Equitable representation enhances social cohesion

Luca Belgiorno-Nettis, Opinion | Australian Financial Review TEXT We’ve all grown up thinking that the way we do democracy today is the best on offer. So famously said Winston Churchill. We groom charismatic and articulate political performers, whose primary skill is to debate, divide and conquer. In the development of public policy, we all value the contest...Continue reading

The Future of Democracy. Altius Conference: Oxford 2014

POLITICAL REFORM I work in a family company involved in urban infrastructure.  I’m no political science student and, up until relatively recently, have had no real interest in politics. My main interaction with politicians was through the regular rounds of party political campaign lunches and dinners. I was a regular invitee, as a businessman/potential donor....Continue reading

The A, B + C of Democracy

My parents used to have a book called “World History” which I flicked through every now and again.  It was not a happy read: one war after war, one king after another.  A Game of Thrones.  It made me think about how we got to be so peaceful today, living a happy life in Sydney. ...Continue reading

newDemocracy Meets the US State Department

The US State Department conducts an International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) which enables a small group of Australian citizens (MPs and people like us!) to have an experience with academics, government representatives, NGOs, United Nations staff and elected representatives in the United States. It’s a way to share ideas and make contacts, and is generously...Continue reading

Organising Ourselves

This month, in my home state, New South Wales, urban planning legislation is being considered in Parliament. It is ‘..a modern and easy planning system for the 21st century that puts the community first.’ I’m no politician, nor an academic studying political science; I’m an architect working in a family infrastructure business and I’m intrigued...Continue reading


In the media age, contemporary democracies are dominated by the spectacle of debating and divisiveness, especially at election time. Elections are now not much more than a series of competing sound-bites, with voting just another polling event: a ‘low involvement product’. We’ve groomed charismatic and articulate political performers, whose primary skill is to debate, divide...Continue reading

Founder’s Message

The level of confidence in our democracy today is at an all time low. Despite compulsory voting, citizens don’t turn up. Young people surveyed in a Lowy Institute poll saw only 39% agree with the statement “Democracy is preferable to any other kind of government.” Every survey of trust in elected representatives seems to find...Continue reading


In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee, the British computer scientist, created the world-wide-web, out of frustration; he was frustrated by the existing communication devices, as he wanted to collaborate with his colleagues around the world. You will all remember the ubiquitous fax machine. With the launch of the web, a new era of communication and collaboration was...Continue reading

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