Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Great Library Cafés of the World
Global Innovation & Entrepreneurship
This open to the public half-day forum will bring international influential entrepreneurs from different disciplines to discuss entrepreneurship and innovation within for-profit and non-profit scopes. This event will provide learning and networking opportunities. Participants will be encouraged to participate and interact with panel of speakers.
Monday, July 30, 2012
From an idea to a business
ATP Innovations is an incubator at the Australian Technology Park in Sydney. The Australian National University is one of the owners of the business and ATP Innovations is looking to set up a Canberra presence shortly.
ATP is in the old Eveleigh Railway Workshops, which I wrote about in 1998 as an example of innovation (the National ICT Center of Excellence was lather set up along the lines I suggested at the ATP).
Hamish used the analogy of a racing yacht crew for the needs of a business startup. He then used flightfox.com and Marathon Targets as examples of a successful startup. He discussed sustainable competitive advantage, disruptive business models and execution excellence.
Lower Cost Rapid Transit System for Canberra
All of the options envisaged by the ACT Government involve adding more lanes of traffic on Northborne Avenue. This will require the remove of the trees in the existing median strip to install the extra lanes for buses, or tram tracks.
I suggest an alternative approach, where the existing bicycle lane and traffic lane closest to the curb is replaced with the bus or tram transit lane. The bicycle lane can be then moved to the median strip.
The lowest cost options would be a buss-way. This would require the road lanes to be repainted, signs to be changed and traffic light reprogrammed, but no major roadworks.
A new bicycle lane would be built in the middle of the median strip. This would have the advantage of not requiring any trees to be removed, as a bus or tram-way would. The cost of lighting the bicycle path could be reduced by using a LED illuminated lane dividing strip down the middle of the path, with the electrical conductors built in. This would eliminate the need for lighting poles and underground power. The power for the bicycle lane lighting could be provided at each road intersection, from the existing circuit for the traffic lights.
Such a system could be possible to be installed in Northborne Avenue in months, rather than years and at half the cost of the ACT Government's proposed design.
The addition of the bus lane will more than make up for the capacity lost due to the removal of one car lane. This will also have the advantage of reducing the carbon emissions caused by the route, whereas the ACT Government's current plans would increase carbon emissions.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
CoMConnect: Exploring Melbourne's Digital Future
This may be of interest to teachers, as education is a big part of the Digital City. Also other cities have Digital City programs, including the Wellington Digital Strategy and Action Plan, Digital Manchester and Canberra My Digital City innovation prize.
I booked to attend the event, when I was in Melbourne for ICCSE2012, but the event was delayed due to the Melbourne state by-election. So I will not now be able to attend, but here are some suggestions I have for a digital Melbourne:
- Fix MiKi Ticketing system: On my recent visit to Melbourne I tried Miki smart ticketing system. This was much more difficult and unreliable than systems in places such as Istanbul and Canberra. I suggest Melbourne and the Victorian government obtain federal government support and funding for making all the state smart ticket systems inter-operable, so that someone with a MiKi could use it in other states (and at the same time they could fix the problems with the MiKi).
- Lego Education Melbourne for Robotics and Renewable Energy : Melbourne has a wonderful resource in the Lego Education Centers. These run courses in robotics and renewable energy using Lego education kits, for school students and teachers. I suggest that similar courses would benefit business and government.
- Un-conference venues: Modern "un"-conferences require venues with different facilities to last century events. What is needed is a flexible layout which can be reconfigured by the participants, with walls you can write on, display screens and wireless networking. The preeminent example of this in Australia is the University of Canberra's Inspire Center., which as used for the 2012 GovCamp/GovHack. I suggest Melbourne catalog existing such venues and encourage the development of new ones.
- Teach On-line Communication: A digital city is partly on-line. This requires the citizens, business and cultural community to have good on-line communication skills. As an example, an on-line event, such as CoMConnect requires its own on-line presence (2012 GovCamp/GovHack provides a good example). Melbourne has numerous public and private educational institutions which can teach how to do this. I suggest Melbourne City Council host free introductory courses at its public libraries, for the citizens.
