It might be seen as a bit of an oxymoron, but some interesting state government reports have recently been released. Each have some significant recommendations for our research with Parks Victoria on participatory technologies and knowledge management.

The first, from the DSE details plans for Victoria’s environment management, including the role of knowledge management and the need for tools to help plan for native vegetation, threatened species and fire management, amongst others.

The second, from the very regal sounding Department of Premier and Cabinet, details the way forward for the Victorian state government with Web 2.0 – that is, how they see participatory media and technologies as they apply to democracy and governance.

What’s interesting are the overlaps in both reports: The DSE whitepaper discusses the need for new tools to assist sense-making, and both reports highlight the importance of utilising technologies that can encourage better engagement with communities, internal and external experts.

I’m hoping to write something more detailed on these reports and others soon, but it’s interesting to note that there seems to be a large push from policy makers towards something that will support the adoption of whatever the outcomes of our research are. “Scientific rigor” should not really be dictated by the political agenda, but it certainly doesn’t hurt that what we’re doing is seen as timely both in government, and, I’d argue, in communities (with regards to fire management).

The Web 2.0 report is very succinct, but I wouldn’t expect your ink cartridge to last if you print out the other one. More information here:


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