The world is now in the midst of a major policy debate about the objectives of public policy. What should be the world’s Sustainable Development Goals for the period 2015-2030? The World Happiness Report 2013 is offered as a contribution to that crucial debate.
In July 2011 the UN General Assembly passed a historic resolution. It invited member countries to measure the happiness of their people and to use this to help guide their public policies. This was followed in April 2012 by the first UN high-level meeting on happiness and well-being, chaired by the Prime Minister of Bhutan. At the same time the first World Happiness Report was published, followed some months later by the OECD Guidelines setting an international standard for the measurement of well-being. The present Report is sponsored by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Elite institutions in The Academy, primarily leading US universities, are widely engaging enthusiastically in MOOCs by lending brand, content, funds, staff, badging and policy support. They see opportunities for brand enhancement, pedagogic experimentation, recruitment and business model innovation. The pro-MOOC impetus is producing a conspicuous literature. It reports positively on these experiments, describing a process of maturing, expansion and deepening. There are dissident voices in the elite institutions, however, and the arguments they are assembling against MOOCs remain strong and vocal.
Smaller or less prestigious institutions have not so far engaged strongly with MOOCs, either through lack of appetite, lack of capacity, or lack of opportunity. Often, smaller players who have considered the MOOC issue have sounded alarm bells – they see threats of being left behind, of losing market share and recruits. They also charge that MOOCs are unable to serve learners with more complex learning needs. Although such perspectives would appear to represent the position of the vast bulk of post-16 educational activity, the sceptical literature reflecting these concerns is less visible and less extensive.
Telecommunications services, in particular fixed voice and mobile phones, are essential to support the delivery of government services. In 2004, the state executed contracts for the Telecommunications Purchasing and Management Strategy (TPAMS), comprising Telecommunications Carriage Services (TCS) agreements with approved providers. The agreements aim to deliver best value to agencies for fixed voice, mobile and data carriage services.
Recent statewide initiatives to improve the efficiency of the public sector heighten the need for agencies to establish effective arrangements to minimise administrative costs – including unnecessary expenditure on fixed voice and mobile services.
The issue of internet voting is one of the more testing ones currently faced by election administrators, not least because of the diversity of views which it generates. Proponents of such a use of the internet see it as a potentially powerful, and perhaps inevitable, way of enabling electors, or certain categories of electors, to vote in a convenient and efficient way. In the long term, it holds out the revolutionary prospect that the classical vision of direct democracy could be realised, with voters being able to make fast collective decisions on a wide range of issues. Opponents of internet voting see it as giving rise to major risks to the integrity of electoral processes. There is a large and rapidly growing literature on the subject.
This report is the result of extensive research conducted over the course of a year by McKinsey team around the world. The research reviewed data measuring city performance along economic, environmental, and social dimensions. Three sources were particularly helpful in this respect: the Mercer Quality of Life Index, the Siemens Green City Index, and MGI’s Urban Performance Index. We also drew on MGI’s Cityscope database – which includes data on demographics, household structure, and income, and national economic and demographic data – and on China’s 2010 and India’s 2011 censues.
Simultaneously, er conducted extensive interviews with city leaders, other public servants, and community leaders in over 30 cities around the world to capture their experience, learning, and advice. We added to this by by examining more than 80 case studies of cities that had improved their performance, developed from literature, the news media, and Web searches. While the report leans heavily on the data and other informations collected, the synthesis and prioritisation of the insights are ours.
Affordable broadband connectivity, services and applications are essential to modern society, offering widely recognized social and economic benefits. The Broadband Commission for Digital Development promotes the adoption of broadband-friendly practices and policies for all, so everyone can take advantage of the benefits offered by broadband.
With this Report, the Broadband Commission expands awareness and understanding of the importance of broadband networks, services, and applications for generating economic growth, and for achieving social progress. In its work, the Commission has not defined ‘broadband’ in terms of specific minimum transmission speeds, in recognition of the range of market definitions in different countries. Rather, the Commission views broadband as a cluster of concepts: always-on, high-capacity connectivity enabling combined provision of multiple services simultaneously.
Businesses around the world are looking to gain an edge in the race to digital ecosystem – to seamlessly incorporate new computing, communications, and collaboration technologies; to streamline their operations; and to connect more closely with customers, suppliers, and partners. To do so, they must look to the continually evolving ecosystem of hardware, software, IT services, and telecom companies. These sectors provide the products and services that make digitization possible.
The goal of the second annual Booz & Company Global Information, Communications, and Technology 50 study is to analyze the top companies in the digitization ecosystem, to detect which ones are prospering and which are not, and to provide some guidance about why. As we did last year, we divided them into four sectors – hardware, software, IT services, and telecom – and then looked at them across four critical criteria: financial performance, portfolio strength, go-to-market footprint, and innovation and branding. The additional year of data gave us a closer look into how companies in each sector are trending, for better or worse.
