Public Sector Innovation – Research Journey

Good Practices from Scandinavia

The Baltic Sea Region hosts some internationally recognised cases and tools fostering public sector innovation. The Swedish public administration is a front-runner in e-government. The former Danish intra-ministerial innovation lab fostering citizen-centred policy-making approaches has spawned imitations all over the globe. Regional and national innovation funding authorities in Finland and Sweden tested successfully new competitive procurement methods. Local authorities in Northern Europe are experimenting with new working models to create time slots for inspiration and outside the box thinking among their employees.

Incentives for Public Sector Innovation in Germany

Why do the Nordic countries innovate their public sectors so successfully? What can Germany learn? These are the initial questions of the joint research journey through Sweden, Finland and Denmark by the initiative Politics for Tomorrow and the Forum Northern European Politics in May and June 2018. During our research journey we aim to find new sources of inspiration, best practices and dialogue partners on how to innovate with and for the German public sector.

In more than a dozen of expert interviews, Christin Skiera (FOR:N) and Caroline Paulick-Thiel (Politics for Tomorrow) will explore the Public Innovation landscape. Among others, we are visiting the National Centre for Public Sector Innovation in Copenhagen, collecting with its Innovation Barometer the first data-set regarding public sector innovation in Denmark. Another stop at the journey will be made at VINNOVA – Sweden`s innovation agency – and at Aalto University in Finland, whose research and guidance on Design for Government provides human-centred design research for government and administration.

Sharing Exploration and Learning

Articles about innovation pioneers and new approaches will be published on the Medium Blog Öffentliches Gestalten (Public Design), initiated by Politics for Tomorrow.

Selected instruments and processes of good practice will be discussed in a workshop in autumn 2018 with high-level representatives of our network including innovation agents from the German federal institutions, substate ministries and agencies, political and non-profit foundations, academic institutions and civic federations. The visited organizations and experts are invited to participate in the workshop and are welcome to get involved in our network of innovation pioneers – sparking inspiration and action on innovative capacity building in the German public sector.

New trends and ideas will also inform the research project „Daring to Transform“ (Transformationen wagen), co-lead by Politics for Tomorrow together with the Research Center for Environmental Politics at Free University Berlin. The project seeks to develop a learning program that will enable the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and Federal Environment Agency and other public organizations and their employees to initiate and promote systemic change processes.

Photo: ©Wonderful Copenhagen, 2008