2020 FinaleMay 31, 2008 by Joshua Gans The Final Report on the 2020 Summit is out. Not surprisingly, with the benefit of time and additional input from those who attended, it is much improved on the original draft. Now to see what the government’s end of year response will be. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related 6 Responses to "2020 Finale" I noticed there is no way to browse it online as there are no versions as normal boring html pages. Not much good for those with poor bandwidth! Removing the photographs at the front of reports reduces the size by 1/3. I put up a suggestion at http://www.australia2020.gov.au/feedback/index.cfm to ask them to provide a text only version of the report for accessibility reasons. Suggest other readers do the same and the squeaky wheel might work its magic. Whoops – they already have a low graphic version of the total report of “only” 1.8 megabytes. Comments on 2020 summit reports Although it was to be expected it still comes as a disappointment to see the number of suggestions for the establishment of bodies to tell the rest of us what to do. The other disappointment was that there was little on systems on HOW to do things in contrast to the details of WHAT to do. One of the few recommendations on HOW was from the researchers in Universities who are tired of the trappings and futility of planning and want to be given the resources to get on and do the work instead of writing research proposals and administering grants. I agree with them and think the same principle could be applied in all areas. Governments and communities should set the overall objectives and ways to measure for accountability but what is to be done should be left as open as possible. Give resources to people and let them work out what to do. Planning by definition precludes choices. As someone who has been involved in constructing many things (houses, dams, roads, TAB systems, identification systems, teaching modules, crossword designers, search tools, payroll systems, computer operatng systems etc) too detailed a plan is not the most productive way to tackle construction. When you go to build something you do not need know how to do everything in detail before you start. What you need are the overall objectives (or plan) on what you are to achieve and ways to measure or know if you are meeting the goals. From those objectives you get smaller tasks and they in turn can be planned. Planning normally consists of taking something you have previously done and “modifying” it for the new situation. That is, you have examples of what to do but you have the freedom to modify the details on what is done. Planning is great when it is related to objectives. Procedures and previous models of how to do things are useful as long as they are not too prescriptive. That is objectives are set from the top down but implementation is from the bottom up and is structured to evolve. In retrospect it may have been better for the 2020 summit to set overall objectives for society and ways of measuring (or knowing) if we have achieved the objectives. Also a set of examples on what to do to achieve the objectives with the idea of allowing the what to evolve and morph into better ways of doing things.