an arrow pointing upwards

reimagine gov

The year 2020 unfolded in a way no one expected. It was a year of immense challenge, hardship and loss. And yet, amidst the darkness there was also hope. In 2020, we saw new, global conversations emerge about what we were all learning from COVID-19. These conversations offered an opportunity to reflect on how we want to emerge from this crisis - what we want to hold onto, what needs reimagining, and how we might come together to achieve that.

From May - August 2020, ANZSOG and the Centre for Public Impact contributed to this global conversation through the Reimagining government webinar series. More than 1000 people joined us as we brought together senior practitioners, academics, and leading thinkers from across the globe, exploring a new vision for government founded on the following beliefs:

  • most of the challenges we face as a society are complex;
  • the quality of human relationships matters a great deal; and
  • progress is best achieved through experimentation and learning.

As we move forward into 2021, it is becoming clear that this will be a crucially important year, and that decisions taken by governments and societies will shape the coming decades. In response to this, and to huge demand from participants from last year's series, we will be inviting you to join us as we continue the conversation on Reimagining Government.

With COVID-19 receding in some parts of the world, but remaining a significant challenge in others, we will continue to explore some of the ideas around reimagining government that have opened themselves up for discussion in the context of this global crisis. We will build on the themes from our first series; diving more deeply into some of the topics that consistently appeared as being central to a renewed vision for government.

Once again, this series will go beyond an opportunity to listen to leading thinkers. Each webinar will be highly interactive and will provide participants with ample opportunity to contribute their views.

We are excited to continue the conversation about what a reimagining of government might look like in this free webinar series.

As part of this year’s webinar series, we’re also exploring ways to enrich our offering to you.

We’re keen to understand what you might value in addition to the webinars themselves. Would you be interested in joining a community of practice? Would you like access to more resources on each of the four webinar topics? Something else?

We want to hear from you. Have your say here, in a quick 1 minute survey.

You can revisit the 2020 webinars on ‘Reorient to learning’, ‘Leading with humility’, ‘Sharing power’, ‘Putting relationships first’, ‘Thinking in systems’ and ‘The enablement paradigm’ on the ANZSOG Youtube channel.

Reimagining Government: Failing Forward

Date: 16 March 2021

Time: 10am - 11.15am AEDT

Speakers: Andrea Mirviss (Program Manager, Centre for Public Impact), Peter Shergold (Chancellor, Western Sydney University), Tina Walha (Director, Innovation & Performance, City of Seattle)

Facilitated by: Dr Subho Banerjee

How can governments create a culture of innovation that allows them to learn from failure? This is the topic of a recent report published by the Centre for Public Impact in partnership with the Aspen Institute Center for Urban Innovation: “How to Fail (Forward): A Framework for Fostering Innovation in the Public Sector.
In this webinar, we will explore insights from city leaders, leading academics and public servants around what it takes to build a culture of innovation in government that supports and even encourages failure as a productive and inherent part of successful innovation. During the session we will discuss topics such as exploring shifts in mindset, relationship building, new systems and processes, and fostering external ecosystems that embrace innovation.

As always with reimagining government events, this will be an interactive session, so bring a pen and paper and feel free to join the conversation with your peers and colleagues!

Register now

Reimagining Government: Learning to listen again

Date: 13 May 2021

Time: 5pm - 6.15pm AEST

Panel: TBC

Both during and following the COVID-19 crisis, governments need to be thinking about how to develop responses and policies that work for everyone. This means listening to all voices, particularly those from underrepresented groups. Listening to and learning with those who are seldom heard is critical if governments are to develop policies and responses that work for all of society; not just the dominant voices. It is also critical to building trust and collaboration in the fight against COVID-19. But what does good listening look like? How does listening lead to action? And how do you make it happen when trust in government is low and lockdown restricts our movement and spaces to meet?

This webinar will explore the role and importance of listening to people experiencing complex challenges, and offer some insights around how to do it in a way which builds trust and lasting relationships.

Register now

Reimagining Government: Meaningful Measurement

Date: 17 August 2021

Time: 5pm - 6.15pm AEST

Panel: TBC

Our current system of measurement in the public sector is not working: a focus on metrics designed for control is creating gaming, perverse incentives, and ultimately makes the job of public servants harder. For this reason, we need to shift away from using measurement as a means of control, and instead begin using it as a way to learn about complex problems and the people experiencing them, so we can adapt and improve our approach.

Join us to explore the opportunities, challenges and practicalities of an alternative approach to measurement - measurement for learning.

Register now

Reimagining Government: System Stewardship

Date: 14 October 2021

Time: 5pm - 6.15pm AEST

Panel: TBC


System stewardship is emerging as a new way of thinking about the role of government. Described as, “a new way of working that allows governments and their agents to effectively influence and steward systems from which outcomes emerge”, system stewardship is seen as being critical to contemporary public service practice. But what does it mean and look like in practice?

Join this conversation to explore the concept of system stewardship, and how to encourage more of it within and across government agencies, so that our systems work to serve the people who they are supposed to benefit.

Register now