Bernard Salt

Onya Soapbox

Bernard Salt

Bernard Salt is a compelling and entertaining speaker engaged by both the private and public sectors to present a perspective of how demographic, consumer and workforce change might shape the future business environment.

Bernard is a Partner with KPMG based in Melbourne with special expertise in demographic and generational trends. He holds Bachelor of Education and Master of Arts degrees and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Bernard is an experienced media commentator and is a regular guest on television programs such as “Sunrise”, “Today Show”, “Today Tonight”, “A Current Affair” and “60 Minutes”.

Bernard’s business interests include the following:

  • Heads KPMG’s Property & Demographic Advisory group which provides demographic and workforce trend advice to business.
  • One of the most “in demand” speakers on the Australian corporate speaking circuit.
  • Columnist with “The Australian” newspaper.
  • Author of the best-selling book “The Big Shift” published in 2001 (now in its 3rd edition), “The Big Picture” published in 2006 (now in 2nd edition) and “Man Drought” published in 2008. Bernard has recently released his fourth book, “The Big Tilt” (2011). In this book, Bernard discusses the outlook for Australia and beyond as more and more baby boomers leave the workforce.
  • Chairman of the Tourism Forecasting Committee reporting to the Tourism Australia board.

In 2007 Bernard was engaged by KPMG International to direct and complete a study of Generation Y’s attitudes to the funds management industry. The output of that study, a book entitled “Beyond the Baby Boomers”, was effective in gaining global exposure for the firm. It also placed Bernard on the international speaking circuit.

Early in 2008 Bernard was again engaged by KPMG International to complete a global study of the movement of talent and labour. His report, “The Global Skills Convergence”, was released in Washington DC in September.

In 2010 Bernard produced KPMG’s Future Focus report aimed at business and government and which looked at development options for Australia in the 2010s.


Bernard provides a pacey and dynamic expose of cultural change and demographic shifts focusing on the outlook and implications for business over the next two decades.

Global Financial Crisis

  • The Demographics of the Global Financial Crisis.
  • How the GFC is Shaping Consumer Trends and Preferences.
  • How the GFC will Transform Generation Y Staff.
  • The GFC, Financial Services and Retirement: New Consumer Thinking.

From Baby Bust to Peak Humanity

  • Who will pay for Baby Boomers retirement?
  • The global scramble for food, energy, resources at 9 billion by mid century.
  • Which countries will benefit from these shifts?
  • What is Australia’s role and value in a crowded world?

The Rise of “Big Australia”

  • What does it mean for business if Australia grows to 35 million by 2050?
  • Arguments for and against; who will win out?
  • Business challenges and opportunities.

Workforce Trends

  • What will customers and workers look like beyond the GFC?
  • The Looming Demographic Faultline: Why Government Must Invest in Immigration.
  • The Rise of the Home Office and Telecommuting.
  • Jobs and the ‘Brave New World’ of Technology.

Consumer, Social and Generational Trends

  • Evolution of Australian Consumer Cultures.
  • The Rise and Fall of the Portfolio Lifestyle.
  • Generation X as Agents of Social Change.
  • The Man Drought and the Fella Filter.
  • Seachange and Treechange Shifts.

Urban and Regional Development

  • Sponge Cities and Regional Growth.
  • Demographic and Social Change across Australia.