To begin, a few words about me...

I am founder and CEO of datanomics pty ltd, a data innovation business focused on the development of data sharing platforms across industry, public and research settings.

I also do a bit of listening, speaking and advising on matters related to data ethics, digital dignity, data governance and data management.

A somewhat accidental pioneer in the introduction of data warehousing in the Commonwealth Public Sector in the early 1990's, I have, for a couple of decades, been active in shaping institutional information and data strategies across public and private sectors, and the wider Asia Pacific region.

I also hold a number of civil society roles:

  • Member of the Federal Government's inaugural Open Government Forum, which is responsible for overseeing the fulfilment of its first 2-year National Action Plan commitments, for the development the next plan.

  • Deputy Chairperson of the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC), the Victorian government’s peak representative body for mental health consumers.

    • VMIAC provides human rights advocacy, policy, education and consumer engagement related services.

  • Member of the Innovation Reference Group (IRG) for the Victorian Government 10 Year Mental Health Plan.

  • I hold a Bachelor of Business (Uni SA) and a Masters Business Administration (ANU).

I am still married to my first wife, Belinda, and we are attempting to transition our three adult offspring to financial independence.

For more, head to Linkedin or follow me on Twitter:

www.linkedin.com/in/jhorton

@jameshorton 

And a few words on why I have put myself forward for the Internet Australia (IA) board...

Fundamentally. I believe that there is a growing need in Australia for strong civil society voices that can advocate for the rights of citizens to pursue a dignified life within the digital universe that the internet enables - and, in particular, for marginalised or vulnerable groups.

IA should be one of those voices. However, at present, it is not.

As a citizen and civil society stakeholder, I have become increasingly concerned by the erosion of IA's reputation as a consequence of becoming captive to and politicised by, its singular pursuit of a narrow agenda. As a consequence, I believe that IA has both diminished its standing domestically and isolated itself from the international Internet Society discourse.

If AI is to be able to fulfil its role, it must be capable of three things:

  1. IA must be able to act as an authoritative representative organisation, reflecting the values, principles and priorities of the Internet Society, for which IA operates a chapter; and, in this context, the voices of its members, and the wider Australian civil society.

  2. In the context of the global Internet Society agenda, IA must be able to engage with a representative cross-section of stakeholders in order to play a guiding and credible role in the Australian public conversation - not just its members, but the wider civil society.

  3. In order to realise the preceding capabilities, IA must have appropriate and sound governance if it is to be able to rise above current tensions. Given my understanding of the current membership base, I believe that IA needs a more active “managing” board, rather than a “governing” one. A board that is able to assess and renew IA’s priorities, policy positions, and operating model. 

In nominating, I have no interest in supporting either the status quo or an incrementalist way forward.

IA now needs a board that is prepared to move on from its recent disharmony and commit to the work of building a new shared understanding about what and who it stands for and why.


And to that end, I believe my values, along with my professional and civil society experiences will well serve IA in the re-establishment is its role in the public discourse.

 

James Horton