Events

How is government a social machine? What’s involved in the National Flood Risk Information Project? How do we communicate Australia’s brand overseas?These were some of the questions addressed in four presentations at the first 2014 Policy Visualisation Network meeting, held at the offices of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (in Canberra and by video-conference to the other capital cities).My attempt at a quick recap of each of the four speakers follows, with links to their presentations[1....
Who likes failure? Who likes admitting that they’ve failed?These were some of the questions that inspired the first Innovation Month 2014 “Uncomfortable Ideas” lunchtime series topic “Failure: is it the dirty word that we can all learn from”.Failure is a topic that comes up a lot – and it’s not something that public servants tend to be relaxed and comfortable about. Yet as Gail Kelly, CEO of Westpac, recently said “How are you going to learn and how are you going to innovate unless you fail?...
In October, I wrote about our investigations into the development of a MindLab-like space in the Australian Government. Well, week-before-last we were fortunate to spend some time with the head of the Danish MindLab, Christian Bason, who was in Australia as part of the Social Innovator Dialogues. This was our chance to find out how MindLab works and get Christian’s thoughts on how it might be applied in the Australian context.Christian’s visit to Canberra involved a number of activities...
Consider the following: Elements of journalism are increasingly being automated and there are predictions that by the mid-2020s 90 percent of news journalism could be generated by algorithms A Canadian company is using IBM’s cognitive computing platform to create ROSS, “an artificially intelligent attorney to help you power through legal research” Scientists have created bespoke diets using a computer algorithm that learns how individual bodies respond to different foods Google scientists have...
I was pleased to attend the Creative Innovation 2011 (Ci2011) conference inMelbourne (16-18 November). I gained so much from Ci2011 and, over a series of posts, I would like share the key lessons I learnt.The theme of Ci2011 was “the challenges and opportunities of a super-connected world”.Ci2011 is a effective mechanism for meeting and hearing view points from a wide variety of other innovation system players, including those from small and large businesses, the university research sector, and...
On 25 September the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM...
Increasingly public servants are expected and required to work across agencies. This is especially true when they are trying something innovative. Innovations rarely fit neatly within existing agency processes and silos. Doing something new requires establishing a coalition of support from the relevant areas that might be affected, and often this will include people within other agencies.But do we really know what makes for successful cross-agency collaboration? What roles can networks play and...
One of my favourite cartoonists is Hugh MacLeod of GapingVoid who creates ‘art with purpose’. His work provides commentary about contemporary work and organisations. He believes that art can convey ideas better than other forms of communication.One of my favourite pieces of his is his piece ‘Create or die!’ which served as the inspiration for one of the final Innovation Month 2014 activities, the Uncomfortable Ideas speaker series event ‘Create or Decline: Can you be an effective public servant...
Developments and articles of interest from the last two weeks: In this piece Klaus-Peter Speidel gives some tips on how to do intelligent crowd-sourcing of ideas. "There is no intelligent crowd per se. Different problems and needs call for different crowds. Rather than trying to engage as many people as possible, intelligent crowdsourcing includes a phase where people with need-relevant expertise are identified."[1. This quote is not covered by the Creative Commons licence or Commonwealth...
One of the issues faced in helping coordinate a national Public Sector Innovation Network is that my colleague Rob and I are located in Canberra. Sure there are a lot of public servants here, but certainly not all of them. Getting a good sense of what’s going on in the rest of the country can be difficult.That’s why, in addition to setting up Innovation Chapters in other cities, we supported the GovCamp Innovation Dialogues as part of Innovation Month 2015. But what were they about? What did...