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Authors: Christina Vogt and Martin Ruebens (INO – Flemish Public Sector Innovation Network), Patricia Idsinga and Frits Bussemaker (RIC – Dutch Government Innovation Community), Laurien Mues (NIDO – Belgian federal government innovation lab), Tom Van Nieuwenhove (City of Ghent) In the course of the 2021 Creative Bureacracy Festival, five community builders from four north-west European public sector innovation networks (PSIN) came together to discuss their experiences, hopes as…
Mission-oriented innovation helps the public sector direct innovation towards grand societal challenges. In the face of today’s wicked problems – from plastic pollution to rising inequalities – interest in mission-oriented innovation is growing across OECD countries and beyond. We invited organisations to a simulation to test mission-based approaches on the complex issues they work on. Since late 2020, the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation has partnered with the UCL Institute…
How do you coordinate and convene a public sector innovation network? How do you connect people whose common interest is difference? Recently, we started to compile a catalogue of public sector innovation networks from around the world, in recognition of the important and valuable role that such networks can play. There are quite a number now, and in response to questions from some of the coordinators of the networks, we decided to hold a meet-up...
Christian Bason, Ph.D., is the CEO of the Danish Design Centre Editor’s note: The OPSI has partnered with the Danish Design Centre to further explore the application of tools and methods to public sector challenges. This article explores the varied spectrum of design disciplines and practices and provides guidance on how to choose the best design method, drawing from the diversity of design toolkits in the OPSI Toolkit Navigator. It also signals what is next...
Asking people to do things or think differently is not always welcome. In the public sector, new things are often (or can seem to be) in competition with existing work or priorities. This is one reason why we at OPSI strongly support public sector innovation networks (and communities or practice / forums / etc.). They can be valuable means to connect with like-minded others who you can learn from, share with and sometimes just vent to...
Since the launch of the Toolkit Navigator in November 2018, we have maintained it as a live and continuously growing resource and built up an active community of fellow tool and method experts and enthusiasts. In addition to adding new toolkits, including many submitted by our community, as well as encouraging reviews of existing toolkits from practitioners who have experience with the toolkits, we look forward to Toolkit Navigator enhancements in 2021. We are happy...
Many of you working in the public sector may want to prepare for uncertainty, or set up a future-oriented vision in your organisation. Many of you may have heard of anticipatory innovation or have engaged in foresight activities, but the sheer flurry of methodologies and tools in this space can be disorientating – and they may seem to require special abilities if you are not used to apply them. For this reason, OPSI and LabX...
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Collecting crisis tools

This year has been rich in learning. The terrible pandemic has provided a lot of insights and required all of us to do things differently. As part of the preparation for Government After Shock, OPSI has been pulling together examples and analysis about the innovative responses seen across the world, undertaking some sensemaking and doing some workshops with different communities about the crisis, and learning from other events and practitioners.  One thing we have…
Steps towards a New Data Deal: Prototyping an evidence-based innovation panel for the Portuguese Public Administration A rigorous, realistic, and actionable knowledge of current innovation practices is indispensable in order to meet the present challenges and proactively prepare the future of Public Administration. From the outset, innovation practices in Public Administration must understand the specificities of public service guaranteed by the State. For the Experimentation Lab for Public…
The OPSI mission has three pillars:  Uncovering emerging practice and identifying what’s next  Turning the new into the normal  Providing trusted advice  In 2020, the work that supports this mission shifted sharply; suddenly, there was a deluge of “emerging practice” as every country on earth was facing different shades of the same problem. We, in turn, experimented rapidly with ways to support governments: collecting responses to COVID-19 as a platform…
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