This report highlights the emergence of a new field of cross-border innovation in the public sector. It identifies two main themes: surfacing ground-up insights and collective intelligence, and experimenting and testing across borders. The report presents case studies and findings related to these themes, as well as challenges and success factors.
The benefits of cross-border innovation include gaining a better understanding of relevant ecosystem actors, providing conduits for ground-up engagement, ensuring all voices are heard and considered, illuminating areas of opportunity for collaboration, fostering a culture of active listening and learning, promoting adaptable and agile government processes, mitigating risk, and ensuring policies and services better meet the needs of stakeholders, citizens and residents.
However, challenges hinder the ability of governments and their partners to conduct ground-up efforts and experiment with new approaches across borders, including cultural resistance, lack of feedback and learning loops, difficulty in scaling successful small tests, undeveloped ecosystems, competition among actors impeding collaboration, short-term outlooks, and lack of a facilitator to drive progress.
The report recommends five key actions for surfacing insights and experimenting across borders, including formalising the role of cross-border innovation facilitators, mapping and engaging with cross-border ecosystem actors, conducting cross-border activities using iterative practices and continuously learning from them, ensuring cross-border initiatives are designed with scalability in mind, and implementing formal mechanisms to surface ground-up insights and experiment across borders.
The report highlights the energy, diversity, and spirit of new cross-border innovations, which will become increasingly important in the next decade as the advantages of faster learning, and pooled action to reduce risks and amplify benefits become self-evident.
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