• Politics and Policy

    Strengthening Australian democracy

    Carolyn Holbrook |  July 22, 2024

    The growing threats and challenges to Australia’s democracy are well outlined in a new government report, and now is the time for some action

  • Business

    Silver surfers

    Open Forum |  July 22, 2024

    A new study calls for Australia to take advantage of the untapped market of silver tourism, paving the way to not only grow the economy but also offer an ever-increasing ageing population the opportunity to maintain quality of life.

  • America

    Biden leaves the stage

    Philip Klinkner |  July 22, 2024

    Given mounting concern about his prospects of re-election, Joe Biden has withdrawn his candidacy and urged Democrats to back Vice-President Kamala Harris instead.

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    A Continuing and Permanent Ideas Database – A Must!

    Robert_Pitts     |      May 3, 2008

    Australia needs a permanent, highly visible and accessible repository for ideas.

    In 1988 I wrote to the then Minister for Science, Barry Jones and advocated the concept of a centralised ideas database. I envisaged a system where members of the public could submit ideas for inventions, models for governance, infrastructure improvements, etc. via phone, fax, mail or even the newfangled "email".  

    My envisaged model was a system administered by universities who were probably the only bodies at that time with enough computing power to handle the influx of data. Since then, of course, there have been massive advances in internet technologies making such a system not only feasible but, I believe, imperative. It is sad to contemplate that there have doubtless been many creative ideas formulated by ordinary people which have withered and died for want of an avenue for expression.

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    The true nature of the Environment

    quagga     |      April 29, 2008

    How can I be as one with nature?  This blog’s questions/answers will reveal.

    How can I be as one with nature?  This blog’s questions/answers will reveal. 

    Q: What is the environment?

    A: The environment is everything (absolutely everything) that exists! ie: The Universe.

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    Aussie Innovation Community

    aussieinnovation.com     |      April 29, 2008

    AIC logoAny innovator will know what it is like stumbling through the system, learning about the grants process, looking up relevant programs, wading through related government websites and fighting to find like-minded people. It shouldn't be that hard. A few friends in the right places can make all the difference and that's what www.AussieInnovation.com is all about.

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    Greenhouse Challenge: Can IT deliver?

    editor     |      April 29, 2008

    Sundeep Khisty

    The world's leading analysts predict that energy costs will be eating up more than a third of IT budgets within the next five years, says Sundeep Khisty. 

    Global warming has emerged as the critical issue of the 21st Century. While governments worldwide debate the best formula to cut greenhouse gas emissions, change is inevitable.

    Most world leaders concede that global warming is the fault of human kind and that intervention is a priority.

    A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), left little doubt on the issue. Drawing on work by 2500 scientists, the UN-backed IPCC concluded that it was more than 90 per cent likely that recent warming has a predominantly human cause.

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    Australia 2020 Summit: A chance to continue the conversation

    editor     |      April 29, 2008

    Ben McDevitt

    Summits such as this should be extended beyond Australian shores to include our near neighbours, says Ben McDevitt.

    I felt honoured to be part of the 2020 Summit in Canberra.  The opportunity to share ideas with such a diverse array of people from all walks of life on critical issues affecting our nation was fantastic.  My only regret is that the time we had to actually put ideas onto the table was very limited and the opportunity to actually explore those ideas in a meaningful way was virtually non-existent. 

    I think the organisers and facilitators did a great job under considerable pressure to identify key ideas emerging from each of the streams in the limited time available and I was pleasantly surprised at the wrap up session on the second day that some really innovative ideas had been generated.  Prior to attending the summit I held the view that the best we could hope for was to create opportunities for further discussion and I sense that will occur.

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    Inside the 2020 Summit: A healthy look at the future

    editor     |      April 29, 2008

    Stephen Leeder

    The twelve years from now to 2020 will be constrained by demographic imperatives, economic realities, demands of sustainability, Asian development and climate change. Within those constraints we will have choices – how wisely can we make them, asks Prof Stephen Leeder.

    In proposing a national health strategy, major points of agreement emerged quickly among the hundred delegates in the Health Strategy Stream. The 17 years less life expectancy experienced by Indigenous Australians was unacceptable, and to ensure more equitable care for people in remote socio-economically disadvantaged Australia was urgent. A more energetic approach to IT for a portable, personal medical record was proposed, essential for the decades of care for people with long-term continuing health problems such as emphysema. The continuing value of research was acknowledged.

