Participation Society

Griffith Review, Edition 24, by Griffith University, 2009.

CSI’s very own Peter Shergold and Cheryl Kernot appear in the Griffith Review’s recent issue on participation society. Both essays are reminders that structural innovation is at work in Australian society.

Kernot’s essay, ‘A quiet revolution,’ is a personal reflection on a shift she sees towards a society which puts: “social value at its core.” Kernot writes about social entrepreneurship which she believes is already reshaping people’s relationship to their society. Shergold writes from his experience in public service, identifying what changes he has seen and what changes he would like to see. His essay, ‘Been there, done that, still hoping for more,’ is a call to action for Australian policymakers to make better use of trust and engagement – “the twin pillars of a participation society.”

Clearly, changes are at work in the processes of governance around the world. More people are engaged in shaping policy. Shergold notes that sources of policy influence are disseminating among an “interdependent mix” of government, markets and networks. Like Kernot, Shergold believes that the Australian government could better harness social innovations by improving the way it works with the social sector.

Both essays, in different ways, point to examples where a stronger participation society is emerging. The authors are hard at work trying to usher this process along.

For full texts see: campaign/Kernot_ed24.pdf


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