With the results in, the Federal Government's Australia 2020 Summit is still causing a stir as we figure out how to go about implementing the ten big ideas.
While 1000 ‘best and brightest' actually attended the event, Open Forum members participated by logging on and debating how we might deal with the different areas identified as fundamental to Australia's future.
Now that we have the results - are we on the right track, and how are we going to turn high-level brainstorming into real policy outcomes that affect the lives of all Australians?
There's still a chance to log on and have your say about whether or not we got it right, and what measures need to be put in place in order to turn theory into reality.
While the official Australia 2020 Summit is over, Open Forum also offers an ongoing platform for further discussions and public consultation for Government in the long term, so don't miss out on your chance to have your say.
Australia 2020 Summit 10 Critical Areas (to participate, just follow the link!)
THE PRODUCTIVITY AGENDA: Education, skills, training, science and innovation
THE FUTURE OF THE AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY: Economic infrastructure, the digital economy and the future of our cities
SUSTAINABILITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Population, sustainability, climate change and water
RURAL AUSTRALIA: Future directions for rural industries and rural communities
HEALTH: A long-term national health strategy - including the challenges of preventative health, workforce planning and the ageing population
COMMUNITIES AND FAMILIES: Strengthening communities, supporting families and social inclusion
INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIA: Options for the future of indigenous Australia
CREATIVE AUSTRALIA: Towards a creative Australia: the future of the arts, film and design
GOVERNANCE: The future of Australian governance: renewed democracy, a more open government (including the role of the media), the structure of the Federation and the rights and responsibilities of citizens
AUSTRALIA'S FUTURE IN THE WORLD: Australia's future security and prosperity in a rapidly changing region and world
"1000 Best and Brightest" initiative and its challenges
19 MARCH 2008, SYDNEY - The announcement by the Federal Government that it will be holding the Australia 2020 Summit at Parliament House on 19 and 20 April 2008 has sparked a great deal of debate leading up to the event.
For the 1000 ‘best and brightest' chosen, it will be a great opportunity to make a contribution to setting the direction of some major initiatives in the subject areas to be debated. The Summit is likely to be successful for the Government merely for the fact it has thought of the idea and the subsequent media attention it will attract.
Two potential challenges arise from the initiative. Firstly, while 1,000 people will be pleased that they are judged ‘best and brightest' and honoured to participate, some of the other 20 million Australians deemed not in the top 1,000 may feel somewhat miffed with missing out, may argue about the selection criteria and view the whole event negatively. There is a feeling that the experts chosen to participate are already contributing to social policy discussions of this nature in any case through academia and conferences, while new voices are being excluded.
Secondly, a test of the Summit will be whether there is any long term progress on any of the ideas, which, if there is not, is likely to trivialise the event as simply a colourful milestone in the new Government.
There is a way to both cast the wider net to garner more ideas and ownership of the process, as well as provide a mechanism for the long term progression and refinement of the ideas that the Summit will be a catalyst for. By combining the 2020 event with the power of the Internet and inviting mass contribution to the subject areas of the debate, the reach, longevity and openness of the process will be greatly enhanced.
Open Forum "Australia 2020" Online Summit
As the 2020 Summit is concerned with Australia's future, all Australians should be able to participate in the debate, including those living overseas. In this way the broader community can have a say and help shape the ongoing direction of the dialogue.
Open Forum offers the people of Australia the opportunity to contribute to the discussions by writing on their thoughts and experiences of each topic area. Delegates of the Australia 2020 Summit will be able to draw on this feedback and gain an insight into the issues and concerns of a broad range of Australians.
This parallel virtual event will provide the Summit with a means to be inclusive of stakeholders who otherwise would not have a chance to participate. Thought leaders from the Australia 2020 Summit will be able to engage in conversations and respond to any queries or questions which are raised through the forum.
Open Forum also offers an ongoing platform for further discussions and public consultation for Government in the long term.