Archive of OzIDEAS 1997


For later ideas see Oz Alternativs for the Millennium


1. Social innovation, past present and future
2. Children and lifelong education
3. Relationships including families
4. Housing, home and housekeeping ideas
5. Finance and money systems
6. Taxes
7. Work, jobs and solving unemployment
8. Economics and business
9. Welfare
10. Law and crime
11. Health and therapy
12. Neighborhood including communities and the nation
13. Environment and Ecology including stopping Waste
14. Quality of life
15. Science,technology and energy
16. Transport
17. Communication, books and media
18. Arts, leisure, lifestyle, sport, clothes
19. International and Developing World
20. Peace and war
21. Politics
22. Values, spirituality and philosophies
23. Life-cycle including teen to old age.
24. Death and dying
25. Promoting social inventions and the future

The First 290 Ideas from Oz

with some links to details still to be completed, and some updating since 1997

1. Social inventions and visions for the future

2. Children and Life-long Education

Young Children
  • BabyBook "The Story of X ". Start a child's own life-history that does not end with babyhood.
  • Children's Play Layouts that last a week or more.
  • Ideas for Peace Toysto replace guns.
Children, parents and other adults
  • To help prevent Child Abuse - TV shows that show adults how to relate to children and solve family problems without anger or losing control
  • Childshare - so that children & adults can enjoy each other's company more
  • Community godparentsas 'relatives' when no real relatives live locally.
  • A Picture-book for Parentsto help them enjoy having children.
  • Parents Unions - to keep down the price of children's fashions & other demands
Schools - Child-scale Schools for children
  • Art masterpieces in schools at child's eye level
  • Engineering in Primary schools
  • Music education in playgrounds, and music at boring times. Music and Learning experiments
  • Techniques to help children with Attention-Deficitproblems
  • Learning How to Failis something we all need to know
  • Socratic Quizzesin schools. Children who can answer general knowledge questions can then ask their own questions of a panel of teachers
  • 'Real Heroes' for children and teenagers
  • Schools English. Consideration is always needed for 'The Message of the Book'.
  • Standards Certificates issued each year show students' progress in a wide range of life skill
Secondary and General Education
  • School curriculum. Social inventions as a practical school certificate.
  • Literacy Hurdle. No-one is discharged fit from school until passing a simple hurdle.
  • Social Education- What adults ought to know and no-one leaves school til they do
  • Standards Leaving Certificate includes competence in practical living.Education Credits so people can later have education they have earlier rejected.
  • Updating Textbooks via the Internet to avoid the present waste and expense
  • University Entrance Test in Social Intelligence
  • Ph.Ds in English for students' work to help everyone in the community to enjoy good literature, not just delving into arcane authors.
  • Perishing Publications - idea to help the academic problem of 'publish or perish'

3. Relationships

  • Disaimiabilia- curing dislikability and changing attitudes to dislikable people
  • Cracked people - how to make the most of ratbags, who can be useful.
  • Families in the Korean tradition
  • Family Day: One Day a Week free for every family to do things together.
  • Marriage options. Marriage A (no children) and Marriage B (children arrive) differ in rites, promises & law
  • Mutual Alliances of friends to help each other in life
  • Roots. Everyone should have a chance to know where and who they come from.
  • RSVC Reply if you are coming- rather than RSVP to save time and cost of replies
  • Sexual Harassment A transcending solution is to encourage courtesy to all, regardless of sex, race, age, religion or driving behaviour.
  • Teen parents discouraged by higher bonuses given for first children who are born after the mother is over twenty years old.
  • Teenagers learn practical baby and childcare locally - including care for 8-10-yr-olds, to realise that babies turn into schoolchildren and then teenagers.
  • Violent Blokes - Solutions that are more useful than simply more refuges.

