People often ask how current political representation might be improved, to avoid the cheap point scoring and sloganeering of elected/campaigning politicians. One option might be to trial an Upper House selected by lot - a Citizens' Senate - with an advisory role, to start with.
Senators (say 99) would be recruited at random - like a jury - from the Australian population, with a third rotated out every 2 to 3 years. Consider it paid National Service. If nothing else, there'd be 50% women, and it would provide an insight into the thinking of everyday Australians, away from the parti-political machinations of elected representatives. www.newdemocracy.com.au
Tech:NYC aims to be the leading voice of NY's fast-growing, entrepreneurial high-tech industry. It represents the city's high-tech sector as well as government, media and civic institutions involved in business and public policy forums with an interest in the sector. Its primary goal is to continue to attract tech talent and jobs to NYC and it's modelled on a similar NFP representing the tech sector in San Francisco. It advocates for policies that underscore a regulatory environment supporting the growth of technology companies and technology talent in NYC. In the past few months issues they have considered include a data breach bill, local drone regulation, how to handle ride-sharing and home-sharing services, and how to treat contract employees. www.technyc.org
Led by Professor A J Brown of the Centre for Governance and Public Policy at Griffith University, Whistling While They Work 2 is focussed on whistleblowing in the public interest and has a research team drawn from 4 universities with 5 partner organisations in Australia and New Zealand. It's an Australian Research Council funded Linkage Project and the world's largest current research project into whistleblowing. It aims to improve managerial responses to whistleblowing in public and private sector organisations and organisations with 10 or more employees can participate. The general findings, lessons and best practice models emerging from the research will be available for free to all participating organisations. http://www.whistlingwhiletheywork.edu.au
Tonight I went to a presentation by The newDemocracy Foundation who are using citizen juries to help councils make better decisions by getting randomly selected members of the local public to debate an issue, similar to how decisions were made when democracy started in Greece. Their latest project is how to tackle obesity health issues!