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Monday, 13 July 2009 11:19

Kate Lundy 2.0: Geared for government

Australian Senator and long-time ICT industry advocate Kate Lundy has been shortlisted for the annual international Top Ten most influential people in politics and the internet coordinated by PoliticsOnline and the World eDemocracy Forum.

Senator Lundy is one of two Australians on the 2009 short-list, joining Craig Thomler, an Online Communications Director for a Commonwealth department and an activist in the internet community on Government 2.0 issues.

Called the “Top 10 Who Are Changing the World of Internet and Politics” award, thelist is in its fifth year. It was established to recognise “the innovators and pioneers, the dreamers and doers” who bring democracy online and who have had the greatest influence in the world of ePolitics in 2009.

Lundy and Thomler face some stiff competition, including from Joe Rospars from the Obama for America New Media Team; the WhiteHouse.gov website; Twitter; the entire Iranian protest movement; and the hugely successful Pan African news and collaboration site Pambazuka News.

Senator Lundy, a former shadow ICT Minister who first advocated an upgrade for the nation to fibre optic cable in 1996, is a blogging believer who has pressed her passions about the power of the internet into the service of improving Government policy-making and service delivery.

This year she has conducted two Public Sphere events, which explore the use of the latest Web 2.0 services as a kind of modern day adjunct to the traditional Town Hall meeting – with the emphasis for policy development on participation and collaboration.

The somewhat experimental Public Sphere events have so far focused on ICT-related policy areas – where there is a critical mass of participants with the skills to fully participate online.

But Senator Lundy is pressing ahead with a Public Sphere policy event outside of the ICT sector, under the belief that most web tools are sufficiently mainstream that the concept will work across any policy portfolio.

Australians have featured heavily in the award’s previous years. Last year, the Victorian Government’s 2.0 aggregation site, called the eGov Resource Centre, was in the top ten, while in 2007 the grass roots organiser Get Up! and the ACTU’s Your Rights at Work online campaign were top ten-listed for their success in using online means to raise money and influence pulic opinion.

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