The Open State: SA plans a melting pot of public innovation, transparency

By The Mandarin

Wednesday March 30, 2016

The South Australian government has coordinated to host four national conferences, a transparency symposium and a festival of ideas — in all, bringing 10,000 people to the state — for a 10-day program it is calling Open State.

To be held between October 18 and 27 this year, Open State is aimed at addressing the complex challenges of the future though collaboration and innovation.

Public servants from across Australia will be right in the thick of it too. The Institute of Public Administration Australia national conference will be one of the events participating.

The SA government estimates the program, launched Wednesday morning, will inject about $6 million into the local economy.

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

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

“It’s something we’ve embraced in South Australia through the Citizens Juries, Country Cabinets and initiatives like GovChat — which are aimed at fostering greater engagement with the community and creating new opportunities.”

What’s happening in Open State

  • Integrity 2016 – a two-day conference focusing on the importance of integrity to business, trade and foreign investment, and in creating a competitive edge.
  • The Institute of Public Administration’s 2016 National Conference – where public servants from around Australia will look at how to support innovation and better connect government, business and the community.
  • The International Association of Public Participation’s Australasian Conference — looking at how governments can better engage with the public.
  • Events, led by the Australian Information Industry Association, involving leaders in the ICT sector looking at strengthening entrepreneurship, connecting startups with investors and generating new business ideas, industries and jobs.
  • The Adelaide Festival of Ideas 2016 – a two-day festival with the theme “Make or Break”, looking at how to meet the social, economic and financial challenges that lie ahead.

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