High-speed broadband is transforming our economy and society, with major implications for households, business, governments and the environment. The report looks over the horizon to 2020 when Australia’s economy will be a fully digital economy, powered by the National Broadband Network (NBN). Recent developments like smartphones, apps and social media will be more deeply embedded, while video content, the cloud and machine-to-machine technologies will be widespread.
Households will benefit from improved communications, greater choice and competition from e-commerce, more online services, greater employment opportunities, including through telework, and savings in time and money from reduced travel. They will also experience improvements in goods and services quality and/or lower prices as businesses take up new productivity-boosting applications of the digital economy. There will also be environmental benefits from reduced travel and other applications.
Digital Economy and Information and communication technologies (ICT) are transforming the way we work and driving change in many industries. Governments everywhere understand their decisions can assist or impede businesses and families adjust to an increasingly digital
economy and society.
Since 2007, Labor has presided over a sharp fall in Australia’s ranking as a digital economy according to the World Economic Forum, the International Telecommunications Union, INSEAD and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), among others.
This chapter explains the CAMAC review of crowd sourced equity funding (CSEF), summarises the review process and invites submissions on any aspect of the review. In Advancing Australia as a Digital Economy: An Update to the National Digital Economy Strategy (June 2013), reference was made to holding an independent review of the regulation of crowd sourced equity funding (CSEF). CAMAC was asked to conduct that review.
CSEF is a relatively new and evolving form of capital raising. Broadly, it refers to schemes through which a business seeks to raise funding, particularly early-stage funding, through offering debt or equity interests in the business to investors online. Businesses seeking to raise capital through CSEF typically advertise online through a crowd funding platform website, which serves as an intermediary between investors and the business.
EU Kids Online has spent seven years investigating 9-16 year olds’ engagement with the internet, focusing on the benefits and risks of children’s internet use. While this meant examining the experiences of much younger children than had been researched before EU Kids Online began its work in 2006, there is now a critical need for information about the internet-related behaviours of 0-8 year olds. EU Kids Online’s research shows that children are now going online at a younger and younger age, and that young children’s “lack of technical, critical and social skills may pose a risk”.
This report critically reviews recent research to understand the internet use, and emerging policy priorities, regarding children from birth to eight years old.
The context in which intellectual property (IP) operates in the contemporary world is vastly different from the one in which intellectual property was born. The new context has changed the position of intellectual property both in the economy and in society. It calls equally for a change in the way in which we think about intellectual property and its role.
Traditional explanations for intellectual property – Let’s start by recalling briefly the traditional explanations of why we have intellectual property. There are four main reasons, applicable to varying degrees to all the rights that we characteristically consider to be intellectual property rights.
This gender pay fact sheet has been compiled primarily from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) average weekly earnings data set, that calculates the average full-time weekly earnings before tax of men and women, excluding factors such as overtime and pay that is salary sacrificed. Where data were unavailable from average weekly earnings (such as occupation), these data were sourced from the ABS Employee Earnings, Benefits and Trade Union Membership survey.
The gender pay gap is the difference between the average of all female and all male earnings expressed as a percentage of male earnings. Because the gender pay gap does not take into account part-time workers earnings, it gives us a value that is comparing like with like. A number of often interrelated factors contribute to the gender pay gap including women working in different industries than men (known as industrial segregation); the over-representation of women in low-paying occupations while being under-represented in others (known as occupational segregation), the undervaluation of women’s skills; and career breaks taken by women to have and raise children.
Innovation is vital to Australia if we are to continue to improve our living standards, create new business opportunities and be globally competitive. The development of a strong and innovative economy is essential to creating jobs and improving productivity and competitiveness. A flourishing start-ups sector is an important element of ensuring Australia is a thriving hub for innovative industry.
The Australian Government understands the challenges that face start-ups such as access to capital, attracting and retaining skilled employees, managing fast growth and being competitive in overseas markets. We want to support Australian start-ups to grow into successful businesses.
As of May 2013, 70% of American adults ages 18 and older have a high-speed broadband connection at home, according to a nationally representative survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. This is a small but statistically significant rise from the 66% of adults who said they had home broadband in April 2012.
The demographic factors most correlated with home broadband adoption continue to be educational attainment, age, and household income. Almost nine in ten college graduates have high-speed internet at home, compared with just 37% of adults who have not completed high school. Similarly, adults under age 50 are more likely than older adults to have broadband at home, and those living in households earning at least $50,000 per year are more likely to have home broadband than those at lower income levels.
Significant advances have been made in recent years to build greater collaboration and interoperability across the national security community. However, the increasing complexity of national security threats requires an even more consistent and connected approach to capability planning that complements existing individual agency arrangements. To that end, the Government has developed a security classified National Security Capability Plan to provide a single consolidated picture of the capabilities that enable Australia to achieve national security outcomes.
