Melbourne 5-6 August 2013
Angliss Conference Centre
Consumer Summit over two days will explore strategies
for empowering consumers and users of services, and developing consumer power, voice and innovation in
Australia across a wide range of economic and social sectors.
Unlike many western countries, Australia lacks a
well-established consumer movement that takes a prominent place
in national affairs. There are consumer action groups in a
number of industry areas; users of services groups in some
social policy fields; and there is a national product review
magazine called CHOICE.
But these groups do not constitute a consumer movement that
shapes national policy and speaks with the same status as
producer groups in industry, provider groups in social policy,
or employee organisations in the workforce.
Consumer advocacy in economic fields (banking,
telecommunications, food quality and pricing) has developed
quite separately from consumer advocacy in social fields (health, aged care,
Tools for enhancing the market power of consumers are relatively
undeveloped in Australia compared to other western countries.
Consumer cooperative movements were quite strong until the 1920s, then
declined as political movements concentrated on producers and
providers. Consumer brokers in home
mortgages, insurances, disability and aged care have emerged in
the last ten years, usually from the private sector rather than from consumers themselves.
Innovations that enhance consumer information and choice have
arisen more recently. Product selection and price
comparison technologies have become available, from both the
private sector (health insurance, cars) and government (My
School, My Hospital). Technology-based Innovations that cut out
the middle man (e-Bay, online retailing) have emerged strongly,
usually from the private sector rather than consumers directly.
This conference will explore these consumer issues in three
Consumer Power Social Enterprise Workshop will
follow the conference on Wednesday 7th August. It will explore
the aggregation of consumer market power in various economic and
social sectors with a view to development of demand
aggregation social enterprises to enhance consumer market power.
Conference participants are invited to attend this additional
(and optional) event.
HERE to register.
Call for Papers
Papers, presentations, workshops and
displays are invited on issues, case studies and strategies for
empowering consumers and users of services.
Contributions will be sought in each of the three summit streams
Abstracts in no more than 300 words
should be forwarded by 30 June 2013.
HERE to express an interest in
contributing a paper or presentation.
Who Should Attend?
summit is open to all consumers, as well as innovators, social entrepreneurs, policy makers, associations and
advocates of people with disadvantages.
HERE to register.