The public sector already supports innovation by firms and independent laboratories or universities. So why does it find it so hard to innovate itself, and how can it improve performance?
This was the key question posed by Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of Nesta (the UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) during a visit to the OECD this week.
Drawing on his own experience of government and ongoing research at Nesta, Geoff spoke on the subject of making the public sector more innovative in front of an audience of OECD contacts and member state Ambassadors, as well as participating in the Advisory Group on the Observatory of Public Sector Innovation. He also had a separate session on the OECD’s strategic foresight capabilities.
In a day full of new ideas and insights, participants shared ideas and experiences of where the barriers lie to designing and implementing policies that lead to better outcomes for people – health, wealth and wellbeing. They discussed a number of ground-breaking OECD projects, including on skills, intangibles, systemic change, and new approaches to economic challenges, which offer new perspectives on these questions.
The visit provided a great opportunity to build stronger links between cutting-edge thinking in the UK and internationally around innovation, and was a reminder of all the innovative thinking that is at the heart of the OECD’s mission.