A New Social Contract for the Digital Age

This article was originally published in The Guardian here. Amazing photograph by James Jasper.  “Raise your hands if you trust Facebook, if you trust Google, if you trust government.” It was spring 2017, and I was leading a debate with young people in Canberra. “Has anybody heard of Cambridge Analytica?” Heads shook. I explained behavioural communication. How …

Data, cities and a new civic pride.

Victorian England. From the shadows of wealth grew poverty. Slums slumped against symbols of civic pride, cowering next to towering town halls funded through rich merchant princes, whose elitist rule was insufficient to deal with too many people in too few houses with too little infrastructure. Enter municipality. With darkness came electric light, with disease …

Skills, strategy and investing in the vineyard.

As published on The Fifth Estate here and City Metric here Photograph by the amazing James Jasper.  On the 19 February 1879, construction began on Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building. On 28 July 1923, it was the turn of Sydney’s Harbour Bridge. These dates are recalled, because people mark such beginnings. We make them visible. Ribbon-cutting, sod-turning, plaque-mounting …

Canberra, we need to talk about politics

As published in City Metric here and The Fifth Estate here. Image by the amazing James Jasper. For one day we are government.  For one day it is our decision that determines the future of our city. It is up to us to consider all that we see around us, and all we cannot yet see: …

Australia ‘full of winners’: Alastair Campbell.

What do Shane Warne and Anna Wintour have in common? What do Leigh Matthews and Angela Merkel share? How could Johnathan Thurston and Richard Branson be in the same team? A book comparing the world’s best in sport, business and politics, by former 10 Downing Street Director of Communications and best-selling author Alastair Campbell, will …

Electorate first; media second.

Parliament is theatre. It has to be.  Those who line up opposite each other in the House of Representatives for the opening of the 44th Australian Government have script in hand, yes, but they seek to perform, to have the allusive ‘something more’. Something more gets you noticed. Something more makes journalists glance down to …