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May 13, 2018
by Oscar Tollast
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Mechanics for the Future - How Can Governments Transform Themselves?

Senior officials convene at Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, for Public Sector Strategy Network Governments are in a race against time to put mechanisms in place to help prepare their societies for a changing world

A select group of senior officials from governments and multilateral institutions will convene at Salzburg Global Seminar this afternoon for the annual meeting of the Public Sector Strategy Network.

The Network was created at a Round Table in Salzburg in 2017 to provide a platform for collaboration and to connect governments and innovators to face the challenges and opportunities ahead for their societies.

Participants at this year’s three-day meeting – Mechanics for the Future: How Can Governments Transform Themselves? – will explore several topics, including the top priorities and risks facing their countries, innovative trends in public service, and how to equip governments for a new era. The future of human capital and governing in the age of artificial intelligence will also be examined.

This meeting is part of a multi-year initiative which was first launched as an annual high-level Round Table by the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court in 2010. Last year, Salzburg Global was chosen to be the politically and geographically neutral convener of what has since become the Public Sector Strategy Network. This year’s meeting is being held in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court and in cooperation with Apolitical.

During the meeting, participants will engage in interactive debate and hands-on problem-solving under the Chatham House Rule. They will be encouraged to test out new ideas which can be followed up afterward at a technical level.

In line with the Network’s goals, participants will be asked to consider how they could reimagine the design, delivery, and funding of core services and develop more effective partnerships and communication with citizens, civil society, and business. The Network aims to enable active ongoing peer-to-peer learning under the values of trust and open exchange and provide a space for the sharing of best practices.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Charles Ehrlich, a program director at Salzburg Global, said, “Complex challenges and opportunities are taking public sector leaders down uncharted paths. We need to understand the world today – and where it might be in 2030 or 2050. For governments to transform themselves, they will require the right mechanics, meaning both the mechanisms of government as well as the people in government whose job it is to fix things. Otherwise, events will leave the public sector behind, broken down at the side of the road. 

“We have gathered a small group of thoughtful, committed, public servants, who will not only examine the cross-cutting priorities and risks but will together build out the Public Sector Strategy Network to inspire new thinking and action at all levels across the globe.”


Mechanics for the Future: How Can Governments Transform Themselves? is part of the Public Sector Strategy Network, a multi-year initiative held in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court and in cooperation with Apolitical. More information on this session can be found here.