The report "Embracing Innovation in Government Global Trends 2020" explores the innovative actions taken by governments worldwide in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges. The report identifies the trend of "seamless government," in which governments work to eliminate points of friction between themselves and those they serve. The report outlines three key themes driving efforts in this area: invisible government, matrixed government, and anticipatory government.
Invisible government involves building proactive and automated services that reduce burdens for users and increase proactivity. Examples include building automated services around key life events or using AI-driven virtual assistants to provide information and support at scale. The report cautions that these practices may have unintended consequences, such as a lack of visibility for government, making services impersonal, and being potentially open to misuse.
Matrixed government involves making bureaucratic and sectoral boundaries permeable and bringing together different pieces of society to work together to achieve goals. This approach builds systemic conduits and collaborative infrastructure that enable different ecosystems to collaborate to make key contributions to society. Examples include collaboration between governments, collaboration between governments and businesses, and collaboration between governments and citizens.
Anticipatory government involves exploring scenarios and taking action today to actively shape tomorrow. Innovative governments are exploring beyond horizon scanning activities and building seamless governments that blur the boundaries between present and future. This approach involves picking up on weak signals through data, engaging with potential futures, designing policies and services for the future, and ultimately, bringing about new anticipatory innovation governance.
The report provides case studies that exemplify each of these themes, including the UAE's Ministry of Possibilities, IP Australia's Intellectual Property Global Artificial Intelligence Network (IP GAIN), and the European Commission's Scenario Exploration System.
The report concludes by recommending that governments understand the needs of individuals and businesses, consider all relevant ecosystem actors and build conduits for communication and collaboration, and build up capacities for anticipatory innovation to more actively shape future options. By following these recommendations, governments can smooth out existing frictions in government processes and services, build resilient foundations for future challenges, and ultimately provide incredible and innovative services for their people and businesses.
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