Detoxing our democracy a la Ancient Athens – Nicholas Gruen
6:00 pm
Work Club Melbourne

Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump have humiliated political elites. But we led the pack in 2013 when the elites in Australia’s Parliament humiliated themselves – abolishing carbon pricing when a predominant majority of parliamentarians understood it was folly. Why did they do it? To meet the imperatives of political combat in our vox pop democracy.

Today democracy is synonymous with representation by election. But another way of representing the pepole enjoys far more community support and a far older lineage: Representation by sortition or selection by lot as occurs in juries. Injecting more sortition into our existing democracy could bring it back from what’s looking increasingly like the brink.

The Speaker

Nicholas Gruen is a widely published policy economist, entrepreneur and commentator on our economy, society and innovation.

He is CEO of Lateral Economics, Visiting Professor at Kings College London Policy Institute and Adjunct Professor at UTS Business School, Chair of Peach Financial the Open Knowledge Foundation (Australia).

He is Patron of the Australian Digital Alliance, comprising Australia’s libraries, universities, and providers of digital infrastructure such as Google and Yahoo.

He was a Council Member of the National Library of Australia (2014-16), chaired the Federal Government’s Innovation Australia (2013-14) and chaired The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) (2010-16).

He chaired successful San Francisco based data analytics crowdsourcing platform and is an investor in numerous Australian and international start-ups.

He has advised Cabinet Ministers, sat on Australia’s Productivity Commission (then Industry Commission and founded Lateral Economics and Peach Financial. He has had regular columns in various daily papers and published numerous essays on political, economic and cultural matters.

In 2009 he chaired Australia’s internationally acclaimed Government 2.0 Taskforce.