A MORE EQUAL SOCIETY DEMANDS NEW IDEAS
APPS Policy Forum, 18 November 2019
Australia is not doing enough to encourage innovation, but investment in education and support for those institutions that do innovate can create a fairer and more prosperous society, Joshua Gans and Andrew Leigh write.
Australia has an innovation problem. Just eight per cent of Australian firms say they produce innovations that are new to the world – down from 11 per cent in 2013. Innovation collaboration is especially woeful.
Across a sample of around 30 OECD nations, Australia ranked fourth-last for the share of large businesses collaborating on innovation, sixth-last in businesses collaborating with suppliers, and second-last in collaboration between businesses and universities.Read more
2GB RADIO MONEY NEWS
MONDAY, 18 NOVEMBER 2019
Subjects: Innovation + Equality; technology and productivity; unions and innovation.
ROSS GREENWOOD: Well, the interesting subject of this is a new book that's come out and this is actually called ‘Innovation + Equality: How to Create a Future That is More Star Trek Than Terminator’. It's by Joshua Gans and also by Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities, who comes on this program on a regular basis to talk about the economy. And he’s with me now. Andrew, many thanks for your time.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Always a pleasure to be with you, Ross.
GREENWOOD: Okay. Let's go through this book. It basically goes down on - intellectual property is one of the big things you look at here, about the way in which you create jobs and create value is by creating more intellectual property. And of course that means you're going to have intellectual property, well, either that is capable of being protected or is indeed able to be used for the greater good rather than necessarily being locked up. That's one of your arguments, isn't it?Read more
LIKE IT OR NOT SCOMO, PROTEST MADE AUSTRALIA WHAT IT IS TODAY
Ten Daily, 14 November 2019
In 1960, my father and other Melbourne University students arranged an unauthorised street protest. The police told them they couldn’t march outside the campus. They refused, and walked onto the streets anyway.
Michael Leigh and his friends were protesting the White Australia policy, which was used to restrict non-Europeans from moving to Australia. The spark for the protest had been the Sharpeville massacre in South Africa, where 69 civilians, including 10 children, had been killed. The Labor opposition called on the Menzies Government to pass a censure motion against the South African government. Robert Menzies, who had praised the White Australia policy for helping Australia avoid "the kind of problem they have in South Africa", refused to censor the Apartheid regime.Read more
THURSDAY, 14 NOVEMBER 2019
SUBJECTS: The need to increase the rate of Newstart; the economy slowing under the Morrison Government.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: As we come into the Christmas season, we know that many Canberrans are doing it tough. This is a place where housing is relatively expensive, and where the food bank that we're in today serves some 600 people a week. It's great to be here with Ruth, who manages the food bank program for Communities@Work, and my colleague Linda Burney to talk about the challenges of poverty and disadvantage in Canberra.
The great work that's being done by our local social services providers unfortunately isn't being matched by the federal government, which has resisted calls to raise the Newstart allowance. Raising Newstart would not only benefit people who are without work – it would also put much needed money into the economy at a time when economic growth is looking fragile. I’ll hand over to Linda to say a few words.Read more
EQUITY CAN BE THE MOTHER OF INVENTION
Sydney Morning Herald, 13 November 2019
Returning from maternity leave to the traditional world of law, Carly Stebbing quickly discovered that the profession was not set up to embrace people who wanted to work three days a week. So she co-founded Resolution123, an online employment law advice site. Not only was entrepreneurship more flexible than an office law job – it also led to a startup that matches expert support for people facing unfair dismissal, workplace bullying or underpayment.
In theory, anyone can found a startup. In practice, startup founders aren't typically like Stebbing. They are most likely to be young men from affluent backgrounds. This isn’t just inequitable – it’s also inefficient. Society ends up missing out on the productive talents of potential Marie Curies and Albert Einsteins, just because they grow up in disadvantaged circumstances.Read more
THE VALUE OF FREEING IDEAS, NOT JUST LOCKING THEM UP
The Economist, 8 November 2019
Back in the 1960s, Bob Kearns was an engineer working and lecturing in Detroit. Due to an unfortunate wedding night accident involving a champagne cork, he was legally blind in his left eye. When driving in a Michigan rainstorm, Kearns lamented the inability of his wipers to help him see better. In those days, windshield wipers had two settings—fast and slow—and they were always moving. Kearns’s notion was that it should be possible to have a slower setting, in which the wipers paused briefly between each wipe.