Here is the official CoMConnect event announcement:
The City of Melbourne is exploring how digital technology can help keep Melbourne one of the greatest places to be - at work, at play and at home in the 21st Century.
CoM Connect will bring together community leaders, thinkers, designers, technologists, researchers, urbanists and makers over the weekend of the 11th and 12th August to explore Melbourne's digital future.
This is your invitation to join us!
We expect demand for this exciting event to be very high so act quickly to secure your spot.Important things to know...
- Our hashtag for the event: #comconnect
- We ask that you do your best to commit to participating over both days. We understand this is a big ask and for our part we promise to make sure you are well fed, mentally stimulated and entertained by a diverse mix of fascinating people and conversations.
- Due to the anticipated high demand we've had to limit the number of tickets to 1 per person. If you had previously registered to 'save the date' on behalf of friends or colleagues please forward them the invitation so they may register themselves.
- In order to make sure we have a healthy mix of backgrounds and perspectives participating over the weekend a small number of invitations have already been issued. The remaining places will be allocated on a first come/first served basis.
- In the event that all tickets are snapped up a waitlist will be used for the overflow. This means if you find yourself unable to make it please let the organisers know so someone else can take your place.
More about the event...
The Aims of CoM Connect...
- Build Community – Start to build a network of people and companies interested in working alongside the City of Melbourne to explore ways we can deliver better experiences and services to those who live, work and play within the municipality.
- Build Knowledge - Create an environment where leading Urban and Digital thinkers, researchers and practitioners can share share their knowledge about emerging trends and what they might mean for the City and its residents and visitors.
- Inspire – Showcase examples of cutting edge ideas, projects and research already taking place across Melbourne.
- CoM Connect will be run as an unconference or open space event where the topics of discussion and the agenda are set by the participants.
- Each day will start with a blank timetable that we'll populate with the talks and discussions the participants (yes, that means you!) want to lead and initiate.
- Our venue at The Hub provides us with a multitude of adaptable spaces that can just as easily accommodate a plenary session for 200 as a conversation between a few people.
- Once the timetable is populated it's up to you to decide which sessions you would like to attend and which talks and discussions you'd like to participate in.
- For each session or discussion we ask that notes are kept and shared so all our creative and intellectual output is captured.
- In the days following the event the City of Melbourne (along with everyone who participated) will be presented with a summary that outlines the main themes, opportunities and areas for further investigation. This will help guide the City of Melbourne's future research and engagement activities as we work towards developing a Digital City Strategy.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
e-Tabling Documents for Australian Parliament
Currently the Parliament forces a wasteful duplication on agencies, which are required to prepare documents on paper for tabling, along with an electronic version for the public after tabling. Most of the paper copies printed are probably never opened, let alone read. Also, because the Parliament requires the electronic version to closely match the paper edition, the design of the electronic version cannot be optimized for on-line viewing.
I suggest the priority be reversed, with the agencies producing an electronic document, which is also suitable for printing. This will allow the design to be optimized for on-line viewing. The printed document will not look as well laid out as one specifically designed for print, but will be usable.
Converting to electronic tabling would require a few small changes to the wording of procedures. The "Guidelines for the Presentation of Documents to the Parliament" could be changed slightly to remove mention of "printing":
"... Documents should beThe Parliamentary Papers Series (PPS) procedures require 100 copies of documents to be delivered to a location in Canberra for distribution. These complex and expensive procedures could be replaced with a simpler procedure, where one electronic copy of the document is delivered to parliament and distributed via the parliamentary web site.
printedcreated in accordance with standards prepared by the Joint Publications Committee ..."
