• Security

    Water is a national security priority


    James Mortensen |  February 27, 2021


    It’s time for water management to receive scrutiny and oversight befitting our most pressing national security challenges. We need to catch the moment while the rain is falling, rather than face a hangover when our taps run dry.


  • Space

    Successful engine test brings Australian space launch capability a step closer


    Open Forum |  February 27, 2021


    An Australian research consortium has successfully tested a next generation propulsion system that could enable high-speed flight and space launch services. The team’s rotating detonation engine, or RDE, is a major technical achievement and an Australian first.


  • Politics and Policy

    Nurturing the deep roots of democracy


    Hilary Gopnik |  February 27, 2021


    The widely accepted story that democracy was a brilliant, even miraculous, invention of 5th-century BCE Athens, and that the West is the heir to that moment in time, has obscured the universal hard work that’s required to make democracy work well.


Latest Story

  • Uncategorised

    We’re governing the life out of innovative organisations

    StephenWilson     |      February 14, 2008

    If we’re going to cultivate innovation, originality and creativity, then we need less governance, not more.

    What on earth are managers up to these days? Here I write of the rise and rise of robotic, one dimensional, management-by-formula, and question if it is throttling innovation.

    In linguistics, there is a rhetorical fondness of the imaginary “Martian Linguist” who, according to Chomskian thinking, on a visit to Earth would deduce from the evidence that all humans speak the one language, with only minor local variants. Well, I’m thinking that if management theorists from Mars were to watch the goings on at most board rooms today, they could be forgiven for thinking that all human enterprises are actually engaged in the same activity – compliance!

  • Uncategorised

    Contemporary democracy and the shift in power from bureaucracy to business and individuals

    Peter Fritz     |      February 12, 2008

    A World Economic Forum report predicts multinational corporations and individuals will exercise more power than governments by 2030…

  • Uncategorised

    Ten Common ‘Mistakes’ to Avoid, and ‘Needs’ to Meet, when Seeking to Create a Better World

    Stuart Hill     |      February 11, 2008


    Some thoughts on Kevin Rudd’s ‘1,000 Great Minds’ initiative (Australia 2020 Summit) and what might need to happen to improve its chances of success

    Because of the holistic nature of the approach being advocated, all of these areas overlap and are highly interactive and interrelated.

    1. Getting the usual ‘experts’ together, to then plan for a better future. This always leads to tinkering with existing (flawed) plans, and excludes those most affected by such plans.

  • Uncategorised

    To smack or not to smack: Is that really the question?

    alison gordon     |      February 7, 2008

    The act of smacking children has evolved over the past few years into a debate over whether it's an essential and effective form of discipline, or simply a less obvious form of physical and psychological abuse.

  • Uncategorised

    Car industry woes?

    proberts     |      February 5, 2008

    The car industry, of course is doomed…or is it?

    In this year when there is more bad news coming from the car manufacturing sector, it is sometimes hard to appreciate just how much things have changed since the bad old days of protectionism.

    Our cars used to be expensive and somewhat dated technologically as they were engineered, designed and manufactured for our rather small domestic market. Nissan was forced to close its local manufacturing and Mitsubishi has long been teetering on the edge.

    But while Ford is vulnerable, Toyota is powering ahead and GM Holden's progress has been spectacular. Adelaide-made Commodore and Caprice cars are exported to the Middle East where they are the number one selling car and the United States. The Caprice itself is manufactured in Shanghai and sold as a Buick in China.

    In fact Commodore was created from the ground up for global markets and a number of North American cars are to be based on its engineering unperpinnings. Soon to go into production are Melbourne-engineered vehicles including a new Chevrolet Camaro supercar.

  • Uncategorised

    Innovation requires a collaborative approach

    tamaraplakalo     |      February 4, 2008

    Does Australia need a National Innovation Policy? A recent initiative by the Victorian Government to create a co-ordinated national approach to innovation suggests the country’s top policy makers believe that it does.

    The argument underlying the initiative suggests that Australia’s current contribution to the global pool of knowledge (2 per cent), is not enough to sustain future growth or maintain current levels of social and economic prosperity.

    In the climate of industrial-age driven economic boom, which positions Australia as a satellite economy fuelling its growth through primary resource exploitation, innovation is a term that mainly refers to the innovative ways of increasing productivity levels to satisfy short-term economic demands. The real challenge, however, lies in developing the national ability to respond to long-term challenges Australia is facing not only as an economy, but as a society as a whole.

  • Uncategorised

    Government suppression of cheaper energy

    DaS Energy     |      February 1, 2008

    Government raising energy costs to inflate revenue.

     Government supressing technology efiiciency.

    Govermnent interfrence in free market supresses lower cost.

    At what price do we keep burning Coal.

    Eleven times the true tarriff rate for power.

  • Uncategorised

    Cost Comparison of Energy

    DaS Energy     |      February 1, 2008

    Government price fixing high energy cost costing more than eleven times it market rate.

    Recapturing Carbon is a cost added to burnt coal.

    Not releasing Carbon is a cost subtracted. 

    This is Australia.

  • Uncategorised

    Thoughts on innovation: What are the incentives for risk-taking?

    Peter Fritz     |      January 31, 2008

    There is often confusion over the terms "creative thinking" and "innovation". Many view them as one and the same, but in reality they are very different. One means ideas, the other means action.

  • Uncategorised

    Motherhood in Australia

    editor     |      January 30, 2008

    Whether you have embarked on motherhood, planning for it or just thinking about it, Open Forum would love to hear your thoughts on the real experience of motherhood in Australia. Our two new surveys "Myths & Facts of Maternity" and "Motherhood for Baby Boomers" are short and simple to complete with an opportunity to participate in an upcoming online discussion about maternity leave and current government policy. With the debate raging over what entitlements and options should be on offer to women who leave the workforce to have children, this is your chance to have your say on an issue that really matters to women and their families.

  • Uncategorised

    Why a skills focus matters

    proberts     |      January 28, 2008

    Skills and innovation ensure our role in a world awash with cheap labour.

    It is fashionable to think that China and India, with their massive populations, are emerging as a pair of ‘ultimate competitors’ which will knock Australia for six economically.

    But that is not how things are turning out, despite China’s great strengths in manufacturing and India’s in information technology services. In both cases rising labour costs and shortages of highly skilled labour show there are limits to their competitiveness that offer opportunity for Australia. High level managers and knowledge workers in Chinese manufacturing and Indian services companies cost just about as much to employ as they do in Australia. The Chinese and Indian advantages remain in lower level, repetitious work which itself has to be directed and guided by more skilled professionals.

  • Uncategorised

    Paid maternity leave is not a capricious feminist whim

    tamaraplakalo     |      January 20, 2008

     

    A sociology lecturer once gave me a valuable piece of advice: “If you want a government to act on an issue, make sure you tell them how much it is going to cost them if they don’t.”

     

    Understanding that this suggestion was probably truer today than at any other time in history, I recently set out to find some information on the cost of not providing paid maternity leave to the working women of Australia. Surprisingly – or not, I have found no information of the kind.