• Infrastructure

    Lost in transit


    Nerissa Hannink |  August 26, 2019


    Australian cities have seen a considerable increase in the work commute since 2002, but the 2019 HILDA survey suggests we have finally reached peak travel times.


  • Culture

    Joining the dots


    Open Forum |  August 26, 2019


    The ‘key player’ concept devised by Professor Yves Zenou offers a window into how social networks influence behaviour.


  • Security

    The hard edge of soft power


    Dom Dwyer |  August 26, 2019


    The original Colombo Plan gave students from Asia and the Pacific a chance to study in Australia, and now a New Colombo Plan is sending Australians abroad to learn from our regional neighbours.


Latest Story

  • Another swallow flew by, but who was looking ?

    Malcolm Crompton     |      January 12, 2008

    Since posting "Privacy gains attention over the Christmas New Year break. Does a swallow or two make a Spring?", there has been another swallow of sorts.

    But not everybody has been watching or maybe it is typical Spring weather.

  • Privacy gains attention over the Christmas New Year break. Does a swallow or two make a Spring?

    Malcolm Crompton     |      January 3, 2008

    We are in an interesting period of leadership change.  In Australia, we elected a new federal government at the end of 2007.  The UK has a new PM & the USA will have a new president by the end of 2008.

    Is the privacy debate changing too, reflecting a new mood?

  • Uncategorised

    Some things never change

    alison gordon     |      December 19, 2007

    In an odd way it’s comforting to know that despite the “effort” to break down the social and cultural stereotypes and unflattering tags that have attached themselves to various geographic areas of Sydney, at the end of the day many of them live on with vengeance.

  • Uncategorised

    A Modest Proposal

    Open Forum     |      December 18, 2007

    "Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." – P.J. O'Rourke

     

  • “Government 2.0” – is it Safe to Play for the citizen?

    Malcolm Crompton     |      December 14, 2007

    How can government make it 'Safe to Play' for citizens when they are offered wiki or blog or social networking styles of interaction with government?

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    The electronic grapevine and the great information noise

    tamaraplakalo     |      December 11, 2007

     

    Social media is changing the nature of information exchange, but it is information itself that is suffering an identity crisis.

     

    If Marshall McLuhan’s global village is to be understood as a toponym for a digitally connected world, then social media have to be seen as a cross between a village meeting point and its informal information (ie gossip) network. 

  • Uncategorised

    A mandate from “the Australian people”?

    editor     |      December 5, 2007

    Philip ArgyBy Philip Argy

    Without detracting from the new Government's victory, the media really does a poor job in reporting facts.  With a 5% to 6% swing from the Coalition to Labor, it means that 94% to 95% of voters voted exactly the same as they did in 2004.  Out of about 13.5 million voters, that means around 800,000 people changed their vote.  But of those, some were in electorates where a swing of that magnitude didn't change the result becuase the incumbent had a greater margin, and in others most of the swing was 'absorbed' by the margin, so that the no. of votes that actually determined the outcome of the election were probably less than 100,000 across the country, and perhaps even as few as 20,000.  Ultimately you have to wait for the results to be formally declared and then see by how many votes the ALP candidate won in the aggregate across the seats that changed hands to change the majority in the House of Reps.

    In an average electorate of 80,000 voters a 5% swing is 4,000 votes.  Very few seats were wrested with a margin of that magnitude, so at the end of the day, what are we to make of it all?  In Bennelong, for example, it has been suggested that there is a large enough Chinese community that if they all found appealing the idea of having a Prime Minister who could speak mandarin, and they voted for Labor as a consequence, that was enough to unseat the PM.  We may never know, but language like landslide and overwhelming mandate and suggestions that the Howard government was despised don't seem apt to me given the facts.

  • Uncategorised

    The changing focus of innovation

    proberts     |      December 4, 2007

    The focus of innovation changes, but how many of our businesses have moved on?

    It comes as a surprise the first time you are driving along in a new car and the dashboard lights come on by themselves, or the windscreen wipers start up, or the car helps you turn that tricky corner. But the greater level of intelligence of our cars shown in these autonomous systems is just the outward manifestation of the latest model of innovation.

     

    When the Model T ruled, the average car was a marvel of the era of mechanical engineering. Japanese cars first got traction when they offered the goodies of the electronics era in the form of the push button radio and two speed wipers.

     

    Today we take for granted the engineering and the electronics and are deep into the era where software is the key to the customer experience and value adding.

     

    Software accounts for a greater and greater proportion of value in today’s products. In a car it works with us when we apply the brakes, helps us maintain the right line and stay level when driving through a corner, and controls myriad systems from air conditioning to valve timing.

  • Losses of personal information, trust and privacy: This is going to change your life

    Malcolm Crompton     |      December 1, 2007

    We are watching a very rapid change in community attitudes on privacy.  One of the strongest contributors is the repeated and significant loss of control of personal information by private and public sector organisations around the world.

  • Uncategorised

    Croatians get cranky with diaspora vote

    tamaraplakalo     |      November 26, 2007

    Last weekend, Australians voted in another election — the Croatian one, causing some serious electoral crankiness abroad.

     

    As Australia strode into its first post-ALP-win Sunday, my eyes and ears opened to another election day, this one some 18,000 kilometres away – in Croatia.

     

    The said election was, in fact, not as far away as it may seem, given that Saturday was the day all dual citizens of Croatia in Australia could vote to keep the incumbent conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ)-led government in power, or give the new mandate to its archrivals – the Social Democratic Party (SDP). For anyone who knows anything about the Croatian political environment, the previous sentence was a moment in a TV skit where audience should have been prompted to laugh.

     

    Let me explain. The eleventh electoral unit, also known as the diaspora vote, is what in Australian political terms would be described as a “safe seat”, no matter where its boundaries begin (Bosnia and Herzegovina), or where they end (New Zealand). Almost as one, they vote HDZ (the current election count has the HDZ diaspora vote at 76,53 per cent), with other conservatives and a few independents picking up the rest of the vote.

     

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    Win an annual subscription to BRW!

    olgabodrova     |      November 23, 2007

    Open Forum would like to hear your thoughts on the recently proposed National Innovation Policy (NIP), the national agenda for a more innovative Australia.

    Have your say at our Topic of the Month, take part in our Innovation Survey or set your own agenda by writing a blog on an issue of interest to you – and you could win an annual subscription to BRW, Australia’s No 1 business magazine. We look forward to growing our informed debate project with your help!

  • Uncategorised

    Salvation through Innovation? Some thoughts on the Australian future under Rudd PM

    editor     |      November 22, 2007

    Steve Blume

    By Steve Blume 

     

     

    Throughout his leadership and in the election campaign Kevin Rudd has painted Labor as the Party of innovation and has asked that we contemplate a government that would encourage ‘fresh ideas’ under his ‘new leadership.

     

    Laudable notions these certainly are and admirable goals too, but at the overview level raised in the campaign they are motherhoods – who would ever disagree. 

     

    What sorts of actions might be taken by a Labor Government to ensure that Australia is positioned to move beyond our reliance on the current mining boom? How does a national government produce a substantive attitude change in all tiers of government to work co-operatively with the private sector and academia so that innovation is truly encouraged?