Talk 1: Can Global Bureaucracies Be Reinvented?
“We reflect patterns in the systems, and they reflect patterns in us” – Amahra Spence. Now more than ever, global bureaucracies seem to be under strain from overlapping crises. Is it even conceivable that they will find the will to renew themselves? And if so, where should one start?
This talk will draw on the experience of working with governments around the world and introduce some possible line of inquiries around institutional renewal. Ultimately, it will focus on the personal responsibility of practicing and modelling change.
Speaker: Giulio Quaggiotto, UNDP
Talk 2: Delivering Digital Opportunities For All
Bangladesh’s dreams of becoming a prosperous, developed, poverty-free and equitable nation are captured by its bold ‘Vision 2041’ – an aspirational strategic plan to transform the economy to reach High-Income Country (HIC) status by 2041 and achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals along the way.
Vision 2041 builds on Bangladesh’s remarkable journey towards mass digitization over the past 13 years, guided by its Digital Bangladesh. At the heart of this development journey lies a simple yet powerful idea: that creating shared prosperity isn’t possible unless administrative, financial, and political power is decentralised at the grassroots level. That is, unless all citizens are truly empowered.
The Aspire to Innovation (a2i), a special programme of the government’s Digital Bangladesh agenda supported by the UNDP, focuses on doing precisely this by improving quality, widening access and decentralising the delivery of public services. Anir Chowdhury, policy advisor of the a2i programme, joins us from Bangladesh to tell us more.
Speaker: Anir Chowdhury, a2i Program, Government of Bangladesh
Talk 3: What If We Loved Politicians?
Strong democracies need an effective civil service, quality politicians and a participatory population. Revitalizing governance so that it serves people and the planet will require strengthening all three parts of this “democracy flywheel”. The Apolitical Foundation has been asking, “what if we loved politicians?”, “what would that look like?”, and “what would it take?”.
In this talk, Apolitical Foundation CEO Lisa Witter explores links between politicians and bureaucracies and the future of their intertwined relationship. She draws on her 25 years in political training and experience as co-founder of public-servant learning platform Apolitical.co for an evidence-driven and thought-provoking presentation that will leave you believing that politics can be different.
Apolitical.co serves 160,000 public servants from more than 170 countries and was named one of the Most Innovative Companies in the World by Fast Company in 2018. Lisa and her co-founder, Robyn Scott, received the Creative Bureaucracy Festival Award in 2020.
Speaker: Lisa Witter, Apolitical Foundation
Talk 4: Unlocking the Change For the Future We Want: New Economic Thinking
Our contemporary economic systems are creating crises rather than solving them. In order to effectively address huge issues such as climate change and growing inequality, economic systems need to be changed. Luckily there are multiple signs of change: with widespread calls for reform of international financial institutions and governments taking new roles in steering their economies through pandemics and geopolitical shocks, the window of economic system change is open. Further, there is a growing movement of actors spanning Europe building new economic policies and challenging mainstream economic views.
In this talk, Johannes Nuutinen will make a case for a broad economic transformation and showcase some of the organisations and individuals working to shift economic systems in Europe. He will highlight the key role governments and civil servants can take in ushering in new economic systems.
Speaker: Johannes Nuutinen, Demos Helsinki