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Open State advances modern democracies

Government

INNOVATORS from around the world are converging on South Australia for a series of events and conferences to advance modern democracies.

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Emerging as a leader in participatory processes such as Citizens’ Juries, South Australia’s capital, Adelaide, is hosting Open State from October 18-27.

The program is billed as 10 days of collaboration, innovation, ideas and enterprise to address complex challenges of the future. It includes the Adelaide Festival of Ideas and the International Association for Public Participation’s Australasia Conference 2016.

Speakers will include Argentinian democracy activist Pia Mancini, US social architect Mark Beam and environmental campaigner Erin Brockovich. 

South Australia is transforming its economy from one reliant on traditional manufacturing and mining to one that benefits from innovation and knowledge-based industries.

Part of this strategy has included using a range of tools such as Citizens’ Juries to involve everyday people. Issues tackled so far have ranged from dog and cat management through to nuclear waste storage.

Adelaide has also unveiled plans to become Australia’s first carbon neutral, smart and gig city.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said Open State would give people a chance to hear from and engage with leading thinkers on how to improve the way we govern, collaborate, do business and foster new opportunities.

“Empowering people to have their say leads to more involvement and better outcomes,” Mr Weatherill said.

“With so many of the old certainties of economic life gone or going, we in South Australia must be bolder – we must be more innovative – if we are to create the jobs of the future.”

The Australian Centre for Social Innovation CEO Carolyn Curtis said current systems were struggling to cope with changes in our economy and society.

“By opening up decision-making, and the design and delivery of public services, we will be able to make a bigger difference, especially for the most vulnerable,” she said.

“There’s been growing interest in how South Australia is adopting methods that tap into the knowledge everyday people have.

“Open State will help us learn more about these and build momentum towards being able to make that bigger difference.”

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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