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Thinker in Residence

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Title: Thinker in Residence  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Genevieve Bell, Science Media Centre, Government of South Australia, Common Ground (New York City)
Collection: Government of South Australia
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Thinker in Residence

Thinkers in Residence was a program in Adelaide, South Australia, that brought leaders in their fields to work with the South Australian community and government in developing new ideas and approaches to problem solving, and to promote South Australia.[1][2]

The concept of the Thinkers in Residence program was announced by the Hon Mike Rann, South Australian Opposition Leader, in November 2000.[3] It was inspired by Greg Mackie’s Adelaide Festival of Ideas. Invited guests would spend three months in Adelaide, assisting the government and community in tackling problems and exploring opportunities for the state.[4] Mr Rann, after his election as Premier in 2002, funded the Thinkers program, which ran for 10 years. In 2012 Mr Rann’s successor Premier Jay Weatherill discontinued the Thinkers program as a budget-saving measure.[5]


  • As a result of the work of Thinker Baroness Professor Susan Greenfield, the Royal Institution of Australia and the Australian Science Media Centre were established in Adelaide.
  • Thinkers Professor Stephen Schneider and Herbert Girardet assisted the SA government in developing its renewable energy and climate change policies, which have led to South Australia having 31% of its electricity coming from wind and solar power.
  • Rosanne Haggerty, from New York, advised the government on how better to tackle rough sleeping homelessness. Her "Common Ground" program involved the multi-million dollar construction of specialist inner-city apartments in Adelaide. Common Ground has now been adopted in other states.
  • Fred Hansen, a Thinker in Residence from Portland, Oregon, convinced the government to invest in expanding its tram network. He also advised the government to make strategic, rather than reactive, investments in infrastructure. Mr Hansen is now the head of Adelaide’s Urban Renewal Authority, overseeing the $1 billion Bowden Village development and other projects.
  • Professor Laura Lee, former Head of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University, proposed the establishment of an Integrated Design Commission to encourage a better and more cohesive design culture in Adelaide.
  • Professor Göran Roos, from the UK, advised the South Australian and Federal governments on advanced manufacturing strategies.
  • Canada’s Fraser Mustard and Italy’s Carla Rinaldi advised the SA government on reforms to early childhood education.

List of Thinkers in Residence


  1. ^ "Adelaide Thinkers in Residence". Govt. of South Australia. Retrieved 2010-03-29. 
  2. ^ "Thinkers in Residence". Social Innovator. Social Innovation eXchange. Retrieved 2010-03-29. 
  3. ^ SA opposition News Release, 2 November 2000
  4. ^ SA opposition News Release, 14 July 2000
  5. ^ Thinkers in Residence program to be scrapped, The Advertiser, 30 May 2012
  6. ^ "Lee Brings Expertise to Adelaide". Carnegie Mellon University. 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-30. 
  7. ^ Homer, Annabelle (2009-10-06). "Thinker-in-residence challenges producers". ABC Rural - Country Hour. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2010-03-30. 
  8. ^ Salkow, Howard (August 2004). "Adelaidean -- Adelaide's Thinker in Residence". Adelaidean. University of Adelaide. Retrieved 2010-03-30. 

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