This Guide offers an overview of Australia’s national security capability planning. It identifies the functions performed by the national security community and how these achieve the objectives outlined in the National Security Strategy (2013).
Our overall objective is to support high quality tertiary education, made available to a greater number and wider range of people in NSW. The Plan sets out six strategic priorities for better aligning the tertiary education sector with the State’s priorities for economic and social development. The priorities and their supporting directions have been informed by feedback from submissions and consultation.
The State recognises that a strong and growing tertiary sector is critical to our economic future. In recognition of this, both longer-term strategies and immediate actions are required. This Plan therefore also identifies ten immediate commitments that the NSW Government will pursue in partnership with education providers, business and the community.
The NSW Government ICT Strategy recognises that a strategic approach to the use of cloud services will provide opportunities to achieve better value ICT investment and improve service capability. Government’s shift to a service orientation will take advantage of the increasing commoditisation of ICT and the rapidly developing cloud computing industry.
Public sector ICT investment is increasingly influenced by financial constraints, rapidly ageing technology and a higher standard of service delivery demanded by the community. Cloud services have the potential to address these challenges by improving the agility, scalability and reliability of ICT services and providing the agility to respond to changing business needs. This new approach to ICT sourcing and management will be critical to achieve value, drive innovation and support sustainable investment.
This report reveals that over the next decade we will see significant gaps open up between enterprises that proactively transform their operations for the digital economy and those that continue with business as usual. In 2012, we looked at the macro effect that information and communications technology (ICT) – including high-speed broadband – will have on Australian industries, workplaces and society over the next 40 years. That report – A Snapshot of Australia’s Digital future to 2050 – revealed just how important it will be for organisations to transform the way they operate if they are to survive and prosper in the digital age.
This year, we move from the macro to the micro and look at what this digital transformation means for individual enterprises. What is at stake for organisations? What trends will determine their future? What metrics do boards, CEOs and other executives need to monitor and improve? What will success look like in an increasingly digital economy?
Technology, Media & Telecommunication (TMT) deals up until 29-Jul-13 amounted to US$ 232.5 bn and contributed 21.7% to global Mergers and Aquisitions (US$ 1,072.3bn). The market share was up from just 13% in 2012’s comparative period and the highest market share to global M&A in this time period on Mergermarket record (since 2001). TMT deal value in the first month of Q3 made up 38.3% of total global M&A in the same period (US$ 173bn). This was due to the mega-merger of equals of Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe – now the largest advertising company in the world and over taking WPP’s pole position in the market. H1 2013 (US$ 166.2bn) was the highest valued opening half year since 2008 (US$ 221bn) for the lowest amount of announced deals (915 deals) for any H1 in three years (H1 2010, 890 deals).
The statistics around Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are extraordinary. In a little over a year, more than 6.5 million students have enrolled in over 800 free classes produced by about 200 universities all around the world. Harvard and MIT have poured $30 million each into their edX collaboration. Private investors have made similar sized bets into Silicon Valley-based Coursera, a rival MOOC platform.
Technology messiahs foretell a world in which anyone anywhere anytime can access high quality higher education at no or low cost. Prophets of doom envisage a MOOC tsunami sweeping away the ivory tower. Skeptical hard heads counter by paraphrasing Mark Twain: talk of the demise of place-based universities is grossly exaggerated.
State of Australian Cities 2013 is the fourth in a series of annual Australian Government publications bringing together current research and data to present a comprehensive picture of how our major cities are evolving, and to strengthen the knowledge base used to develop policy. The purpose of State of Australian Cities 2013 is to provide an evidence base for policy and investment decisions in our major cities, to explore trends in urban development and to inform people about the factors that are shaping our cities and the lives of their communities.
The second tranche of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) 2011 Census of Population and Housing was available to this year’s report. Consequently, there is an emphasis on migration, industry structure and human capital.
The biggest mining boom in Australian history since the gold rush of the 1850s is about to change shape. The investment phase of the boom, which has seen $400 billion invested in the last decade, is tapering off. The elevated prices paid for Australian mineral exports since 2003 are falling, and with them, the huge boost they provided to national income and government revenue.
As these changes begin to transform the economy once more, this report assesses the benefits and costs of the boom, and points to what policymakers should and should not do next. Overall, the boom has been good for Australia. It helped the country weather the global financial crisis. It helped fund major government initiatives. Most Australians have prospered.
We live in a world where terms like “Cyber crime” no longer belong in the realm of science fiction. Modern devices such as smart phones and tablets have brought the internet not only to our fingertips but to our bedsides, our pockets and to our children. And yet there is strong evidence that access to such technology, with all its opportunities and benefits, can put our businesses and our families at increasing risk of exploitation and internet-based crime (E-crime).