    Chronic illness scares everyone, especially mental problems, and better linked up care is critical between public and private, health workforce and Commonwealth and States.

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    Reflections on the Australia 2020 Summit

    editor     |      April 29, 2008

    Narelle Kennedy

    The Summit was unquestionably a success in engaging the imagination, but many questions have been left unanswered, writes  Narelle Kennedy.   

    The Australia 2020 summit with its catch cry of ‘Thinking Big' certainly had the sense of being an historic occasion.

    Led by the Prime Minster Kevin Rudd, it was a new collaboration, opening up the corridors of power to captains of industry, indigenous leaders, community activists, quiet achievers from rural communities, celebrities, youth, world class scholars, past and present political leaders and today's working journalists and politicians.

    The tone was about wider dialogue and fresh ideas – not through oratory and speechmaking, but by getting down to business with new solutions to the big issues affecting Australia.

    Working side by side and sharing the task, there was a sense of collegiality, passionate and robust questioning and distilling the essence of the new ideas that emerged and testing them. Not always harmoniously, and with many questions still left unanswered.

    The end products from each of the ten streams were pulled together, using typical processes of our management consultant facilitators, and summarised in an interim report presented to the Prime Minister. The full report – with more nuanced ideas and background thinking – is still to come.

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    Small business and creating technology ignored by Summit

    editor     |      April 23, 2008

    Russell Yardley

    Small business will provide the majority of new jobs and will be the core innovators in the next decade, says Russell Yardley.

    Having just had my knee operated on last week I spent a good deal of my weekend looking in at the summit on ABC2. It was clearly a wonderful exchange of ideas amongst a well informed and diverse group of people.

    The medical book (as in facebook) idea to share medical information with those who you choose was a clever twist on a proven idea that could solve the problem of the universal medical record that is consuming millions of dollars around the world.

    It was not so much an event to create new ideas (they don't seem to come when requested) but rather a powerful way to sift and sort the best ideas to help create a longer term agenda. I think this was acheived and will prove a substantial challenge for the Liberal Party in the coming few years.

    Nelson did hit on the obvious weakness in the selection of summitteers. In the entire broadcast I did not hear one single speaker raise issues impacting small business. The Productivity stream often spoke of business issues and on business but it was either educators, researchers or big business and they were as was specifically identified in their idea only thinking of the "top 100" businesses in Australia!

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    Social networks in organizations: balancing risk, reward, and transparency

    Ross Dawson     |      April 22, 2008

    Lack of transparency has a negative impact on the company’s value.

    A rather popular topic these days is the risks to organizations of using social networks. An article in today’s Australian Financial Review examines the issue in detail, with an interview of me (excerpted below) hopefully balancing out the other opinions expressed in the article. Unfortunately the way I was quoted seemed to overemphasize my cautions relative to the benefits I discussed.

    I am finding it very tiresome to continuously hear security consultants and vendors with big PR budgets go on endlessly about risks, without ever mentioning business benefits. This drone gets into executives’ heads, and as a result discussion of social networks – and many other potentially valuable business tools – focuses on risk and not benefit.

    My Enterprise 2.0 Governance Framework explicitly addresses risks, benefits, and actions. It is critical to acknowledge, understand, and minimize risk, but executives are equally culpable if they ignore business value as if they ignore risk.

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    Can the ads

    editor     |      April 22, 2008

    Justine Hodge

    Last week the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) released its revised ‘Advertising to Children Code’ heralding "major changes". This was a great opportunity for the advertising industry to demonstrate corporate responsibility and to attempt to make significant impact towards improving the health of Australian children.

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    International Students (ELICOS)

    neil roberts     |      April 21, 2008

    According to the ABS: "Education services provided in Australia to international students were valued at over $9 billion in export earnings in the financial year 2004–05. This was the third highest export for Australia, and generated more than wool ($2.3 billion), wheat ($3.2 billion) and beef ($4.5 billion) in terms of value." http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts This is […]

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    Climate Change / Sustainability

    CourtG     |      April 21, 2008

    1.  CSIRO / Uni Alternative fuels / engines research with success qualifying for incentives & extensive IP rights to ensure the fruits of the research see the light of day! 2.  Biomass fuels developed from landfills / tips for both power generation and transport fuel requirements, soas not to dedicate farmland to the provision of growing […]