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    Facilitating consultative democracy

    tamaraplakalo     |      September 11, 2007

     Political needs of a system (or a time), often determine what democratic political participation actually means.

    Democratisation is a term that is most often used to describe the process of increased political participation. In the past, political participation was described as voting, joining a political party, or in the case of some experimental social engineering projects of the 20th century, such as Yugoslavia's socialist self-management, as creating consultative bodies at all levels of social, economic and political activity, regardless of their success. In its less democratic forms, political participation has historically been facilitiated through rallies, rioting, lobbying, formation of nationalist movements, paramilitary or other pressure groups, in other words, by any means serving the human need to exercise political will.

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    Valuing Spatial Data

    Nick Sharp     |      September 11, 2007

    There's lots of information and policy advice on spatial data pricing but not much about establishing the value of spatial data be it physical $ costs such as collection, storage etc or intrinsic as in the more it is used the more value it has. We know there is large $ investment in spatial data […]

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    And the Heart of Sarajevo goes to … film

    tamaraplakalo     |      September 2, 2007

    The rising star on the European film festival circuit, Sarajevo Film Festival remains more of an experience than a film marathon. 

     There is something to be said for the festivals of art and culture in the “countries in transition”, as they are fashionably referred to in global political circles. Last week, Steve Buscemi, in attendance at the Sarajevo Film Festival, which successfully wrapped up for the 13th time a few days ago in the Bosnian capital; semi-jokingly observed that his latest feature, Interview, was seen by more people in its one Open Air cinema projection in Sarajevo, than during its entire US cinema release season.

    Jeremy Irons


    The first Sarajevo Film Festival was held in the basement of the Bosnian Academy of Performing Arts during the worst year of Sarajevo’s 1990s siege, in 1994. Fitting the surreal concept of a film festival in a war zone, it opened with Quentin Tarrantino’s Pulp Fiction.


    At the time, a foreign journalist asked a respected local theatre director: “Why a festival during the war?”. The director responded, “Why a war during the festival?”. For those of you wrapped in the reality of mortgage repayments, APEC city shut-downs, Joey’s ecstasy taking, terrorism and economic performance, it may seem like a strange conversation. But the poignancy of it really hits home for anyone who has ever posed an existential question or two.

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    Open spaces or open slather?

    MalevolentMiss     |      August 19, 2007

    Sydney open spaces need better management, so what are the councils doing? 

    The brouhaha over the lack of open space in Sydney continues across a number of local government areas (LGAs). The city has lost considerable amounts of open space over the past 25 years. More and more people are being crammed into less space as councils cave in to the developers. Sporting groups call for more facilities while those who prefer to engage in passive recreation lament that they are being deprived of access and dog owners think of themselves as marginalised.

    What is being done on an across-Sydney basis to solve the issue of our shrinking open space? How should the matter of who gets to use Sydney's open spaces and for what purpose be resolved? Do we need a comprehensive plan (and agency) to manage resources across council boundaries or are our lives over-regulated as it is?

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    editor     |      August 10, 2007

    One of the most vibrant film festivals in Europe in the last decade, the Sarajevo Film Festival, focuses on the region of Southeast Europe. The festival aims to present important and inovative films of high artistic value made throughout the world. In 2006 the festival screened more than 120 features and some 50 short films. This year, Open Forum brings you an exclusive insight into the world of Southern European cinema.

    Go to report

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    The interesting thing about interest rates….

    alison gordon     |      August 9, 2007

    People are not happier because their debt suffocates them. Living outside their means has decreased their quality of life, not improved it.

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    What we can all learn from “The Simpsons”

    alison gordon     |      August 2, 2007

    What is it about The Simpsons that speaks to such a wide audience?

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    Facing Up to Reality

    alison gordon     |      July 26, 2007

    The Girl Guides changing approach to young women from potential housewives and good deed doers to savvy, independent individuals.

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    The Demise of Accountability

    alison gordon     |      July 18, 2007

    Is the problem that nobody has made athletes painfully aware that like every other individual in society they are (or should be) completely accountable for their actions?

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    When does a key become an identifier?

    StephenWilson     |      July 10, 2007

    Should we re-visit the intuition that identities can be federated?  Do we really know what it means to "add up" a bank card and a Medicare card?  Do we have the mathematics to do such a thing with rigor, asks Stephen Wilson.

    I wonder …

    Is a passport an "identifier"?
    Is a drivers licence an identifier?
    Is a credit card an identifier?
    Is a professional membership card an identifier?
    Is a building access card an identifier?
    Is a house key an identifier?
    Is a car key an identifier?

    Or putting the questions another way …

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    Knowledge and technology are key to value creation

    Steve Vamos     |      July 10, 2007

    SYDNEY – Just as the agrarian society gave way to the industrial revolution, the industrial society is giving way to one where knowledge and innovation are the key drivers of economic value and wealth creation.

    As organisations from all sectors come to rely more on knowledge-intensive resources and technology for value creation, it is clear that an organisation’s ability to foster, manage and profit from the knowledge of its people and their capacity to innovate will be the key to its future success. However, as an economy and a nation we are challenged to find meaningful, consistent and reliable ways to successfully deal with these things often called "intangibles".

    As managers, leaders and citizens, we must explore and address the challenge of understanding value in this new knowledge-based era. Managing a business, government agency or an economy in this time requires new understanding and skills if we are to continue to prosper.

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    The role of the workplace in achieving work/life balance

    alison gordon     |      June 14, 2007

    The term “work/life balance”, and the struggle for most to attain it, is rapidly gaining awareness in the workplace.