A Place for Union Insights and Innovation


The ATUI holds Futures Network meetings throughout the year, bringing unionists together to share knowledge on best practice in organising, campaigning, and growth and adopt better ways of supporting union members and workers.

All affiliates are encouraged to nominate officials or staff members with responsibility for new projects and innovation to attend these meetings on their union’s behalf.


Details on topics and presenters to come throughout the year.



8 August | 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Register here



12 September | 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Register here



10 October | 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Register here



7 November | 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Register here


Recordings and resources from previous Futures Network meetings can be found in the ATUI Library.

Worker Surveys: What’s New?

9 May


For a long time, unions have used surveys of members and non-members for a number of purposes – to engage members in developing claims, in supporting public policy campaigns and lead generation.

But how can recent developments supercharge how unions use surveys to generate growth and greater engagement and activism?

The May meeting of the Futures Network explored member surveys. We heard from a panel of unions on how they are making the most of them, including the systems and platforms that underpin these initiatives.

The ACTU Insights Team also introduced the ‘question library’: what it is, why it’s a good idea to use standard questions and how affiliates can access it.



Effective Onboarding of New Members

11 April


The ACTU Insights Team provided a summary of insights collected through their New Member Join Research program, conducted with new union members across the movement. The research is focused on understanding members’ initial onboarding expectations and experiences, at the one-month and three-month mark of joining.

The Insights team was joined on a panel by affiliates giving short outlines of the onboarding journeys they are implementing and their experiences so far.



A New Look at Union Power

14 March


In 2023, Professor Anthony Forsyth launched his book on new forms of union activism: The Digital Picket Line. We heard from Anthony and Alison Rudman, union leader and researcher, about their work on case studies of union strategy with a particular focus on how unions build and exercise power.



Distinguished Professor Anthony Forsyth, Graduate School of Business & Law, RMIT University

Alison Rudman, NSW Secretary, CFMEU – Manufacturing Division and PhD Candidate, University of Sydney Department of Work and Organisational Studies



New Digital Tools

8 February


Over the course of 2023, new and innovative tools and technology were developed by affiliates and TLCs to support union campaigns. In this workshop, we looked at some of the tools built for Unions for Yes, which could have ongoing application in digital campaigning across the movement.

Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC) created a ‘Voice Bot’ (and associated tools) to scale digital communications on the Voice campaign. Through AI and automations, VTHC had 191 conversations through their chatbot and 1,500 conversations on Messenger (approximately 80% automated).

Similarly, the Unions for Yes campaign landing page by the ACTU digital team utilised several tools and programs that could be deployed to campaign sites in the future, including a ‘Pledge Your Support’ tool and a ‘Social Media Photo Frame’ tool.



Edwina Byrne, Communications and Media Lead, VTHC

Blair Wigley, Digital Development Lead, ACTU