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David Bartlett on Placespeak [VIDEO]

David Bartlett on PlaceSpeak

In this short video, David Bartlett, the 43rd premier of the Australian state of Tasmania discusses why he is a fan of PlaceSpeak.

Transcript: David Bartlett on PlaceSpeak

My name is David Bartlett, I was the 43rd premier of the Australian state of Tasmania from 2008 to 2011.

I wanted to get out of politics frankly because my children were 7 and 5 years old and they hardly knew their dad and had hardly seen them because for all of their lives I’d been a minister or running an election campaign or—you know—never home. So it was time to get to know my kids again and for them to get to know me, particularly. My wife has really kickstarted her career post politics, which has been great.

Prior to politics I was a chief information officer, an IT industry development person, I’d work in IT and telecommunication companies. PlaceSpeak can along at exactly the right time for me. I was introduced to it by the former premier of British Columbia.

What I see with PlaceSpeak is a really credible platform for online engagement of the wider community. To solve all of the challenging and complex problems we’ve got, we need a whole range of new sets of thinking.

PlaceSpeak is a geo-social online consultation platform that allows for communities to come together to solve their own problems, but in a way that authenticates their participation. You can be anonymous, but you’ve got to be authenticated about where you live and who you are.

It allows policy makers to get better data, better knowledge and better information about what their communities think on particular issues. Governments—particularly local government level— all understand the concept of building a town square or public open space. What governments haven’t come to terms with, I think, is providing online public open space.

What I’m seeing from PlaceSpeak in Canada is a real take up and a real willingness by governments particularly, but also by not-for-profits, to use these sorts of technologies to better engage their constituencies. And it is that town square analogy. We’re not afraid about providing public open space; we are afraid of providing public open space online. That will change in time, and it is platforms like PlaceSpeak that will help that change.

I was just named one of Australia’s fifty most influential people in technology. That really to me is sort of re-establishing myself outside of politics, but still having an impact and influence on the nation. Particularly on the state I love, but [also] on the nation I love. To democratize power and influence across a much wider base.



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