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For a few days in November, we’re chuffed to be hosting a gathering called ‘work in progress’. Sessions and conversations for public innovators to share their unfinished and in-progress work and co-create new opportunities to take it further. Our theme running through the week is all about ‘institutional innovation’. What it looks like, why we need it and what it might take to make it happen.

Today's mail out is a run through of some of what we have coming up, with a few more sessions to be announced. We are humbled and amazed at the help we’ve received bringing this together from our hosts and also to Sitra Lab for powering this into being. Thank you. 

Browse the sessions, and share with friends who you think might enjoy them too.

All the best

James and Jesper.


Tuesday 9 November

Keynote: Why institutional innovation?
Our institutions and ways of working need to transform to respond effectively to the current challenges and context. But how? Join Pia Andrews, public service transformer, formerly at the Australian and Canadian Government and Geoff Mulgan, Professor at UCL + Ex-Nesta, who will set the scene on the urgency and importance of public innovation, a reminder of the mission. Sign up for the call with Pia and Geoff.


How to spend it: public spending as a public service. Governments spend trillions each year. That is serious market and even society shaping power. We ask: are they spending it well? Join Sascha Haselmayer New America fellow alongside Dom Campbell founder of FutureGov to discuss the alternative ways that procurement could power a paradigm shift in responding to our social issues. Sign up for the call with Sascha and Dom


Innovation transformed by action research. Can learning journeys, communities of practice, and participatory action research transform how public sector practitioners confront complexity? Join Mumbi Maina, Maggie Low, Lily Raphael, Kyla Pascal, and Lindsay Cole of the ‘Transforming Cities from Within’ facilitation team to discuss what they have learnt from their action research with a cohort of innovators. Sign up for the call with Mumbi, Maggie, Lily, Kyla and Lindsay.


An education: for the very modern public servant. The problems that face governments the world over have shifted, and so too, the approach and skills needed to respond to them. What does the curriculum of the modern public servant look like? With Martin Stewart-Weeks and Beth Noveck (and other tbc) on modern schools of government. Sign up to the call with Martin and Beth.

Wednesday 10 November

Creating a learning organisation. Most institutions feel disjointed or siloed, slow, sometimes ponderous, maybe not even fit for purpose. But what if instead they felt more like a free-flowing network of insight and action? Join Gina Lucarelli and Bas Leurs share their work to create the largest network of labs from inside the UNDP; the Accelerator Labs. They share how they have been doing, what seems to have worked and where things have got tough. Sign up to the call with Gina and Bas.


Public innovation lab futures. What if we’ve not yet reached the full potential of what labs can do, what if there’s untapped potential that’s going to waste, what would that look like? Join Lindsay Cole from the City of Vancouver’s Solutions Lab and Mathias Bejean, Associate Professor at IAE Gustave Eiffel Management School as they discuss what the value and potential of labs are in an era that’s past ‘peak labs’. Specially organised by Stéphane Vincent from La 27e Région for France’s exciting Public Innovation month. Sign up for the call with Lindsay, Mathias and Stéphane.


Thriving social R&D ecosystems. We’re used to breakthroughs in science. You’re reading this on one. But what if we invested in social R&D as much as we did in technology? Chris Vanstone of TACSI and Jason Pearman from the Canadian Government have both been working to nurture and encourage burgeoning scenes of social R&D, they tell us how that’s been going, what's been working, and what's hit a wall. Sign up for the call with Chris and Jason.

Thursday 11 November

 Innovating public policy. Our practices of innovation and development are evolving rapidly while our models of policy and governance seem to stay unaltered. For innovations in policy and public design the future is already here, it’s just very unevenly distributed. Are there approaches to learn from to make public policy more adept to challenges we are facing? With Mikko Annala from Demos Helsinki and other guests to be announced. Sign up for the call with Mikko.

To be announced...

We’ve also got sessions with Giulio Quaggioto and guests on transforming organizations from within in Deep innovation: shining a light on the dark matter. As well as a closing session to wrap up the week; Making sense of institutional innovation with a special guest and Jesper in conversation. Details sent to you as soon as we have them.

And finally, you all seemed to love the photos of people selling mirrors, this is the weird thing I saw on the internet this week. Lucky dip.

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