Our year in review – 2017

| December 22, 2017

Open Forum has received some wonderful contributions throughout 2017 and I would like to thank you for continuing to support us with your smart, specialised and astute opinions. We remain staunchly independent and as a not-for-profit rely entirely on our savvy network for content. Your knowledge means that we can continue to engage in high-quality debate on the social, political, environmental and cultural issues that matter to you.

In terms of our features this year, we started 2017 looking at leadership. This was pertinent after the significant leadership changes, both here and abroad, that had recently occurred. We wanted to better understand what leadership looked like and what it means to be a good leader.

We then, in conjunction with the NSW Government, ran a public consultation on housing affordability, offering a unique opportunity for the general public, including homeowners, future homebuyers, tenants, developers, real estate agents, lawyers, academics, larger organisations and key stakeholder bodies, to contribute.

Responses ranged from suggestions to release more land, zoning changes and a shift to smaller dwellings. Some called for more innovative buildings and alternative ownership models. Transport infrastructure was tackled along with a call to develop regional Australia for better population distribution. Comments were constructive and the recommendations were thorough and wide-ranging. This was a great example of the strength and breadth of our network.

Led by a few major security breaches we then tried to better understand where cyber security was at. We discussed the difficulties governments have in regulating a threat that has permeable borders and no global framework and how to develop the technology, and skillsets to better combat the data breaches – that are expected to cost a massive 2 trillion by 2019.

Open Forum highlighted the ‘hidden giant’ of the Australian economy – midsize business –  finding that this quiet achiever is one of Australia’s top-performing and most innovative sectors, as well as a significant employer and major exporter.

The announcement of a national space agency inspired us to feature space – where we contemplated Galileo and the first telescope, land suitable for launchpads, Deep Space, New Space, and astropreneurship (if you don’t know!).

Open Forum is looking forward to running a forum on ‘innovations in health’ in early 2018 and I encourage you to send in your suggestions. There is constant major progress in this area, be it technology, policy, advancement in treatment and medical techniques or harm reduction, and it should prove to be a fascinating topic. Please contact me at editor@openfourm.com.au to discuss.

We want to wish you all a wonderful holiday period and look forward to sharing an exciting dialogue with you in 2018.

Warm regards,



Emma is pictured with Albrecht von der Hagen, Chairman of the Management Board, Association of Family-Owned Businesses, Germany.