Next year is an election year and we are currently finalising our plans to ensure that progressive ideas are as prominent as possible in a campaign that may otherwise focus on scare campaigns about boats and debt. In addition to our new capacity to quickly generate and distribute factual infographics we also hope to enter the new world of ‘fact checking’ through a ‘Facts Fight Back’ stream of research.
One of the most common questions Richard is asked is “how do you choose your research topics?” Richard’s answer:
“It is the hardest, but most interesting, part of my job. It’s what I think about morning, noon and night, and it’s what most of the conversations I have with staff and the Board of the Institute are about.
“The worst part of my job is deciding that we don’t have the resources to undertake what we think would be important and useful research. To that end we will be launching a new fundraising campaign next year based around our ‘Wellbeing Manifesto’.“
The manifesto, which was launched in 2005, now has more than 10,000 signatories. Next year we want to develop a ‘Wellbeing Agenda’ which will be a suite of policy initiatives designed to pursue the ideals of the manifesto and make Australia a more progressive country. Once the agenda is developed we will then be seeking financial support, from big and small donors alike, to advance the agenda. The more support we can find for each element of the agenda, the more impact we will be able to have.
Some other new initiatives next year will be a ‘national tour’ of our highly successful ‘economics for non-economists’ workshop and the launch of Politics in the Pub for Melbourne early in the new year.
Finally, the Institute runs a very lean administrative machine and we want to thank you all for understanding some of the difficulties you have experienced with website. Next year we will commence construction of a new website which will, fingers crossed, free up even more of our time to focus on research.
The new site will also be much better able to display our infographics, video and audio. This year more than 167,000 copies of our publications were downloaded via the website so it’s important that we get it right. I’d like to thank you for the patience you have shown over the years and in the year to come as we try to make the website more user-friendly.
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