Agility for an Accelerating World: Can Governments Keep Up?




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Jul 29, 2019
by Salzburg Global Seminar
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Agility for an Accelerating World: Can Governments Keep Up?

Latest report from the Public Sector Strategy Network now available to download, read and share

In a fast-moving world, governments need to become more agile to rethink public service and envision institutions fit for new challenges and disruptions. How will innovations in technology affect governance? What are the opportunities presented, or challenges anticipated – are they fundamentally different from those in the past? Can they be dealt with through the same governance mechanisms or do we need to construct different mechanisms? What tools do public servants need to master to be fully equipped? 

The 2019 Annual Foresight Retreat of the Public Sector Strategy Network, held at Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria, answered all these questions and more. This year’s Annual Foresight Retreat, entitled Agility for an Accelerating World: Can Governments Keep Up?, saw 30 senior public sector leaders from 19 countries gather at Schloss Leopoldskron, in Salzburg, Austria, exploring these challenges, exchanging their own experiences with each other, and enhancing international relationships across the strategic policy community. As ever, these senior leaders were able to speak openly among peers, focusing on the major disruptive forces confronting governments over the next 10-20 years. The program examined effective planning strategies to face those disruptive forces. 

The latest report of the Public Sector Strategy Network consists of:

  • A summary of the discussions at the Annual Foresight Retreat accompanied by:
    • Short case studies and examples shared in Salzburg;
    • Links and resources provided by Network partner Apolitical;
  • A longer case study provided by the Civil Service College of Singapore;
  • A series of interviews with Public Sector Strategy Network members conducted by Salzburg Global Seminar; and
  • A conclusion from Salzburg Global Program Director Charles Ehrlich.

Download the report as a PDF

Read the report online

The Annual Foresight Retreat is held under the Chatham House Rule, which has been adhered to in this report, with all attribution provided with approval.

The Public Sector Strategy Network equips governments to tackle complex challenges through improved foresight, innovation, and implementation. Co-created with senior leaders from around the world, it is building a mutually-supportive coalition of individuals and institutions on the frontline of digital, financial and societal disruption, promoting effective public leadership and strategic communication. 

Following on from the retreat in Salzburg, network members from both this and past programs will devise year-round opportunities for practical exchange and follow-up among involved countries and institutions.

The annual invitation-only retreat is organized by Salzburg Global Seminar and supported by the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, in partnership with Apolitical. Additional country and institutional partners include the Australian Public Service, the Privy Council Office of Canada, the Irish Public Service, and the Civil Service College of Singapore, with additional programmatic support from Nesta.