The Creative Bureaucracy Festival is here again in its 4th iteration and we want to show how imaginative and effective public servants and their allies around the world are impacting on the lives of citizens, cities and countries.
Great line up of speakers: Audrey Tang, Taiwan’s digital minister; Cass Sunstein author of ‘Noise’ with Daniel Kahneman; Kate Raworth founder of Doughnut Economics; Sir Geoff Mulgan, professor of Collective Intelligence at UCL, the three German Chancellor candidates, Adah Parris, polymath and futurist; Ali Hossaini, artist, philosopher, AI specialist; Indy Johar, head of Dark Matters; Catherine Stihler, CEO of Creative Commons; Gesa Ziemer, research director UN Innovation Accelerator for Cities; Mohamed Ridouani, mayor Leuven winner of the European Capital of innovation Award, Lisa Witter CEO Apolitical Foundation; Eric Corijn founder of Cosmopolis; Cassie Robinson, deputy director National Lottery Community Fund; Jarmo Eskilinen, director of the Data-Driven Innovation Initiative, University of Edinburgh; Vera Winthagen, New European Bauhaus; Hamdan Majeed founder of Think City; Gabriella Gomez-Mont, Experimentalista; Roope Mokka, co-founder, Demos Helsinki; Nora van der Linden, director Kennisland; and many more in 50 English and 50 German sessions.
Each day over the week has a focus: Thinking differently and how issues can be reframed; working differently and why new ways of working can be more effective; opportunities from crisis and what changes will be more permanent or transitory; and the mood for change.
Our overarching theme is Humble Government promoted by the Finnish government. It is a paradigm shift. It reflects a dynamic, evolutionary and iterative way of working often learning from the software industry. It is agile and is not a specific methodology but a new way of thinking about policy design, work and service delivery.
Humble policy-making turns policy making on its head and assumes the government’s fallibility in an unpredictable world. It continuously investigates different options tested in reality so approaches are revised and must provide for ongoing revision, experimentation and ensure that it occurs.
It reminds that up till now public servants are being asked to solve today’s public problems with yesterday’s toolkit. Operating in silos mostly does not help to tackle often complex and interconnected issues even though we value the expertise of the specialist. Collaboration and co-operation are key watchwords both within and with outside entities.
A couple of global surveys show the magnitude of the knowledge gap within the public administration and a lack of training in skills, such as human centred design, data analysis, systems thinking or open innovation practices or agile working. This constrains being imaginative or innovative.
We believe a movement is in the making of bureaucrats and their allies who want to make a difference and many are ‘unsung heroes/heroines’.