Identity theft, industrial espionage, credit card fraud, phishing, child exploitation – criminals use the internet as a means to commit a wide range of crimes. Perpetrators range from lone hackers, activist groups, Nation States sponsoring industrial espionage and organised criminal gangs. Victims include individuals who fall prey to scams and password theft to multinational companies such as, famously Sony.
Is cybercrime, cyber espionage, and other malicious cyber activities what some call “the greatest transfer of wealth in human history”, or is it what others say is a “rounding error in a fourteen trillion dollar economy”?
The wide range of existing estimates of the annual loss – from a few billion dollars to hundreds of billions – reflects several difficulties. Companies conceal their losses and some are not aware of what has been taken. Intellectual property is hard to value. Some estimates relied on surveys, which provide very imprecise results unless carefully constructed. One common problem with cybersecurity surveys is that those who answer the questions “self-select,” introducing a possible source of distortion into the results. Given the data collection problems, loss estimates are based on assumptions about scale and effect – change the assumption and you get very different results. These problems leave many estimates open to question.
IT products are at the heart of our financial and logistics systems, and support critical infrastructure, health, education and welfare systems. IT products are critical to research and innovation, economic competitiveness and Australia’s future social and economic prosperity. The internet has transformed the Australian economy over the past 20 years, and is poised to play an even greater role in daily life as Australia’s engagement with the global digital economy broadens and deepens.
According to a 2011 Deloitte Access Economics report, the internet made a direct contribution of approximately $50 billion – or 3.6 per cent of Australia’s Gross Domestic Product – to the Australian economy in 2010, a contribution of similar value to the retail sector or Australia’s iron ore exports. The direct contribution of the internet is forecast to increase by another $20 billion to roughly $70 billion by 2016.
Australia’s future can be prosperous but this will depend on maintaining strong economic growth and an environment that supports businesses to do well. The actions, decisions and choices we make now will either support or inhibit Australia’s prospects.
Australia has experienced a very successful growth period and we continue to have many intrinsic strengths, but we are a small economy in a fiercely competitive global environment. We do many things well and lead the world in areas like mining, agriculture and various services industries. However, with a small local market we lack the scale and expertise needed to exploit opportunities in many sectors of our economy, particularly manufacturing.
The internet and digital technologies are bringing many benefits to Australians. Increasing connectivity allows us to stay in touch with family and friends, access services and communicate and create online. Australia has more than 12 million internet subscribers and a further 17.3 million mobile handset subscribers; while over 11 million Australians have a Facebook account. The National Broadband Network is increasing the opportunities for Australians to participate in a growing global digital economy. However, just as the internet and other new technologies are opening up tremendous possibilities, they also provide opportunities for criminals to commit new crimes and to carry out old crimes in new ways.
Although it is difficult to quantify the total costs, evidence from operational agencies suggests that economic costs of cybercrime in Australia are substantial. As many instances of cybercrime go unreported, it is difficult to give an accurate figure. However, non-government estimates put the cost of cybercrime in Australia as high as $2 billion annually.
The Queensland Government ICT Strategy 2013-17 delivers a vision for the future that incorporates the lessons from the past. Developed with significant consultation and engagement from a broad cross section of the ICT industry, non-government and the community sector, this strategy addresses the real issues.
“Our aim is to improve the lives of Queenslanders by better service delivery through public service reform. With a clear government vision for the future, there is no doubt that Information and Communications Technology will play a crucial role in enabling new ways of doing business that aligns with community expectations.
New ways need to be found to make Queensland Government more efficient, flexible and better able to meet the needs of Queenslanders both now and into the future.”
It’s no secret that the Australian pharma and medicines industry is going through tough times. Globally, the industry is having to grapple with changing business models, a more competitive market, major patent expiries, shifting technology, constrained budgets, increasing scrutiny from payers and regulators, and fundamental questions being raised about the validity of what the industry does. Australia has not been immune from these pressures. Many of the challenges the industry is facing around the world are being replayed here in Australia and it is incumbent upon the industry to collectively articulate the value of what it does and the issues it needs to pursue.
This is why this survey by PwC is particularly pertinent. It comes at a time when the industry is grappling with a range of issues here in Australia, not least of which is the tough reimbursement environment. Overwhelmingly the Australian medicines industry has signaled its frustration with a system that appears to be getting more difficult to navigate for various reasons. Against the backdrop of major price reductions and restructuring, the difficulties in delivering new medicines and vaccines are a major disappointment. The reforms to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme over the last 10 years or so were always about generating more competition and savings in the off-patent market to provide headroom for new medicines to be listed on the PBS and made available to Australians. While the savings are being delivered, there is still some way to go to securing the timely access to new medicines and vaccines that Australians demand.