Today I finished EFA's submission (PDF) to the Department of Broadband, Communication and Digital Economy’s Future Directions review.
The submission tackles a number of important issues for the digital economy, including open access to public sector information, electronic accessibility of printed material to people with a print disability, broad-based ICT training, and copyright policy.
We conclude the submission with a reminder that our policy framework ought to empower Australians to access and build upon information in the digital economy:
As Australia transforms into a knowledge based economy, the policies we choose to adopt for the creation and dissemination of information become crucially important. It is becoming increasingly clear that greater access to information and greater technical and legal abilities to remix, build upon and improve that information are fundamental drivers of innovation. EFA believes that the single most important issue in an innovation policy is ensuring that Australians are empowered to innovate, and that the barriers we impose to innovation are justified with reference to our social goals.
I would like to express my thanks to all those who helped to write the submission. As far as I know, this was the first open collaborative submission produced by EFA. A number of people were involved in contributing to its development on our public wiki, which helped me immensely. I'm very grateful to the mostly anonymous editors. This process gives me high hopes for the future development of EFA as an inclusive volunteer based organisation.