The Power to Persuade Symposium 2016 was held in Melbourne at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons on the 15th of August. The theme for the day was The Ecological Systems of Public Policy: Keeping them open, healthy and sustainable through strategic, multi-level collaboration. Click here to view the full program.
Policy is designed and implemented by highly complex networks of actors. Some of these operate at the ‘institutional’ level, like federal or state governments, large corporations and universities. Others are local actors, such as the community sector or local government. Still other actors work through looser collectives, relationships, and single-issue social action. Conceptually, we can think of these networks as ecosystems – made up of formal and informal relationships and collaborations. At any one time, changes are occurring in different parts of the ecosystem that create ‘ripple’ effects which are felt in other areas. How can we make sure public policy eco-systems are healthy and robust? How can we ensure they are sustainable, and can survive ‘ecological shocks’ (e.g. changes in government and/or policy shifts)? Diverse open systems are healthy systems: collaborations are one way to ensure systems are open - or are they?
Presentations and related articles
Keynote: How do we work with the paradox of concentration of power in parts of government (particularly the centre) and the development of policy networks?
Mr Andrew Tongue, Associate Secretary Indigenous Affairs, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Related: Working with PMO and central agencies 'like being loved by a 900-pound gorilla' on The Mandarin
Dr Kathy Landvogt and Dr Gemma Carey
Related: What is the Power to Persuade? on the Power to Persuade blog
Dr Kate Neely, Melbourne School of Government, University of Melbourne
Panel 1: Who governs our policy eco-systems?
Convenor: Paul Smyth, University of Melbourne
- Humans use human services: Mr David Tennant CEO, Family Care
- What questions should we ask of social policy?: Dr Ben Spies-Butcher, Macquarie University
Related: Beyond Productivity on the Power to Persuade blog
- What Australia can learn from the United States: Dr Lesley Russell, Menzies Centre for Health Policy, University of Sydney
Report launch: Social Service Futures and the Productivity Commission, Paul Smyth, Eleanor Malbon, and Gemma Carey, eds.
PANEL 2: Connecting institutions and local level action
Convenor: Professor Jo Barraket
- Making the apple fall. Shaping political will in juggling policies, problems and politics: Professor Evelyne de Leeuw, Centre for Health Equity Training Research and Evaluation, University of New South Wales
- Sex, Drugs and Politics: Enhancing peer-led health promotion’s influence in community and policy systems: Dr Graham Brown, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University
Related: Sex, Drugs and Politics on the Power to Persuade blog
- A practitioner's perspective on complex policy eco-systems: Ms Christine Flynn, Public Sector Management Consultant
- Navigating the layered systems in which we operate: Mr Michael Perusco, CEO, Yarra Community Housing
Panel 3: What does it take to keep public policy eco-systems healthy?
Convenor: Professor Jo Barraket
- Different forms of collaborative practice: real and imagined: Professor Robyn Keast, Southern Cross University
- Monsters only live in the dark: Mr Brendan Lyon, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and Sydney Business School
- 2 + 5 a day: Professor Helen Sullivan, Melbourne School of Government, University of Melbourne
- Keeping the lid off the bell jar: Ms Sharon Fraser, General Manager, Go Goldfields
Related: Some things cannot be measured: the limits of evidence based policy on The Mandarin; Think Outside the 'Blue Box': Three Reasons it Matters for Authentic Collaboration on the Power to Persuade blog