blog If you follow Australia’s technology startup scene at all, you are probably aware of the ‘Startup Weekend’ or ‘hackathon’ events that are regularly held across the country. The basic idea is to get a bunch of energetic people in a room somewhere for a couple of intense ideas rapidly developing new startup companies or product features. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to get involved in the tech startup community. So much fun, apparently, that the newly minted Assistant Minister for Innovation, Wyatt Roy, wants to bring the concept to the public policy debate over innovation.
InnovationAus.com has published one of the first interviews with Roy since he was sworn in on Monday to sit under Christopher Pyne, the new Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science. Perhaps the most interesting part to come out of the interview (we recommend you click here for the full story):
“Wyatt Roy told InnovationAus.com that he will host a weekend ‘government hackathon,’ drawing together the disparate interests of the tech eco-system to flesh out the best policy ideas for growing the sector in Australia. Startups, venture capitalists, accelerators, incubators, researchers and tech sector leaders would be brought together to mash policy ideas together, to develop a series of policy plans that government would potentially adopt to improve entrepreneurial outcomes, Mr Roy said.”
I have to say, I think this is a fantastic idea. Normally policy development processes take place behind closed doors — they’re mysterious and hardly transparent. To throw the doors open to what could be broadly called the ‘innovation’ industry (which is usually focused around technology) and bring in new ideas is a fantastic step for the new Turnbull administration. It will be fascinating to see if anything comes out of it — and especially whether it results in hard policy changes.
Image credit: Office of Wyatt Roy