4. Housing, homes and housekeeping

  • Architecture - Awards for the Ugliest
  • House-selling: computerised and libraries as estate agents to reduce costs


  • The Sustainable Household to be as important as Marketplace in economic thinking
  • Home lies beyond your walls. Remembering this, our egos can expand to benefit the community
  • Designs to protect against bushfires
  • Designs to protect against floods
  • Calefectory - one room heated in a house, to be economical and conservationist
  • House log bookin a built-in cupboard in every home, for records of plans, wiring, past history
  • Kitchen designsfor 21C with standard recycling/salvage spaces
  • Conservation in the Suburbs, growing your own firewood with fast growing timber trees
  • Garden murals
  • Alternative Housekeeping - a Gift Book
  • Food. Computer Index for Recipes.
  • Peel-off re-usable date-labels for containers in friges to show when they went in.
  • Science in the Home to test the products you buy

5. Finance and money systems

  • Regional currencythat complements national currency, but is only legal tender in a region for exchange of goods and services,
    and is not available for financial dealings.
  • Self-terminating Shares and Loans when cumulative income = original price x X.
  • Shares sold in TAB shops, as a constructive and also risky form of gambling.

6. Taxes

  • Benevolence Tax. Rich people choose what their supertax is spent on, and get honours for it.
  • Speed Tax if you want a car that can go over the country speed limit
  • Waste Taxes on new buildings that do not include basic energy conservation.
  • Violence Tax on all acts of violence, dishonesty or bad language shown in media, doubled if appearing in trailers.
  • Tax on Parliamentarians' misbehaviour during debates, imposed by Speaker

7. Work and unemployment

  • Jobs that are needed. If all the work that needs to be done w ere being done, there would be no unemployment. The issue is only how to pay for them. Long lists include: -Instead of continually producing products that soon become a problem for landfill and rubbish removal, turn to production and sale of durable, mendable and updatable goods, with more jobs for repairers and renovators; and work to improve everyone's quality of life, however poor or handicapped; and avoidance of polluting chemicals by more labor-intensive farming and pest control; and multicultural promotion of beautiful environments, homes, goods and clothes and distinctively Australian innovations; and more research on ways to improve quality of life and of the environment; and more production and sale of ecofriendly technology.
  • Work - redefinitionsare needed for Work, Drudgery, Earning and Being Paid and an invidious category of 'unproductive employment'. Old Age Pension ($OAP) as a measure for wage and salary increases, shows the real proportions of the differences between rich and poor.
  • Dole - Tuesday work for the dole. The week's dole = pay for one day's useful work. Everyone in the country has a social obligation to work in some way at least one day a week, whether they are on the dole or not.

    8. Economics and business

  • Economic Independence of Nations recognised as even more important than political independence, which means little without it.
  • Human Rationalism rather than Economic Rationalism
  • Economic concepts for the 21st century
  • Land Speculation. Prevent speculators getting unearned income from land.
  • Future Cost factored in with Capital and Labor as the third component of costs of production.
  • Banks can be legally required to consider social effects, not just profits for shareholders.
  • Public Enterprise for public-owned assets, with profits to revenue, not shareholders Shops. Local Shops- promote Local-made, Durability shops promote lasting quality.
  • Green Offices conservation measures
  • Greenspot Specials
  • Family Shops

9. Welfare

  • Charities - preventing waste in promotions
  • Save the People Fund, as more socially constructive than just Save the Children.

10. Law and Crime

  • Time-motion-study analyses of court cases to work out ways of shortening 'the law's delay', which drove Hamlet among others nearly to suicide.
  • OzRoyal Justice. To avoid delays and costs of justice for minor civil cases on the spot.

11. Health and Therapy

  • Ways to ensure sick and elderly are treated as adult humans
  • Personalised Health cards from your doctor
  • Exercise - Conservation, Thrifty and Housework Exercises
  • Exercise bicycles to power TV and radio. Stop pedalling and the show stops
  • Use-by-Dateson medical and chemist's items
  • Preventing old age problems
  • Medical Litigation - some suggestions for this growing problem
  • Psychology. Pre-Trauma Prevention to promote resilience, rather than counselling afterwards.
  • Research Needed - Effect of fast clips on TV on reflective intelligence
  • Safety. 'Automatic Pilot' practices behavior for emergencies when you may not be able to think
  • Therapy - video of yourself interacting with others, to see yourself as others see you

    12. Neighborhood and community from local to national levels

  • Common Wealth. Keep its real meaning alive, even if a bank has to change its name.
  • Local Government - buys only durable cars to avoid constant replacements.
  • Beauty for your cityto make it good to live in, good to visit - like Florence or Bali.
  • Grafmurals for ugly bare public walls

