Reimagining Government: ANZSOG and the Centre for Public Impact’s free webinar series returns for 2021

Reimagining Government: ANZSOG and the Centre for Public Impact’s free webinar series returns for 2021
  • Published Date: 18 February 2021

The challenges of 2020 provided a once-in-a-generation opportunity to critically examine the strengths and weaknesses of 21st century governments and begin global conversations about the possible shape of a post-COVID public sector.

To help that conversation, ANZSOG and the Centre for Public Impact hosted Reimagining Government, a series of seven webinars that discussed government through the ‘enablement paradigm’ – the idea that governments should focus on creating conditions that lead to good outcomes for society, rather than just managing or controlling.

The seven interactive webinars brought together expert panellists to discuss a range of topics such as: thinking in systems, leading with humility, putting relationships first and sharing power.

Reimagining Government attracted global attention, with the OECD’s Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) using it to help inform discussions at its November 2020 dialogue Government After Shock.

ANZSOG and the CPI have announced that Reimagining Government will return in 2021 with a series of four webinars. 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.

ANZSOG Dean and CEO Professor Ken Smith said public service leaders in Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand have been working incredibly hard over the last year, dealing with the health, social and economic crises of COVID-19.

“This makes it even more important to take a chance to stop and think about what kind of approach to government administration we want to emerge from the crisis, and reflect on what we want to hold on to and what we need to change.

“Reimagining Government will be another thought-provoking look at the big issues that shape government and how they have an impact on the day-to-day work of the public sector.”

Adrian Brown, CEO of Centre for Public Impact, said that the 2021 series would build on the 2020 discussions and dive more deeply into some of the topics that consistently appeared as being central to a renewed vision for government.

"The success of last year's Reimagining Government seminar series highlighted two important facts to me. Firstly, there was a real appetite, despite how busy everyone was, to reflect on the bigger questions about how government can think and act differently,” he said.

“Secondly, because this new vision for government is only just emerging it is best explored through continued conversation and mutual learning which is why I'm so excited that the Reimagining Government series is returning in 2021.

“The new series gives us a chance to pick up the conversation where we left off, and to go deeper on some of the topics that have proven to be particularly prescient. I'm really looking forward to taking part."

The series will continue to explore a vision of government founded on three core beliefs:

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

The first webinar takes place on 16 March – on the theme of Failing Forward, and will bring together Andrea Mirviss, the CPI’s Program Manager, North America; Tina Walha, Director of Innovation and Performance at the City of Seattle; and Peter Shergold, former Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister of Cabinet. It will be hosted by ANZSOG’s Dr Subho Banerjee.

Dates and participants for the final three sessions will be confirmed later in the year.

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.

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