As governments are starting to make and share plans to loosen lockdowns, this month we're looking at how government innovations can help support exit plans, recovery and future-proofing:
#1. New operating models can help authorities to tackle complex problems. Our new publication ‘Signals in the Noise’ tries to codify these new operating models. Approaches span from realising the potential of digital teams in service reform, involving humanities scholars in planning, developing new ways of using and communicating evidence, referring to Ostrom’s work on commons, to a whole range of innovative practices emerging from local councils to governments and organisations around the world. Support ranges from what to prioritise in designing online learning, to Collaborate’s framework for capturing learning in this period of change.
#2. Technology, when used carefully, has a key role to play in supporting a physically-distant world. The Coronavirus Tech Handbook is crowdsourcing ideas to combat COVID-19, while digital tools can keep democracy going and aid deliberation. Support is available in the form of technical considerations and societal implications of using technology in the transition, examples of accelerating the resulting implementation of new technologies and a toolkit for data sharing.
#3. Providing support for citizens must avoid exacerbating existing inequalities, by starting with the most vulnerable and centring the groups who will be most impacted. Social innovators need practical support as well as cash in order to keep going, while civil society grows new forms of organising and activism.
#4. Embracing creative new business models to avoid the worst of the economic fallout. Our blog outlines the recommendations of leading economists on how businesses can adapt. Emerging options include opening up innovation, using gamification, working with designers, gathering and using data from the creative industries, and implementing community wealth building to rescue, recover and reform local economies.
#5. Adapting our cities could be a key to longer-term resilience. Urban centres around the world are producing an immediate wave of innovations, transformative placemaking, accelerated active travel schemes and adapted public transport infrastructure. In the medium term, Amsterdam will embrace Kate Raworth's 'doughnut' economic model to mend their post-coronavirus economy, smart cities are showing the potential of collective intelligence methods to bring people, technology and place together, and we can start to consider how this might change the way we design cities in the future.
Finally, we'd like to share a social dreaming talk from Cassie Robinson - reminding us that just as much as our whole world can turn upside down in a matter of weeks, so can things change for the better, given the opportunity, energy and collective effort.
Would you like to receive our monthly email update?Sign up for our 'What's new in Government Innovation?' newsletter