Motivated by his own experience, as well as a long-standing desire to work for a big car company like Ford, Kearns spent years working out a way to make wipers pause. His solution relied on electronics—an unusual and innovative thing in those days. He fitted the mechanism to his own Ford Galaxie with most of the contraption inside a black box and drove it down to Ford to show its engineers. They pored over the car and were impressed. Kearns was then given the details of tests he would need to perform to become a Ford supplier. Those took months of work that Kearns completed in his basement. Ford, however, passed on him being a supplier, though the firm did employ Kearns for a brief period. In the meantime, Kearns filed for a patent on his invention.Read more
THE SCIENCE OF SESAME STREET
New York Daily News, 8 November 2019
Oscar the Grouch gives children permission to feel sad. Big Bird questions everything. Mr. Snuffleupagus is the imaginary friend. Count von Count loves mathematics. Grover embodies self-confidence. Ernie delights in practical jokes. Bert has an utterly different personality to Ernie, but is his best friend nonetheless. Zoe proves that girls can be both dainty and strong. Kermit the Frog is always a gentleman.
Nov. 10 marks the 50th anniversary of the moment when “Sesame Street” first aired on television. But it’s not just a day for nostalgia; it’s also a time when we should recall what a remarkable venture the show is, and the extent to which it is grounded in careful science and hard data.
LAUNCH OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR INTERDISCIPLINARY META-RESEARCH AND OPEN SCIENCE
THURSDAY, 7 NOVEMBER 2019
CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
We often think of the era of William Shakespeare and the era of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as being the same. But in fact, the beliefs of educated people in those two eras were very different. The average educated person in the early 1600s believed in unicorns. They believed in werewolves. They believed that the sun rotated around the Earth. The average educated person in the 1600s believed that when a murderer approached the body, it would begin to bleed. Those people believe that witches actually existed, and they believed in alchemy. Alchemy was one of the most popular beliefs of the age. Indeed, Isaac Newton spent more time studying alchemy than he did during doing physics. Keynes once said of Newton that he wasn't the first of the scientists, he was the last of the magicians. It makes you wonder what other inventions Newton could have come up with had he spent a little bit less time on alchemy.Read more
THURSDAY, 7 NOVEMBER 2019
SUBJECT: Labor campaign review.
LEON DELANEY: As you know, Labor today released its self-examination of what went so horribly wrong at the May election. The report was prepared by Craig Emerson and Jay Weatherill. It's a 92 page review. It's made 60 findings and 26 recommendations. In short, it says that Labor quote ‘lost the election because of a weak strategy that could not adapt to the change in the Liberal leadership, a cluttered policy agenda looked risky and an unpopular leader’. Joining me now is the Federal Member for Fenner and Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities Andrew Leigh. Good afternoon.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good afternoon, Leon. How are you?
DELANEY: Really well. How are you today.
LEIGH: Terrifically well.
DELANEY: Do you agree with the findings of this report?
LEIGH: Yes, I do. I think it's a hard hitting but important review, and one that talks about the importance of getting your digital strategy right, of making sure there's policy coherence and ensuring that we are focused in our message. We were very keen to solve as many of Australia's problems as we could, but in so doing - in pulling together the broadest policy agenda that Labor's taking for an election in my lifetime - I think we didn't carry that core message that a great campaign needs. And the review talks about some of those challenges.Read more
THURSDAY, 7 NOVEMBER 2019
SUBJECTS: Labor campaign review; Innovation + Equality.
ANNA VIDOT: To talk through some of these tea leaves and entrails, Andrew Leigh is on the line, the Labor MP for Fenner. Andrew Leigh, good evening.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good evening, Anna. How are you?
VIDOT: I’m well. This review's pretty blunt, that while there were a range of factors Labor was in many ways responsible for its own demise in 2019, that an adaptable campaign with a strong strategy would have won, the review says. I can't imagine this was an easy thing to read.
LEIGH: That’s right and not just for me, but also for the thousands of volunteers, trade union members, for the people who knocked on doors and made telephone calls, who worked their guts out for the progressive change that we hoped to be able to deliver on May the 18th. I think for those people, we owe it to go into a deep review and to release that publicly today, so everybody can read all about the campaign, warts and all. It does reflect the fact that we looked to solve many challenges - from the challenge of climate change to housing affordability, school fairness and access to medicines. In doing so, we thought we would be building trust with the Australian people by laying out a detailed agenda. Instead we left ourselves open to a scare campaign.Read more