Thursday, August 31, 2006

Fed till you're full

I finally made it along to my first Fourth Estate Domain (better know as FED) event last night. This time it was Martin Dalgleish now of PBL and latterly of Optus on the couch.

While I took some note about what Martin said - much of which I agreed with - it was the number of people there that stunned me.

Now a lot of them were clearly there just for "networking" and some of that was probably as much to be seen as to see someone else. But elsewhere in the media and comms fields we sort of bemoan the lack of interest in the "policy" debate - yet really what was discussed would have been equally at home at Mark Armstrong's Network Insight or at the telco industry's SPAN or ACIF (which merge today to become the Communications Alliance.

I have just returned from the last ever SPAN annual dinner (where I was crushed to not be selected the telecommunications ambassador - well not really, and congratulations Rosemary Sinclair). At that dinner there were people asking where the next generation of the policy advocates will come from - despite there being 500 hardy souls in the room.

The answer is that the people who will carry the conversation forward have already changed the way a conversation is run. So just maybe we in the old part of the industry need to rethink our model of how policy discussion occurs if we want to expand the scope.

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