Today, governments across the world are facing major social and environmental challenges — from climate change to COVID-19. Overcoming these will require that governments invest in mission oriented innovation. This is for many, a completely new practice, and so there is a pressing need for learning about how to do it.

We are living through such a momentous time of rapid transformation, the big question is: how will we enter the next era?

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Getting from the “what” to the “how” of mission-oriented innovation policy — a research proposal.

As we seek to make sense of the pandemic, many are pinning their hopes on an “entrepreneurial state” to champion innovation to solve the crisis. But it is one thing for governments to announce big investment plans, it is quite something else to convert them into innovations that will tackle the virus and rebuild the economy. In our haste for answers, how do we avoid the trap of short-term solutionism?

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Successive transformation plans have sought to inject dynamism into government. Last month, Dominic Cummings upped the ante with a call to recruit “assorted weirdos”. But will it be the answer?

Here’s a short review of the work the RSA did on digital citizen engagement in 2017 with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. For this project, Clare Devaney and I did research to understand more about the innovative ways that cities and regional governments are engaging with citizens to talk about inclusive growth. Below is a summary of digital and data-driven methods in cities were pionneering then to enable citizens to inform policy.

How an RSA programme blended action research and exploratory design methods to support the development of “impact entrepreneurs.”

There are some who can only see the future of work through the prism of automation. But from this vantage point, the discussion can often descend into robot panic…

For generations a job for life has been the norm. Today, while paid employment is still a reality for most, digital trends have sparked a revolution in how we work, and for some this means that work — and life — is more precarious…

In this blog series we are looking at how to be a public entrepreneur — a practitioner in government who wants to move fast and fix things. Here, we break down some thoughts on how to foster an entrepreneurial culture in government.

Rowan Conway

Head of Mission Oriented Innovation Network at UCL IIPP. Former Director of Innovation at the RSA, on Medium just me.

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