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Created by the Public Governance Directorate

This website was created by the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI), part of the OECD Public Governance Directorate (GOV).

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When working with stakeholders around the world, we often ask them: If you could wave your magic wand, what would you change about your country’s public sector to make it more innovative? While the responses vary, one aspect remains unwavering, regardless of the country of study: that individual public servants are strongly motivated to innovate and push for change, even though the systems they work in are sometimes fighting against this. We need to better...
Virtual Conference – Government Beyond Recovery: Towards a future-fit public sector: 18-19 October 2021 As we hurry to buy plane tickets to the next tropical destination or catch the latest James Bond movie in theatres, the sudden and dramatic restrictions we all experienced in early 2020 can feel like a distant memory. In the early days of COVID-19, many of us reflected critically on the things that mattered most in our lives and work; committing...
Much of what the public sector seeks to do through innovation aims at making life simpler for citizens: adapting to evolving needs while also improving agility in the design and delivery of programs and services. Over the course of the past year in particular, governments have been relying heavily on adaptive innovation and agile approaches to respond to the rapidly changing needs of society. On 8 June 2021, OPSI, with the support of the EU...
On March 11-12, 2021, more than 450 futures, foresight and innovation experts from 72 countries around the world gathered digitally to discuss the latest on anticipatory innovation governance. Over three sessions, the emerging Anticipatory Innovation Governance (AIG) model was explored, together with the future of the public sector, and tools and methods for anticipation. The series of sessions were co-hosted with the Government of Finland and supported by the European Commission’s Horizon…
Over the past four months the Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) has worked together with the Government of Denmark to conduct this Public Sector Innovation Scan. Learning from public sector innovation: the role of scans Public sector innovation systems are dynamic and constantly evolving: there is no perfect end point. Regardless of how developed or successful an innovation system is, there is always need for critical reflection on the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for...
New Year’s resolutions are so frequently unfulfilled that it has become a cliché to cynically write them off as futile. We create them in the hopes of creating innovation in our lives, but often they fall short of the novel, implemented, impactful action that innovation implies. Why does this happen? Many would argue it’s to do with the resolutions themselves—their scope, ambition, execution, and definition. A quick internet search will find you countless advice articles...
 A reflection on a year of crisis and a deliberate start to 2021 While many of us are ready to dive into 2021 and never look back, we can’t race towards “normal”. We are facing a critical juncture where governments must choose to deliberately build on the learnings of this year to be better prepared for the complex future ahead. The Government After Shock event held in November focused on this challenge: reflecting on the...
Convening intentional conversations on crisis implications The crisis of this year has required governments at all levels around the world to respond and adapt. The COVID-19 crisis is unique in the sense that, while many individuals, communities and countries have suffered disproportionate impacts, there has also been a global, collective impact that has spared no one. There has been a terrible shock, one whose aftereffects will continue to be felt for some time. It is...
The last few months have been a period of immense growth and learning, personally and within governments and organisations. This crisis has demonstrated an overwhelming need, opportunity and business case for why innovation is essential and possible in government. We have collectively experienced a terrible shock – and while the crisis continues and evolves, we need to make sense of that shock, to understand how we need to change and adapt to a world that will never be…
Future-oriented change in an environment of radical democracy Over the past few months, we have been reminded that despite scenario planning and strategic foresight, it’s easy to be caught off guard off guard and unprepared in the face of crises and changing circumstances. Today’s policy context is one of complexity and uncertainty: an environment that requires more adaptive, anticipatory and systemic policy and governance approaches. This is…
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