People tend to think of ‘public goods’ as things like suburban roads that must be built by governments because if governments don’t provide them, then no-one will. But this is an impoverished definition of public goods. In fact, private and public goods operate in an ecology, each reinforcing the other, and they do so in every social organisation we have – within families, suburban football clubs, firms.
We will explore these ideas and then focus on open data as the new emergent public good of our time.
Nicholas Gruen is a prominent Australian economist and commentator on Web 2.0 and the CEO of Lateral Economics and Chairman of Peach Financial, the Australian Centre for Social Innovation and Online Opinion.