Four Transformative Capacities of 21st Century Public Servants: imagination, collaboration, wisdom and humility
In this lightning talk, João Sigora from Demos Helsinki introduce four key transformative capacities of 21st century public servants: imagination, collaboration, wisdom and humility.
The current Covid-19 pandemic has exposed public governance gaps around the world. Unfortunately, it is only a harbinger of many foreseeable disruptions and risks that loom ahead – the climate crisis comes first and foremost to mind. The environment in which governments operate was never completely predictable and well-defined, but now it is even less so. It is becoming increasingly clear that the prevailing characteristics and prerogatives of current governments were designed for the past era and less complex policy domains.
In order to navigate the challenging landscape of the coming decades, the public sector needs to prioritise the investment in developing the machinery standing at the core of government: public servants. Only by fostering the right set of skills, mindset, and modus operandi among public servants will governments be able to strike a balance between maintaining stability and pushing the change needed to tackle global challenges. Based on its recent work in the field of public governance, Nordic think tank Demos Helsinki has identified 4 key transformative capacities of 21st century public servants: imagination, collaboration, wisdom and humility.
João Sigora is a Senior Consultant in Demos at Helsinki’s Governance Innovation team. The core of his everyday work involves experimenting with new approaches to governance and building public servants’ capacity for reimagining and co-creating desired futures.
Prior to Demos Helsinki, João accumulated several years of experience managing multi-stakeholder projects and advising senior officials in the public sector. Most recently, he was Coordinator of Innovation Projects at the Brazilian government’s pioneer innovation lab – GNova, engaging cross-government teams in projects combining design methodologies, behavioral sciences, digital Transformation and a range of innovation tools and methods to deliver better public services.
João has been a visiting researcher at the e-Governance Academy in Tallinn, Estonia and holds a Master’s degree in public policy from the University of Oxford.