Government as impresario: Emergent public goods and public private partnerships 2.0
with Nicholas Gruen, policy economist, entrepreneur and commentator
January 14, 2014 at 12:30pm ET Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor
Though we're used to thinking that public goods must be produced by governments, there's a fundamental and growing class of public goods that emerge from private interaction. A market itself is such an emergent public good, celebrated as 'order without design' by Adam Smith. So too is language. Today emergent public goods, like Twitter, Facebook and Wikipedia, burgeon on the internet ushering in a new age. But there must exist a panoply of public goods which could be brought into existence by the right kind of partnership between private and public endeavor. This talk will explore that terrain providing compelling examples whilst expounding the principles on which such partnerships should be based.
Nicholas Gruen is a widely published policy economist, entrepreneur and commentator who has been a regular columnist in the Courier Mail, the Australian Financial Review, the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.
He has advised Cabinet Ministers, sat on Australia’s Productivity Commission and founded Lateral Economics and Peach Financial. He chairs the Australian Federal Government’s Innovation Australia Board, the Australian Centre for Social Innovation and the Partnership for Digital Services for Ecologically Sustainable Development and is Patron of the Australian Digital Alliance, which brings together Australia’s libraries, universities, and major providers of digital infrastructure such as Google and Yahoo. He is a member of the Council of the National Library of Australia.
He was second shareholder and Chairman of successful San Francisco based startup data analytics crowdsourcing platform Kaggle.com. He is an Angel investor in a number of other Australian startups including biNu.com a cloud based application delivering ‘smart phone’ capabilities to the feature phones of the developing world, OneTouch which is developing semantic document management systems, and of Roomz.com which aims to be the AirBnB for share houses as well as some silicon valley based startups.
He was a member of a major review into Australia’s Innovation System in 2008, a review of Pharmaceutical patent extensions in 2013. In 2009 he chaired Australia’s internationally acclaimed Government 2.0 Taskforce.
He has a BA (Hons) First Class in History (1981) and a PhD in Public Policy from the ANU (1998), and an LLB (Hons) from the University of Melbourne (1982).