Friday, July 27, 2012
Innovation in Canberra
Students and staff of the institutions form teams to develop an idea. The program
has a series of seminars to help the teams prepare a Business Plan, Marketing, sales and sales forecasts, Legal issues, Managing Growth and Exit strategy. The teams compete presenting pitches to expert panels. The first prize is $20,000. Also the ANU has a venture find to invest up to $1M on good ideas.
Some of the students participate as part of their formal program of study, but most are doing it just for the experience.
The Innovation ACT program has been improved over the years (previously I have mentored teams and talked at the event). However, one limitation remaining with the format is that attendance in person is required, thus excluding online students.
ANU Computer Science Prizes
This years Computer Science Prizes were:
- Thanh Tan Nguyen, Australian Computer Society Canberra Branch Prize
- David Feng, Google Prize
- Timothy Cosgrove, Oracle (Policy Automation) Prize
Global learning no too expensive
Local learning is not expensive, when weighed against the benefits provided. The technology is cheap and readily viable. What is still expensive and scarce is the expertise for using these for effective education.
I run online courses for the Australian National University (ANU) and the Australian Computer Society (ACS), using a $500 laptop and a wireless modem. Both institutions use the Australian developed Moodle free open source learning management system (LMS). With this I can have a class with a mix of students on the local campus and at their workplace, anywhere in the world. The student needs only a smart phone to participate in discussions (the need a bigger keyboard and screen to do their assignments).
Support for the LMS is provided by a mix of institution and specialised company support staff, online. But what is also needed is very good training in how to design such courses and that can require hands on support.
I teach ICT, which is a global discipline and so there is minimal localisation required. Science uses the metric system and I do occasionally have to remind my students that if they see something in a non-metric unit, they will need to convert. There are also some cultural issues with how to have a work discussion and to wrote a report. But these are more to do with corporate and discipline cultures: an ICT professional works much the same across the world.
One of the facilities of online learning is that it is about video and real time communication, it is not. While video is useful supplement, education at the tertiary level online is much like in the classroom: it is about students reading and writing by themselves and in small groups. It is not about "lecturers" droning on endlessly in front of a real or virtual class, it is about guiding students in their own learning.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Solar Power Station Proposals Examined by ACT Government
Disappointingly, the Liberal Party did not send a spokesperson to the event and so a statement was read out instead. This consisted mostly of criticism of the Labor government, with no proposals for renewable energy.
Simon Corbell MLA, ACT Environment and Sustainable Development Minister pointed out that an expert panel was meeting today to check the applicants for a solar power station in the ACT. He pointed out that the cost of solar panels was dropping and making solar power more affordable. He also mentioned the use of a reverse auction to set the price for the power. But what he did not discuss how large a subsidy Canberra electricity users would pay for the solar power and how it related to the Federal Government's carbon price.
My understanding is that the federal government has a target for carbon emissions. Any extra efforts by the community to reduce emissions will just transfer the cost from large polluter to ACT residents, without reducing emissions at all.
There was then a Greens spokesperson, who was generally supportive of the ACT Government's position.
So far the forum has been disappointing, being just set speeches. The MC has said that questions from the floor will not be taken, instead we have to fill in a paper form and these will be filtered in some "democratic" way. The MLAs and renewable energy proponents need to try newer more innovative and genuinely participatory techniques.
Community Renewable Energy Forum
What do our elected leaders have to say about renewable energy in Canberra?
Which political party shares your viewpoint on plans for our energy supply?
Do you have a burning question about Canberra’s clean energy future?
Join solar industry representatives and fellow Canberrans at this event to find out all the answers.
Hear the views of Simon Corbell MLA (ACT Labor), Shane Rattenbury MLA (ACT Greens) and the ACT branch of the Liberal Party (via prepared statement) about their plans for the future of renewable energy in Canberra.
Make your views heard, pose your questions and get your answers to make sure that you can make an informed decision this election!
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
National Career Development Strategy Green Paper
Why is career development important for Australia's future?
