Online democracy

Simon Sheikh & Sam McLean

Online democracy: In conversation with GetUp’s Simon Sheikh and Sam McLean

Wednesday 15 August

When John Howard was elected in 1996 few Australians had email accounts, our mobile phones weren’t yet smart and no-one could have predicted the role that social media would play in political revolutions.

Since that time, new technology has driven massive changes in our culture, our media and our politics, and there is probably no organisation in Australia that has more shaped, and been shaped by, those trends than GetUp.

Which is why The Australia Institute has invited Simon Sheikh and new National Director Sam McLean to discuss the role of online organising and what the future holds for GetUp.

While mining magnates can mount multi-million dollar advertising campaigns, hundreds of thousands of Australians can now come together online to make their voices heard. Some see online activism as the only counter to the increasing concentration of money and power while others see it as distracting attention from the old-fashioned task of building trust and forming unexpected alliances.

So, where to from here for online democracy?

This is also an opportunity to farewell Simon from his role as National Director of GetUp.


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