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Oz Ideas

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2020 summit

Today, April 19th, Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has launched the Australia 2020 Summit, “an important initiative to harness the best ideas for building a modern Australia that is ready for the challenges of the 21st century”. 1000 expert invitees wll spend the weekend debating topics such as ‘Australia’s future security and prosperity in a rapidly changing region and world’, ‘Future directions for the Australian economy’ and ‘Population, sustainability, climate change and water’. The complete set of topics can be found here, and a list of participants in each discussion stream can be found here (PDF 120K).

The Australian government’s objective was to enable policy-making to break out of the traditional electoral cycle, and for this they should be applauded, if only for trying. All Australians were invited to make submissions to the Summit as a way of contributing to the discussion. A gateway to the published suggestions is here, but don’t get too excited, it’s indexed in a very clumsy way so that only the author’s name is listed, and you can only search by publication name or ID. If you want to search by keyword to zoom in on a particular concept, you’ll be out of luck, which is a shame. The Guardian reports that some of the rejected ideas include crayfish dinners for all and jukeboxes for nursing homes.

Meanwhile, some disgruntled Aussies are reacting to what they see as the elitist nature of the Summit by setting up their own alternative forums. Stephen Collins and Laurel Papworth initiated a 2020 Summit blog. Tangler created a 2020 Summit forum. Jim Rettew has created a Wiki called Oz Ideas. Jim writes:

“Kevin Rudd is inviting 1000 “experts” for the Australia 2020 Summit to come up with Australia’s next big idea. For the rest of the 20,699,000 people in Oz, here’s our forum to list and vote on the best ideas to improve Australia.

“It’s free. It can be anonymous, and I’m not doing it to make money. I just think mothers, tradies, and bloggers probably have better ideas for this country than the ‘experts’.”

Jim, I think you could well be right. All that’s lacking is a way of putting all those ideas into practice, and that’s where traditional power structures unfortunately get in the way.

Oz Ideas ‘Top ideas So Far’

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Written by Pete Smith

April 19, 2008 at 5:17 pm

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