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Australian Soft Power

The Challenge

In this Challenge, we would like you to share your ideas about how the Australia Government can embrace new partnerships and technologies and pursue a more integrated Team Australia approach to help us convert our general appeal and soft power assets into leadership and influence on issues of national and regional importance.

  • Building soft power is not an end in itself. How do we leverage our soft power assets in ways that maximise our influence in the region?
  • What practical steps can Australia take to position itself as a partner of choice and persuasive voice in the Indo-Pacific region?
  • What new, non-traditional or more effective partnerships should the Australian Government explore to ensure it engages a more diverse range of stakeholders?
  • Are there ways we could use technology differently or better to more meaningfully engage diaspora, domestic and foreign publics, governments and civil society on issues of importance to Australia?

 

It is widely acknowledged that Soft Power is difficult to measure. There have been various attempts to measure and rank countries’ soft power but these have often relied on measuring a country’s soft power resources rather than how effective a country is at leveraging its soft power to achieve particular outcomes. This is mostly due to the fact that soft power is built over many decades and cause and effect can be very difficult to prove. For example, the Soft Power 30 by Portland Communications, uses sub-indices and international polling to compare the relative strength of countries’ soft power resources.

  • With this in mind, we invite suggestions on what measures Australia could potentially use to create a tool for measuring the influence derived from soft power.

 

Challenge Opened: 04:08 AM, Tuesday 09 October 2018
Challenge Closes: 05:00 PM, Wednesday 31 October 2018
Time to go: Closed

 

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The context

The Australian Government's Foreign Policy White Paper defines soft power as the ability to influence the behaviour and thinking of others through the power of attraction and ideas. Soft power assets can include a nation’s political system and economic strength, its aid program, education institutions, tourism assets and other elements of national identity such as our lifestyle, culture and reputation as a nation of friendly people.

The Australian Government is currently reviewing how it can build its reputation and leadership, particularly in the Indo-Pacific, by leveraging Australia’s unique soft power assets. Australia starts from a position of strength, close to the top of global surveys of soft power. We are widely seen as a successful, attractive nation offering an enviable lifestyle, beautiful landscapes and clean environment. We are a vibrant democracy and successful multicultural society, offering a favourable business environment and world-class health and education sectors. However, there is always more we can do more to build our soft power and maximise our influence on issues that matter most to Australia.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is leading the review of Australia’s unique soft power strengths and capabilities, as outlined in the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper. The review will consider ways to better leverage these assets and build effective partnerships to advance Australia's reputation, security and prosperity.

Why now? Our region is changing quickly and Australia's ability to build partnerships with other nations and people is becoming increasingly important. Rapid globalisation and technological advances are changing the way influence is exercised and by whom. Social media and digital platforms in particular have empowered individuals and non-state actors to shape outcomes on issues of importance to Australia.

Challenge Opened: 04:08 AM, Tuesday 09 October 2018
Challenge Closes: 05:00 PM, Wednesday 31 October 2018
Time to go: Closed

Do you want to contribute to this Challenge?

Thought Leader

Bruce Muirhead Chief Executive Officer
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Peter Grimbeek Statistics & Methods Counsellor
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Lindley Edwards Group CEO
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Lisa Geraghty Senior Consultant
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Zoe Piper Director
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Richard Ferrers Research Data Analyst, Australian Research Data Commons (formerly Australian National Data Service)
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Liz Reece Entrepreneur training and efficient system creation in third world. Just returned from the Solomon Islands
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Grant Spork Director
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Victor Perton Founder
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Bill Wyatte Integrated Criminal Justice Governance and Program Manager
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Robert Hale Account Director
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Bob Dick
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Rebecca Christopherson Manager of Regulation Assessment and Service Quality
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Roy Barrett
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Maximilian de Courten Professor Public Health
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William Bell Research Associate
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Brant Tate Researcher
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Mark Davis Principal
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Elissa Doxey Strategy & Management Consultant
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Rob Llewellyn Senior Consultant
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Dannielle Foster Policy officer
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Anthony Hevron Lecturer
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Gordon Huang Water Resource Engineer
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Alison Bailey Senior Adviser
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Rosie Odsey
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Margaret SHANAHAN Assistant Director
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Peter Armand CEO
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Andrew Downing Senior Principal Engineer, Software R&D
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Naomi Szetu Director, Public Sector Innovation
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Kathleen Rabel Manager, Institutional Analysis
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Jacob Hampson Growth and Business Development
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Jason Blake Philosopher
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Nicholas Vaccari
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Colleen Morgan
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Stephen Grey Associate Director
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Alexandra Wake Senior Lecturer, Journalism
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Mike Metcalfe Consultant
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Pamita Mund Application and web developer
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Michele Chaseling Departmental Officer
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Jessica Pincombe Senior Project Officer
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Ron Curry CEO
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Risa Utama Mindhive Public Relations
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Debbie Roache Adviser Strategic Resource Planning & Management
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Maria Bachos Systems Analyst/Assistant Director
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Gerarda Frederick Director, Progress Solutions (Qld)
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Tom Orren
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Michael Norwood The Hopkins Centre
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Deborah Wildgoose Principal Project Officer
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Brynnie Goodwill
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Chloe Mortimer Accreditation and Curriculum Officer
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Tony Hagan Story telling coach
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Cat Matson Chief Digital Officer, Brisbane
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Craig Manning
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David Kearns
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Nick Burnett Education and Learning Entrepreneur and Futurist
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Vibhor Pandey
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Kylie Hargreaves Government and Stakeholder Relations
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Des Soares Orthopaedic surgeon
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Stephen Ellis
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Terry Flanders Managing Director
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Jason Zagami
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Brian Atkin Managing Director
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Daniel Park
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Shane Dillon
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Muheeb Hoque International Education Specialist | Sales & Marketing Professional | Social Entrepreneur
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Peter de Haan
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Finn Robinsen Fellow
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Penny Burns Chair, Talking Infrastructure Association, Inc
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