Politics have always been a sticky and crowded space, with lots of groups competing for their ideas and policies to have center stage. But in the late naughties many Australians started to deeply distrust government. One study attributed this trust divide to three aspects: feeling as though politicians lack follow-through, are not empathetic, and fail to deliver on the issues that citizens truly support.
This steady decline in trust is putting more pressure on politicians to back their words with actions.
It has also led to a rise in discussion for reform, with proposals focusing on improving the way that money is donated and spent throughout campaigns, as well as suggestions for more community based decision-making processes. As a result, people are seeking platforms to voice their opinions and help guide policies in a way that meets their wants and needs. This is why Nicole Buskiewicz teamed up with Harry Curotta, to launch Advoc8.
With Advoc8, users across various businesses, industries, and nonprofits have a tool to collect insightful data and take better advantage of the political sphere. Their Advoc8 Maps tool enhances organisations’ efficiency in tackling public policies, helping people to show MPs why they should take notice, and eventually, action.
Advoc8 CEO Nicole Buskiewicz says, “A functioning democracy depends on the inclusion of all groups in the policy debate, and the robustness of their conversations with government.”
The primary goal of a democracy is to listen to and incorporate the people in an effort to ensure that everyone’s views are heard. Not to mention that a democracy promises rights and freedoms to all citizens, and lately there has been a lot of controversy regarding the fact that certain demographics are being denied equalities. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why, Australians’ trust in government hasn’t improved.
There is a move to enhance the democratic role of lobbying and increase transparency around why governments provide resources to certain campaigns over others. Advoc8 has the potential to solve this dilemma by providing advocacy software that presents clear data and strategies, while streamlining communication and collaboration between teams who engage with governments. With a platform like this, data is aggregated and recorded, messages are not at risk of becoming muddled, and engagement can easily be tracked for the benefit of everyone involved.
And getting people engaged in campaigns becomes much smoother. Advoc8 provides users access to an updated database of Australian politicians, in addition to offering up an easy way to record and share meetings, calls, and emails to all parties. The platform’s ability to generate reports that indicate how an organisation is progressing gives statistics that ensure everyone is on the same page, boosting the level of confidence people can have in the group. Buskiewicz mentions, “Evidence-based policy is a buzzword we often hear around the halls of government, yet organisations often struggle to pull together data and make it meaningful to politicians.”
Looking ahead in terms of shifting community expectations to benefit Australians across the nation, many people are seeking positive climate actions from governments, feeling it is time to be serious about reducing emissions and legislating sustainable practices. Some politicians have commented on the poor modes in which politicians come together with community groups to actually develop policies and implement change. It is clear that some government officials are desperate to find ways to engage and communicate with the citizens they represent. Well, Advoc8 is here to narrow the gap, improving the quality of conversations and making political engagement smoother than ever.
Advoc8 was the winner of the University of Sydney’s Premier $25,000 startup competition; Genesis. The next round is now open: sydney.edu.au/business/genesis
Author: Alannah Paren