13. Environment, ecology and conservation

  • Sustainability Quotients measure your 'footprint'- how much land is needed to provide your needs at your present standard of waste or economy.
  • Waste-prevention as important as Product Production since 50% of production is really wasted, barely used or not at all.
  • Conspicuous Thrift - a social value to replace Conspicuous Consumption
  • Users Associationas a more conservationist name for the Consumers' Association
  • Full use of sewage - a presently wasted resource
  • Councils for Posterity - a brief for posterity
  • Taxes on buildings and renovations that do not incorporate energy-savers.
Water conservation
  • Built-in bathwater diverter for gardens
  • Roof-water diverter for garden use in summer
  • Saving water in handwashing in public facilities with icecream containers or equivalent used as small basins within the plugless basins.
Commercial and industrial
  • Shops. Discounts for regular orders for fresh foods, to prevent waste of unsold food.
  • Insinkomposters - insinkerators to produce garden compost not ocean-pollution
  • Freeshops and freeshelves for unwanted stuff, others could use, but wouldn't buy.
  • Paper Recycling on the spot
  • Paper saving - reintroduction of quarto to prevent much avoidable waste of trees.
  • Paper, Erasable - can be wiped down to reprint or rewrite again.
  • Plastic Bags 10c charge for each new plastic shopping bag to encourage re-use, ideas for re-uses, and what to do with rubbish without plastic bags
  • Envelopes - saving for re-use, by standardised windows, and use of stamp-selvedges
  • Shower-Clock. A steam-proof clock on the shower-wall to show how time goes.
  • Plastic sheets can be used as 'double-glazing' on big windows in winter, then rolled away for next winter.
  • Standardised food jars in no more than 6 shapes and sizes so these are all re-usable.

14. Quality of life

  • Index of Gross Unnecessary Suffering and Index of Quality of Life to go with GNP
  • Index of Oppression
  • Waste of people - More attention to preventing. Everyone can be an asset.
  • Benchmarks and Stopmarks Quizzes to test present limits and future tolerance
  • Born to Live - help to prevent suicide by better alternatives staying alive
  • Viewer's Code for Advertising
  • Manners Book. Manners to oil the wheels of everyday living together, rather than 'etiquette'.
  • Poetry - A Taste of Poets Book
  • a Junior Book of Quotations
  • History - Study of Lessons of History (with counterviews included)
  • History of Freedom Book
  • Honours: Fellows of Oz, honours awarded for invention and innovation to encourage others.

    15. Science, technology and energy

(and see environment & conservation)

  • Domestic and industrial users of their own solar electricity can sell surplus to the power grid, and buy from it as needed
  • Pocket typewriter that you can operate by touch in your pocket anywhere.
  • 'Rist-riter'. An erasable plastic note-pad and pen that strap on the wrist, for taking notes as they occur to mind, including under the shower.

16. Transport

  • Car modulesthat can shunt on to expand private cars according to need
  • Cars -Easily mendable and 15-year durability
  • Competition for Comprehensible Railway Platform Announcers
  • Ticket machines that act like poker machines, with occasional payouts, to promote public transport, prevent private profit from running pokies, and a provide a useful outlet for the gambling instinct

