The 2020 summit. What’s it all about? As the April weekend to rival APEC draws close — will they wear funny little outfits. Please? — here are 10 things you should probably know about the junket.

Why a dectet of factoids? Because everything to do with the conference seems to be divisible by 10.

  1. The 2020 summit is divvied up into 10 key subject areas. These represent what the Rudd government sees as the 10 biggest challenges facing Australia. Sport is not one of them.
  2. 100 people will gather to discuss each one of these topics, hence the 1,000 people in total attending the summit.
  3. Kevin Rudd has announced the 10 prominent Australians who will help pick other slightly less prominent Australians to discuss the 10 topics. Kevin’s big wig helpers, members of the “Steering Committee” chaired by Professor Glyn Davis, will also chair their special interest areas. Here’s the line-up:
    1. Australian Bankers Association chairman, Dr David Morgan. Future directions for the Australian economy – including education, skills, training, science and innovation as part of the nation’s productivity agenda
    2. Banker and former Liberal MP, Warwick Smith. Economic infrastructure, the digital economy and the future of our cities
    3. Former Environment Department secretary, Roger Beale AO. Population, sustainability, climate change and water
    4. Tim Fischer AC. Future directions for rural industries and rural communities
    5. Queensland Institute of Medical Research director, Professor Michael Good. A long-term national health strategy – including the challenges of preventative health, workforce planning and the ageing population
    6. World Vision Australia chief, Tim Costello AO. Strengthening communities, supporting families and social inclusion
    7. Indigenous surgeon, Dr Kelvin Kong. Options for the future of indigenous Australia
    8. Cate Blanchett . Towards a creative Australia: the future of the arts, film and design
    9. News Ltd chief, John Hartigan. The future of Australian governance: renewed democracy, a more open government (including the role of the media), the structure of the Federation and the rights and responsibilities of citizens.
    10. Director of the Griffith Asia Institute, Professor Michael Wesley. Australia’s future security and prosperity in a rapidly changing region and world.
  4. 61% of people think there should be more women on the committee, according to a Sydney Morning Herald poll (10:41am today, aest).
  5. You can nominate yourself or another to go to the April summit. If you don’t get handpicked by the special people to take part, you can still be heard, by writing a submission on any one of the 10 topics. Deadline is April 9. But no verbosity please. They’re pretty antsy about the word limit — 500 only per submission — because “if just one in every 1,000 Australians comments on just one of the ten topic areas, each delegate may have to read more than one million words in the lead up to the Summit.” (Is that a challenge?)
  6. Andrew Bolt is up in arms: “Cate Blanchett?* To help pick the brains to guide us through the century? Spare me … Rudd is recreating the corporate state, making partners of big business, big unions, big stars and the leaders of organisations who might otherwise criticise him.”
  7. The arty bit of the summit will discuss, among other things, “how we build on the creative sector’s potential as a major Australian export industry”. Interestingly, the previous government’s Australia on the World Stage program had a similar aim: to “showcase Australian arts and our other cultural assets to the world”. It was one of the first things scrapped by the new government, despite industry-wide approval
  8. Apparently Cate Blanchett’s invitation to 2020 is a salve for Sunday night’s loss. “Despite missing out on an Oscar, Australian actress Cate Blanchett has been bestowed another honour…” says  Sky News.
  9. Cate Blanchett is due to give birth a fortnight before the summit, but says she will attend, doing nothing to dispel rumours that you can have it all.
  10. Crikey tried to count whether there were 1,000 people in the 2020 logo, but gave up.
  11.  

* It’s become almost impossible to write any 2020 story without 90% of it used up to discuss Cate Blanchett. Hey, it’s hard news of relevance to the nation at large.  

Peter Fray

Save 50% on a year of Crikey and The Atlantic.

The US election is in a little over a month. It seems that there’s a ridiculous twist in the story, almost every day.

Luckily for new Crikey subscribers, we’ve teamed up with one of America’s best publications, The Atlantic for the election race. Subscribe now to make sense of it all, and you’ll get a year of Crikey (usually $199) and a year’s digital subscription to The Atlantic (usually $70AUD), BOTH for just $129.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW