Evan Thornley is an entrepreneur in technology and the non-profit sector as well as a former parliamentarian for the Australian Labor Party.
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 a millionaire.
Thornley believes electric cars are destined to become ubiquitous, and with this in mind became 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 centres.
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 until his resignation in 2008.
Thornley is Chair of the centre-left Think Tank Per Capita, whose research interests include long-term economic reform, climate change, population policy, energy and neuroscience.