Career development assists people to gain the knowledge, skills, and behaviours to manage learning and work throughout a productive and engaging working life ...This lifelong perspective on career development that has career self management skills at its heart is now widely accepted in OECD countries as a necessary foundation for labour market flexibility and lifelong learning. ...
Both individual needs and national productivity benefit from career development
The benefits of a lifelong career path (through school; from school to further education, training and employment; throughout a working life) for individuals with timely, quality career development support, have long been understood. ...
- Raising educational attainment and skill levels ...
- Successful Career Transitions ...
- Raising labour force participation ...
- Labour market flexibility and labour mobility ...
- Responding to the challenges of an ageing population ...Figure 1: illustrates how individual needs and public policy goals are both served by the attainment of career development skills.9
What is career development?
Career development is the term that best describes the complex process of managing life, learning and work over the lifespan.
Career development helps people throughout their lives to plan and to make decisions about education, training, and career choices, and provides the right skills to do this. Support for career development (through education providers, governments, employers, career industry) includes collection, organisation and provision of information needed to make these decisions; advice and guidance about education, training and work at key points in people's lives. ...
Career development support is provided to people whose life circumstances differ widely. ...
Career development support is provided in many different ways ...
Career development support is provided by a very wide variety of groups, e.g., schools, vocational education and training institutions, universities, parents, peers, community groups, employment service providers; private career development consultants, recruitment firms and private enterprises.
Career development services are provided by a wide variety of people. ...
Why does Australia need a National Career Development Strategy?
At present career development education, information, advice, support and services are provided across a multitude of organisations and individuals, through various avenues, with differences in content and quality. A national career development strategy, which promotes the development of career management skills, the provision of high quality career education, information and services that meet recognised quality standards, and equitable access could benefit all Australians.
Such a strategy could bring together all key stakeholders and promote high-quality career development education, information, advice, support and services that will bring Australia into line with recent international developments. This would lead to a future where all Australians at any stage of their life have the skills to manage their careers, enabling them to engage more effectively in the workforce, contributing to increased national productivity as well as their own well-being.
Substantial progress has been made
... At a national level the Australian Government has focused on three major policy priorities:
- professionalisation of the career industry ...
- development of a Certificate IV in Career Development
- establishment of the Career Industry Council of Australia
- development of the Professional Standards for Australian Career Development Practitioners
- annual scholarships to enable teachers and career practitioners to gain career development qualifications
- development of frameworks to guide effort:
- the Australian Blueprint for Career Development provides teachers, parents, career practitioners, employment service providers, employers or others who are in a position to support people's careers and transitions with a nationally consistent framework
- the Career and Transition Services Framework, developed in 2003 with state and territory governments, presents a range of options to support young people in making effective transitions through school and between school and post school destinations
- access to national career information:
- myfuture.edu.au (with state and territory governments)
- Job Guide and Australian Jobs publications
- Job Outlook and Skills Info websites.
At the state and territory level progress has also occurred in a number of ways, for example:
- Many states and territories are making pathway planning compulsory including the Northern Territory, Victoria, Queensland and South Australian public schools.
- In New South Wales, the School-to-Work Program in government schools supports students to develop their skills, understandings and capacities to self manage their transition through and from school to further education, training and employment.
- Victoria has developed a Careers Curriculum Framework based on the Australian Blueprint for Career Development, to support teachers, trainees and practitioners in preparing young people to make successful first transitions from school to further education, training or employment, in addition to the Regional Career Development Officers and Local Learning and Employment Networks programs.
- In Queensland, "My Future My Plan" translates the work in schools from Year 5 to Year 12 to the four phases of career development from the Australian Blueprint for Career Development. In Queensland there are a number of Indigenous specific programs targeting employment and training, e.g., Positive Dreaming, Solid Futures; Dare to Dream.
- South Australia has included career development as part of the curriculum and it is assessed as part of the South Australian Curriculum Standards and Accountability Framework, South Australian Certificate of Education and national training packages. Programs in South Australia include the Industry Pathways Program, Mentoring and Youth Development Program and Trade Schools for the Future. Seventeen career development services have been established across the state through the South Australia Works initiative, and the appointment of a number of career development practitioners as well as the Skills for All website.
