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Thought Leadership

Private sector recruits don't have 'mystical powers', and have actually been responsible for many policy disasters. Why Simon Phemister still believes in 'frank and fearless'
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Private sector recruits don't have 'mystical powers', and have actually been responsible for many policy disasters. Why Simon Phemister still believes in 'frank and fearless'

Special Feature

Twenty-eight years of economic prosperity has led to spending becoming the default policy lever, worries Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions boss Simon Phemister. Plus, why he thinks ministers do value frank and fearless advice and is wary of private-sector plants.

The policy futurist’s reading list. How speculative fiction can inform better public policy as our society changes and grows in response to new tech
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The policy futurist’s reading list. How speculative fiction can inform better public policy as our society changes and grows in response to new tech

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Sci-fi has offered predictions and inspired many of the technologies we now take for granted. What one person can imagine, another can build. Being able to conceive of the optimistic outcome (and not just what you believe to be the achievable outcome) is the first step to making it happen – in both technology and public policy. 

Ethical AI and government: how guiding machine learning projects with principles will help prevent tech solutions turning into unintended problems
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Ethical AI and government: how guiding machine learning projects with principles will help prevent tech solutions turning into unintended problems

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Artificial intelligence is already being used in unethical ways, both by the world's governments and technology giants. Now is the time to nail down the principles governing AI and machine learning projects. This multipart series begins with a Department of Defence workshop where warfighters, lawyers and philosophers pitched 84 principles for assuring that AIs operating on our behalf remain ethical.

What’s wrong with best practice? How the quest for certainty affects the agility and innovation needed for organisations to thrive
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What’s wrong with best practice? How the quest for certainty affects the agility and innovation needed for organisations to thrive

Special Feature

We see all around us the evidence that science works. For many years there has been an effort to apply scientific thinking to management. In organisations, managers attempt to define and spread ‘best practice,’ which seems to offer certainty about the correct procedures to follow. Daniel Thornton considers why using terms such as ‘best practice’ is bad practice, and suggests an alternative approach that could help to navigate the complexities of organisational life.