17. Communication

  • Censorship - Alternatives
  • Grammar Reform
  • Language, non-sexist - achieved by new words for pronouns and possessives.
  • Alphanumeric improvementto prevent confusions of letters and numbers, such as pdbq which causes thousands of failing and confused learners.
Books and Literacy
  • Literacy Innovations in books to help learners to read- such as Aladdin's Wonderful Grammar , Animated Text, Dubl-Dekr book, Fast-Track Books, Lift-up books, the usual way, lifting a picture to get the word, Multi-level Books, One-Picture Books, Pronunciation Readers, Turn-about Books
  • Literacy Materials- Spelling games, Jingl-Dangl mobiles of spelling patterns, Multi-use multi-level ABC materials, Word Jigsaws - each piece is one complete word in a rhyme or part of a picture, The Ultimate Reading Test
  • Take-home Literacy Video and DVD - 'Help Yourself to Read or Find out where you got stuck'
  • Spelling and Society. Book to help people understand the writing system, and its importance in history in social exploitation and in modern communications technology
  • The underlying English spelling system is 80% systematic, and only 20% causes all the trubl. Most people do not know there is an underlying system. When you know it, you can see how easily English spelling could be could be cleaned up.
  • Spelling for the Internet - Interspel. International English spelling improvement that can begin on the Internet How can English spelling move into the 21st century as an international spelling for the international English language? It can begin with. International English Spelling, which 1. drops surplus letters, 2. uses consistent consonants and 3. cleans up vowel spellings from 318 to 40 spellings to represent the 19 English vowel sounds.
  • Standardised book sizes (around eight) so that they fit on shelves and look and pack better.
  • Horrible Newspaper Design Competition
  • Complete newspapers down-loaded as you wish from TV. Print only what you want to keep, to save paper
  • Game Page - A Problem a Day, asking for solutions,
  • Readers' Letters. Editors correct known factual errors so they do not mislead
Electronic communication
  • Telephones - 'Keep waiting' messages on telephones advise on the length of the queue - or employ more operators, who have useful occupations on the side when not busy, e.g. making Australian craftwork for tourist sale
Television and radio
  • TV and Literacy - subtitling can test out the value of reformd English spelngs such as omitng surplus letrs.
  • Ideas for TV programs

18. Arts, leisure, clothes, lifestyle, sports

  • Stackable Fashion for Weather like Melbourne. Coordinated peelable sets.
  • Conservation Accessories, with personal cups, hand-towels etc.
  • Australian Fashions that are different, beautiful, cheap, durable, multicultural
  • Australian Models setting beautiful and kind examples
  • Fashions for the elderlythat are comfortable, good-looking and durable.
  • Pockets for Women, to help women rise above gender oppression.
  • Space Clothing can reduce the costs and wastes of Space Heating
  • Conservation-clothes designed to reduce washing the whole garment, and so prevent waste.
  • Appliances - mendable and in modules so they are easily repaired and updated
  • Calendars- 'Holiday Every Day - Multicultural International Calendar ensures a Holiday for every Day of the Year
  • 'An Idea a Day' and 'Examploscopes' to contrast with Horoscopes
  • Collecting - things for collectors to collect
  • Computer Games - Youth to Age Game
  • Computer Games- knowledge and thinking, not violence, win the games
  • Games - BABL, Brain-games, Serious Pursuits, the Wishing Game
  • Games for millionaires - and others
  • Drinking behaviour - a better Oz drinking culture, with singing not rampaging
  • Drugs. Alternatives to drugs
  • Entertainment: Singing Families
  • Gambling Redirections to use the Gambling Instinct more constructively in living
  • Guns -Alternatives for sports shooters - e.g. musical instruments, beautiful and make noises.
  • Horoscopes - always published in pairs so you can choose the one you prefer.
  • Pleasures - Ecologically-sustainable fun
  • Pokies that do something useful when people are addicted to noise and jingle machines
  • Polly-Save-A-Bird- Collectible artificial birds instead of collecting live rare birds.
  • Novel - the Future of the Novel in 21C. How it could be different
  • Social Justice Mardi Gras for Melbourne, to update 8-Hours Day and Labor Day
  • Tapestries. Design your own
  • The Wishing Game for any times of boredom, insomnia or forced attendance at meetings.
  • Ideas for Oz Olympics - Medals and events for sports, media and nations
  • Community soccer - for everyone to join in, old and young.
  • Fightball, Football and Sportsball
  • Hunting Pests and noxious weeds
  • Australia Cup - one up on the America Cup
  • OdSports Festival. Odsports also played at intervals of big matches.
  • SkillOlympics for Melbourne to hold before or after Sydney's SportsOlympics. Super TV and encourages better leisure interests than poker-machines.