- Western Australia has embraced new technology by establishing a career website. The website includes specific information for Western Australians and links to Australian Government resources, interactive career tools to assist all to manage their careers and social media. Western Australia has established 14 workforce development centres and five Aboriginal Workforce Development Centres.
- In Tasmania schools and Guaranteeing Futures initiatives support students with pathway planning and with access to a range of career development support staff and activities. A requirement of the Tasmanian Certificate of Education is for students to have a Pathway Plan that is developed and reviewed to support their education and training.
- The Australian Capital Territory is strengthening career education in schools and colleges through its Excellence and Enterprise Framework. The ACT has implemented a cross sectoral pathways planning initiative for all young people under the age of 17 which is aligned with the Australian Blueprint for Career Development. A website for the ACT Career and Transition Framework is under development, which will be a resource for all stakeholders.
- Northern Territory initiatives include "Try a Trade" events for Year 9 students; Work ready programs to increase School Based Apprenticeships; VET in Schools and VET in the Middle. Senior school students must pass with a confirmed 'C' standard the Personal Learning Plan subject as a completion requirement for their Northern Territory Certificate of Education & Training; eight Indigenous teacher and teacher assistants are training to provide career development services in remote Arnhem schools. Career Expos are run throughout the Northern Territory offering pathway and further education options to students and the wider community.
Major challenges remain...
- Gaps in access to services remain, particularly for groups such as the unemployed (both adults and youth), early school leavers, those on the margins of the labour market, and older Australians ...
- Services are provided by a diverse range of public and private organisations ...
- National processes for leadership and priority setting that involve governments, those who receive career development support, practitioners and other key stakeholders are unclear. ...
- The knowledge base needed to inform policy development remains inadequate. ...
A national leadership body for career development
The leadership body could consist of representatives from key stakeholder groups and could develop advice on projects, which might include:
Involving industry more actively in career development
Australian industry needs a highly skilled workforce that is able to adapt and innovate in a rapidly changing economy while both increasing Australia's productivity and responding to a shrinking workforce and ongoing skills shortages.
It is also recognised that the ongoing employability of individuals is dependent on their set of relevant personal attributes and skills that will prepare them for both employment and further learning.
Career information and industry expectations need to be clearly articulated for all Australians. Closer alignment with industry will ensure that career information and advice is up to date and relevant.
Building career development skills in individuals
Career development skills, including the life skills and general competencies that are important for managing a career, are needed throughout life. A better understanding of the personal attributes and skills that will prepare people for employment and further learning, and of how these can be developed, can help to ensure that career development support and assistance are provided appropriately at different stages of people's lives. This approach may lead to linking career development skills with the curriculum through general capabilities and potentially lead to a less ad hoc approach to the development of these skills.
Improving the quality of advice and professionalism of the industry
The quality of career advice in Australia can be variable and patchy, and that while tools like the Australian Blueprint for Career Development and the Professional Standards for Career Practitioners exist, it is not clear how widely they are utilised. Parents expect career practitioners to be appropriately qualified so that users can be confident that the information, advice and services they receive is of the highest quality. The establishment of benchmarks and the continuous improvement of standards for delivery of services, regardless of setting, and the regulation of strong national professional standards would provide this assurance. This approach could include a national pre-service and in-service teacher training program that includes career development.
This work could be progressed in collaboration with other countries who are addressing similar issues.
Improving access to relevant work experience and vocational learning experiences
Research shows that young people want more exposure to the world of work through work experience to develop their skills and employability and make decisions on their career paths. The research also showed young people and their parents value such experiences over and above many other career development activities.
Parents also noted that 'young people have the preference to speak to someone who has done the type of work they are interested in'.
Targeted support needs to be provided for all young people including those at school, those not in school and those already in the workforce.
