A man smiling wearing a blue shirt in front of foliage - Toby Philips

Toby Phillips

Expertise: Technology policy, Climate change, Economics, Public policy

Toby Phillips leads the Centre for Policy Development’s Sustainable Economy Program, working on policy ideas and partnerships to build a more environmentally and socially sustainable economy. This work encompasses climate policy, wellbeing governance, and structural challenges to Australia’s economy.

Since 2017, Toby has been a researcher and manager at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government, where he continues to direct a project on government responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Toby previously led the research and policy team for the Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development, chaired by Melinda Gates, Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Strive Masiyiwa. Prior to that, Toby was a researcher at the Resolution Foundation, a UK think tank. Toby started his career in Canberra, holding roles across several government departments (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Attorney-General’s Department, and the then-Department of Human Services).

Toby holds a Master of Public Policy from Oxford University and a BSc(hons) in chemistry from Flinders University. He has previously served on the board of the Australian Republic Movement, and currently chairs the board of Scouts Australia.


CPD made a submission to the Climate Change Authority providing feedback and recommendations on their
The Green Goods report lays out a practical pathway for governments to work together on
More than 30 state and federal government officials, investors, and leaders representing businesses and workers
The Setting Direction report lays out a practical framework that Australia’s federal government could use
The Capital for kilowatts discussion paper suggests that investments in renewable energy can unshackle the
CPD made a submission to Treasury providing feedback and recommendations on their exposure draft of

In the media

Climate, worker and innovation experts have embraced the Prime Minister’s seismic shift on industrial policy that will see coordinated government intervention to help Australia compete in the global clean energy and manufacturing race.
New and existing subsidies and incentives designed to bolster domestic manufacturing will be brought under the umbrella of a “Future Made in Australia Act”, as the government seeks to boost its economic and national security credentials.
For most economists, the idea of a “planned economy” is laughable. Policy experts, in particular, are now happy to challenge the Cold War binary that a country is either “free” or trying to recreate Stalin’s five-year plan.
Australia must implement “directional” industry policy that utilises clear goals, a diverse mix of policy and strong governance to take full advantage of structural changes like decarbonisation and emerging technologies.
Australia has been warned it will miss out on future prosperity under its existing industry policy and cannot match the US or China.
Fears of an inflationary hit from a massive spend on renewable energy are "unfounded", according to independent economic analysis.