Australia’s Digital Culture Public Sphere consultation

Last week I got a call from the awesome Pia Waugh, tech advisor to Senator Kate Lundy, to give me a head’s up about the Digital Culture Public Sphere consultation – an initiative being run in Australia by the Office of Senator Lundy in collaboration with the Office of Minister Simon Crean.

The Digital Culture Public Sphere consultation will “look specifically at the digital arts and industries as well as opportunities for cultural institutions around digitisation, public engagement and collaboration [and] will result in a submission that will be presented directly to [Minister Crean] as part of the broader National Cultural Policy consultation.” The industries at the centre of the discussion are games development, film & animation, media & music, digital arts and GLAM institutions.

As iterated on the Digitculture Wiki, the focus for Cultural Heritage is on the following key areas:

Ideas for a Long Term Sustainable Vision
How do you imagine the sector could look in the future? How could Australia excel? What would a 10 year plan look like?

Ideas for What Success Would Look Like
What are some tangible ways we could measure progress in this area?

Ideas for How to Get There
Ideas to achieve the vision for Australia.

Additional References
Any additional information you think might be useful, including case studies, success stories, research papers.

Case Studies from Around Australia
Leading case studies from the sector to help contextualise Australian innovation in this area.

It’s really exciting to have a chance to think about these issues, and to work towards a broader vision for the country’s digital culture future. I don’t really know what I think a long term sustainable vision would look like yet, nor how we could measure success. But over the next couple of weeks on the blog, I might try to explore a few of these issues and come up with my personal vision (which I will then contribute to the discussion). I’d love your thoughts/feedback too – even from overseas readers. You can comment here on the blog, or touch base with me on Twitter.

On the 6 October 2011, the Public Sphere consultation is going to culminate in a Live Event which should facilitate discussion within and between the different sectors being targetted here. I would LOVE to be a part of the event in Sydney – but I think my local arts community might be better served by having its own roundtable to discuss the issues as they will be affected, and I might have to host that. One thing I’ve noticed about digital culture is that for all its possibilities, there are still a lot of people who haven’t embraced it, and who still don’t have a voice in these conversations. After all, if you don’t tweet or blog, it’s a lot harder to make noise and impact in a digital environment. And while their concerns will not always be my concerns, I do think it’s important to make sure they are included in this discussion. After all, as I wrote a couple of weeks ago, it’s important to talk to people who have different ideas and priorities from your own. If this Digital Culture Public Sphere is to be truly inclusive, we need to ensure diversity of input.