Marcus consults through his company, The Institute for Working Futures Pty. Ltd. (Working Futures™).  Since June 1991 Marcus has led major projects with numerous companies many of which are ASX top 20 and Forbes 500 companies.  Clients have included Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Qantas Airways Ltd, BHP Billiton, St George, Westpac, Woolworths, Shell, Santos, Simplot, SGS International, Siemens, Vodafone, MAIB, Seven Network, SingTel Optus, and Sony-Ericsson Australia. Non-private sector clients have included international standards and accreditation bodies; regional development and health boards; international, national and state government bodies in all sectors of Australia and in support of reforms in New Zealand, South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

The main areas of consultancy include:

  • Human Capability Development (HCD): Capability is the general term for the strategic skills and knowledge, behaviours and identity attributes (traits and values) that underpin individual and group capacity and thence an organisation’s agility and performance.  This includes the subset of developing and implementing competency standards and frameworks at a national, industry and enterprise level.
  • Workforce development planning and strategy:  Identifying and isolating skills needs and misalignments between labour market supply and demand for skills at an industry or regional level.
  • Strategic HR and learning systems: Analysing and reviewing learning interventions and the deployment of technology to improve knowledge generation, capture, and transfer (e.g. mobile and electronic learning) or to improved processes that enhance development activities while removing both inefficacies, overlap, and the costs resulting from poorly aligned performance and development systems.


Typically, Marcus’ research is primarily applied and collaborative, involving industry or international partners.  Where it is tied to business systems the work is usually completed through Working Futures™.  However, large scale and national research programmes are completed with University partners. Marcus holds an appointment at the University of Tasmania as part of his Digital Economy and Regional Futures project. He also has strong collaborative relationships with a number of universities in Australia, Germany, China, UK and USA.

Marcus’ focus is on applied and strategic research; with a particular emphasis on technology adoption and change.  Core themes include:

  • ICT deployment in supply chains;
  • National, regional and professional ICT skills frameworks including e-skills and e-readiness audits and strategies;
  • Improved competency-based learning and assessment; and
  • Capabilities that enhance agile and/or transformational capability of leaders and organisations.

Marcus’ research has included globally relevant ‘first-time’ insights gained through applications and platform development, including:

  • The Standards-based Performance and Learning System (S-B PALS) developed and used by some of Australia’s largest employers to ensure nearly 280,000 workers had up-to-date competency e-portfolios that were then used to better manage recruitment, job design, performance and development.
  • The Knowledge Exchange Testbed on e-learning systems design, assessment and evaluation.
  • QTI 2.0 Mobile Assessment player the first fully standards compliant mobile assessment player and winner of Best Mobile Learning Solution award at the 2009 IMS Global Learning Impact Awards held in Barcelona for the applicant, the Tasmania Polytechnic.
  • Lersus™ Redoit an advanced online XML, SCORM and QTI compliant authoring and conversion tool developed with German partners Defi International.
  • Transport Integrated Learning and Informational System (TILIS), an open-architecture, standards-compliant content exchange and learning portal for the Australian transport and logistics industry.

Research effort has also 'spun off' or been licensed by a number of start-up commercial ventures. This includes the satellite company eSat, education companies including 42Digital with Channel 7 and Optus, and private companies such as Multiversity™ a provider of multi-pathway adult, vocational training and higher education qualifications; UXels® an online learning broker; and Skillworks™ a virtual management academy.