Supporting individuals to gain career development skills
Supporting individuals throughout their lives to make education, training and work choices, is a key to individuals' success and a key element in the growth of the national economy. Providing individuals with the right skills at the right time empowers them to manage their careers successfully. ...
The Australian Government believes that, central to this objective is the redevelopment of the myfuture.edu.au website, Australia's national career information service. The website could be redesigned with a more citizen-centric approach to improve ease of use and functionality, with further enhancements to consider its usability and the technological abilities of different age cohorts.
- Information could be tailored to support parents to provide career advice as the key influencers of their children.
- Through stronger connections with industry young people could have more of the information they want, presented in the format they want. Additionally, the same career information provided would be presented in a form relevant to workforce development needs, supporting individuals to make informed decisions about their careers.
- Through social technology networks young people may be able talk to someone working in the industry they are interested in.
- Through integration with the My Skills website more comprehensive information about course and training options could be made available in one place.
Victoria has embedded career development into their Curriculum
Victoria has created a Careers Curriculum Framework with career education embedded in the curriculum. The Framework provides a scaffold for a career education program for all young people from Year 7 to Year 12 and for young learners in the Adult and Community Education and Technical And Further Education sectors. The Framework is based on the eleven competencies identified in the Australian Blueprint for Career Development and links to the existing dimensions of learning in the Victorian Essential Learning Standards Strands and Domains.
Career development assistance in the labour market, including for those at risk
Support services available to jobseekers could be enhanced, to provide easier access for individuals to increase career development skills, and to improve career development information and advice. Some examples of current actions are provided below. Stronger links to these programs could be investigated.
Job Services Australia ...
Disability Employment Services ...
Australian Apprenticeships Advisers Program ...
Indigenous Youth Careers Pathways Program ...
Experience+: To assist mature age people to stay in the workforce, the Experience+ initiative is a suite of programs that provides information and support to mature age Australians. One component of Experience+ is access to professional career advice for people aged 45 years and over, delivered through a telephone and email based service.
Career Advice for Parents commenced 1 January 2012 as part of the Building Australia's Future Workforce package ...
A national policy-focused career development research agenda... The models used for research conducted under the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth, and national vocational training and education research are possible models. If it is established, a national leadership body could advise on priorities for the research. ...
Questions for Consideration
Do you have any comments on what you see as the key priorities and proposed direction for the National Career Development Strategy? ...
Do you have any comments on the possible direction for the Australian Government? ...
Do you have any comments on the ongoing and future role for the state and territory governments? ...
Do you have any suggestions for enhancing the role for industry? ...
Do you have any comments on the formation or proposed direction for a national leadership body? ...
Do you have any additional comments or suggestions? ...
... Reports from the research projects carried out for the Green paper are available at the Career Development page ...
Further information on resources referred to in the Green Paper is available at:
- Australian Apprenticeships Advisers Program ...
- Australian Blueprint for Career Development ...
- Australian Job Search ...
- Career Advice for Parents ...
- Career and Transition Services Framework ...
- Certificate IV in Career Development ...
- Disability Employment Services ...
- Experience + ...
- Indigenous Youth Careers Pathways Program ...
- Job Services Australia ...
- Myfuture ...
- Professional Standards for Career Practitioners ...
Further information on state and territory programs, developments and initiatives can be found on the following state and territory websites:
- NSW Department of Education and Training ...
- Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood ...
- Queensland Department of Education and Training ...
- South Australian Department for Education and Child Development ...
- South Australian Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology ...
- Western Australian Department of Education ...
- Tasmanian Department of Education ...
- Northern Territory Department of Education and Training ...
- ACT Education and Training Directorate ...
Further information on international approaches to career development and public policy is available from:
- European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network ...
- International Centre for Career Development and Public Policy ...
- International Labour Organisation career guidance resource handbook ...
- OECD career guidance policy review ...
From: National Career Development Strategy Green Paper, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, June 2012