Letter from the Editor-in-Chief: Welcome to Forbes Australia


On September 15, 1917, the first issue of Forbes magazine hit newsstands in the US.   

The original promise was Forbes: Devoted to Doers and Doings.

In his first editor’s letter, B.C Forbes wrote: “Business was originated to produce happiness, not to pile up millions.”   

A noble idea, but over the next century the forces of capitalism saw cash piles balloon from millions of dollars to billions and now into the trillions.    

It’s only now, 105 years later, that the business world is hearing what B.C. had to say. Purpose is firmly back on the agenda of big corporates and the blind pursuit of profits at the cost of happiness, stakeholders and the environment, no longer cuts it.   

New approaches to capitalism are at the fore. Stakeholder capitalism, inclusive capitalism – there are many ways to describe it, but the idea is that businesses should be built with purpose, and to spread the benefits of profit more widely. That’s where we’re at.  

We’re launching Forbes in Australia at an interesting time economically. It is an environment in which young tech companies – and even some more mature companies – have never before operated in.

“Our promise is to tap into the deep well of Australian innovation.”

– Sarah O’Carroll, Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Australia. editor@forbes.com.au

Inflation is hot, interest rates are rising, there are crippling skills shortages and work is being transformed by digitisation. In Europe a long war of attrition will likely play out between Russia and Ukraine, food and energy crises loom, and the climate is drastically changing. But with adversity comes innovation, exploration and new opportunities for the ‘doers’.  

And that’s what Forbes Australia is all about: the people and companies who are striving to solve some of the world’s greatest problems, who are innovating to forge a prosperous future for Australia.  

In the first issue of the magazine, which hits stands today, you’ll read about Emma Weston using blockchain to solve global grain supply chain issues, and about Kristy Carr flying to the rescue of the US’ infant formula crisis.  

We talk to Professor Michelle Simmons about leading the global quantum computing race, and to philanthropist Judith Neilson about how she chooses what causes to support and what she wants her legacy to be.  

Investing stalwarts David Paradice and Daniel Petre share their predictions for the future, and the Ferguson brothers share their goal to disrupt the web.   

But what this diverse group of people have in common is ambition, passion, drive and grit and a sense of purpose not unlike B.C’s back in 1917.  

These are the shared values of the Forbes community we intend to create; a community of doers, engaged in some of the most fundamental questions of our time, determined to shape the future.    

And you, our readers, are a core part of that community.   

This first issue of the magazine is a glimpse into some of those issues, success stories and fresh ideas. And we’ve only just scratched the surface.  

Our promise to you is to tap into the deep well of innovation in Australia, to spark dynamic conversations, to challenge and question the wealth creators and change makers – and create a new business world where we all can connect. And we’ll give a nod to B.C by injecting a bit of happiness along the way.   

Enjoy the first issue of the magazine and everything else Forbes Australia has to offer. I’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas and feedback.