19. International and Developing World

  • Reproduction Rights world-wide of two children per couple can a) reduce the population problem and b) this right cannot be attackable as genocide, like some other population solutions.
  • International Union linked to ILO to prevent offshore exploitation of workers. An advance on WWW

    20. Peace and War

  • Defence strategy - by being so civilised so that other countries would seek to preserve our culture and influence and emulate us.
  • Civil purposes a constant use for standing defence forces, for emergencies etc.
  • Remote Control Gun Exploder explodes or disables any other loaded weapon.
  • Violence - Alternatives
  • War criminals include all who profit from making, distributing, or laying landmines. Simply banning mines does not target the perpetrators.
  • Conflict simulatorinstead of having to go in for real wars & strikes

    21. Politics

  • An Australian OzRoypublic with TV OZRoyalty in a TV series, available for public occasions - the solution to our constitutional dilemma of republic or monarchy.
  • Political Psychology Manual for all citizens and school leavers.
  • Lapdog News. 15 minutes government-sponsored news daily on the ABC and 15 lines in the Press, with the same for the combined opposition, so that politicians cannot complain of lack of 'balance'.
  • Parliamentary behaviour - raising revenue by fines imposed by the Speaker
  • Bye-Elections. Quitting politicians contribute to costs unless leaving for health reasons.
  • Computer voting for policies not just candidates is now possible
  • Alternatives to How to Vote Cards
  • TV information on all policies and candidates as essential news, on a par with sports news, not requiring big-budget advertising

22. Values, spirituality and philosophy

  • Intelligence - defined as the ability to work out what to do in a situation.
  • Myth-Exploding. The vision of the artist is needed to help explode modern myths.
  • Concepts for the 21st century Words as Swords. People live by myths and clichés. Improved and new concepts are needed for the future.
  • Social Arithmetic concept puts generalisations into perspective - ask, how many/when? e.g. what proportion of men are violent, and how much of the time are they violent?
  • Suicide - encouragement to give lives for others if people don't want them themselves.

23. The life-cycle from adolescence to maturity and old age

  • Youth - 'My Repressed Memories' - a youth Diary to look back on later to remember good times
  • Manhood Test boys can go in for if they want to. A Womanhood Test is actually the same, but the men do not know this.
  • Adult Initiation Ceremony for teenagers
  • Immature Adult labels and ratings for films, videos, books, shops, behaviour so that an Adult Bookshop is for really adult books. A better definition of Mature Adult.
  • Rites of passage. 9 ritual celebrations for modern life - good celebration excuses.
  • Social Age- Everyone should know their own Social Age, and what is Adulthood.
  • Ageism- how to prevent agist segregation of old, young and teenagers
  • Eldercare - ideas to improve it
  • Photos of old folk in their prime beside their hospital and nursing-home beds

24. Death and dying

  • Simple measures to prevent unnecessary miseryin terminal illnesses
  • Why bury or cremate more than yourself? Woollen shrouds and cardboard coffins prevent your last act being wasteful.

25. Promoting social inventions

  • Inventions Needed - a list to get people's minds working.
  • Ideability quotientfor ability to consider other people's ideas
  • Listings of Australian Ideasthat got nowhere in OZ but succeeded elsewhere
  • Imagination as 'the ability to consider what may be possible, in the real world not just in fantasy'.
  • Intellectual propertyand social inventions - how to have a community of scholars and world sharing of everyone's contributions, and reward the contributors.
  • People They Laughed At Book to teach that it may be premature to laugh at ratbags.
  • Silly Catalog. Listing what is silly in our society makes new ideas seem sensible.
  • The Wishing Game - a profitable way to daydream
  • Utopias not Dystopias- a goal for writers and artists.

Send your ideas to the Ideas Bank!

This Australian Suggestion Box is linked with the international Global Ideas Bank to encourage and publicise ideas and projects that are not technical, but help to improve quality of life and solve social problems. $2000 is awarded annually for the best ideas or projects sent to the Global Ideas Bank

OzIdeas are collated and published by the non-profit


Australian Centre for Social Innovations

A Social Invention is an innovation to help to improve the quality of life or to solve social problems.

OzIDEAS is a place to find out about new ideas, and send in your own. It is a way that you can do something about those good ideas that you have and find out about the successful projects of others. Ideas are fun to think up, and they stop your brain going rusty. Practical action is a sporting challenge.

Ideas can be as simple as a fun idea for a party, as high-powered as a different money system, or seem as zany and ridiculous as going to the Moon was always thought to be until fifty years ago.


* Ideas and projects that make life better

* Ideas about inventions that are still needed to solve problems

* Ideas to think about, and concepts for the 21st Century

* Projects on the go

* In the news - ideas about current topics