What I've Learnt - Evan Thornley


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Evan Thornley is an entrepreneur in technology and the non-profit sector as well as a former parliamentarian for the Australian Labor Party.
He seems on a deep-seated search for improving his community with his fingers in many pies, many of which thrive some of which have stalled but all with a mission to change the world.
A visionary? A futurist? A believer? A utopian? A progressive? What motivates this entrepreneur, politician and philanthropist to do good, to do better and to improve his world?
Thornley co-founded and led the online search company LookSmart, then listed it on the NASDAQ, where it delivered huge profits to venture-capital investors and made him millions. Some of which he reinvested in new ideas.
Thornley believes electric cars are destined to become ubiquitous, and with this in mind became the Global CEO of Better Place, an electric car charge network start-up. The company is no longer, but Thornley remains a fervent believer in the technology.
As the instigator of the GoodStart Consortium, Thornley was instrumental in the establishment of Australia’s largest social enterprise following the purchase of the “ABC Learning” chain of childcare centers.
He was a founding director and funder of GetUp!, Australia’s premier online activist network, which now has a 650,000-strong membership
Elected to the Parliament of Victoria in 2006, he served as Parliamentary Secretary assisting the Premier on the National Reform Agenda and Innovation.
Thornley is now Chair of the center-left “Think Tank Per Capita, “ whose research interests include long-term economic reform, climate change, population policy, energy, and neuroscience.