The anatomy of a good idea: from the sublime to the subprime

by Susan Harris Rimmer in The Canberra Times
Originally published in The Canberra Times on April 18, 2008

I propose three ideas for the upcoming 2020 Summit this weekend. Firstly, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is asking for participants to take the long view of Australia’s future, which is always the hard thing for leaders trapped in the electoral cycle to do. Secondly, Rudd is asking Australia to accept that just gathering 1000 volunteers in a room and asking them to volunteer their talent and energy for Australia’s future is a good idea. Thirdly, perhaps from all the public submissions and the list of 1000 names, an extra message will be that good ideas can come from all sorts of people, all over Australia. Some good ideas struggle to reach fruition because they are aimed at the most vulnerable and silent, and therefore the least powerful of our society. Ideas like that need a champion, usually a leader out to build a legacy. A good idea should be evidence- based. I’m with Rudd on this.

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