into an achievable roadmap for delivering your outcomes.
Governance and Organisation
Your business environment has evolved – but has your governance?
Is your senior management allowed to be effective? Do they have the information they need for effective decision-making? Is there someone accountable for each strategic objective? We have the methods and experience to take a rapid top-down review and to highlight critical improvements for accountabilities, information management and communication.
Operations 'Health Check'
Everything good under the hood?
Using well established procedures, we both objectively and subjectively review critical processes along your value chain. We look for all opportunities to harness value or reduce waste and prioritise them according to their net benefit and ease of improvement. We validate these with you and can construct a roadmap towards their delivery.
Over the last couple of years, we've been involved with a number of clients on a variety of exciting projects, providing strategic advisory and innovation services.
High profile hospitality venue
Guided on strategies to engage with regulators and stakeholders for improvement of the characteristics, design and acoustics of the facilities, as well as ongoing evolution of patronage, identifying potential to yield continuous improvements in the sustainability of the venue and liveability outcomes for the precinct, and ensuring Increased relationship building by the venue with the community as a key strategy to further enshrine the pivotal location and iconic nature of the venue.
Large resources company
Comprehensive report and recommendations on Government Industry Transitional Assistance Agreements, examining arrangements between companies and Federal and State governments in response to Australian curtailment/closure announcements in recent times, including review of announcements made to the market, number of employees affected, the nature of responses developed to address employee, business and community impact, and outline financial contributions by both government and industry, and commenting on the effectiveness and pitfalls of assistance programs including retraining, redeployment, and social infrastructure.
Renewables business, business development and media management including specific work for a commercial project
A utility scale solar farm to be attached to the SWIS grid of Western Power.
Start-up - Commercialising industrial products
An Australian industrial product with extensive patents and international certification had failed to achieve any commercial impact. We were asked to independently assess the product’s commercial value and, if appropriate, to develop a plan to commercialise it. Our investigations were critical to arriving at a its commercial value, its most effective industry placement and, the critical issues that need to be addressed to harvest commercial success.
Various planning and development agencies
Strategic reports on sustainable cities enabling increasing mixed- use, higher density living, with evolving building standards and traffic management, and growth of community expectation of services and amenity, and an evolution in social patterns for planners looking for outcomes that deliver liveable and vibrant modern communities for 21st Century cities.
Regional development authority
Provided a framework and blueprint for the implementation of policies to enhance local business productivity and profitability and community sustainability.