This is the States of Change newsletter. We help people in government and beyond to become more experimental in their work and more participatory in their approach so they can respond wisely to the challenges of our era. It’s not too late to turn back and unsubscribe or subscribe if you’re new.


A hello from Jesper and I. Busy, but not so busy that we’ve forgotten to round up interesting links for you! If you’ve had a summer, I hope it’s been a good one. A quick thanks to Gina, Penny, Toby, and Sabine for our session at the Creative Bureaucracy festival on re-thinking measurement. I’ll share some of their thoughtful comments in our next mail out.

Peace and love


A table of options including: vision, skills, incentives, resources and 'action plan'. All of them add up to a success, if you miss one, it ends in some sort of failure.

Managing complex change

Other than the kerning and spacing issues (!!) I thought this visual was a potentially handy set of components of what managing complex change may look like. Is it all there? I’m not sure. But the message I take is less that this is your exhaustive checklist, but more that lots of things have to come together at the same time. Suppose some call that luck. Maybe worth printing up and sticking on the wall if you're going through some complex changes yourself. Good luck.

Community noticeboard

"Imagine, for example, that a whole city could restructure itself around care. This is less whimsical and more practical than it sounds". Gabriella on what, and who, a city is for.

Also on care, this time, at scale! A strong essay on how infrastructure is the manifestation of care and collective action, and where we get that wrong (and right).

What evolution can teach us about innovation. Achieving breakthrough innovations isn’t chaotic, random, and unmanageable like most think. Instead, they can be systematically generated: create a variety of life-forms and add selection pressure to pick those that can best survive in a given environment.

Apparently it takes roughly 20 years to take something from the world of science and turn it into a technology. Maybe it would be less if they read the piece above.

Thanks Anna for sharing your research on how Public Innovation Labs can better embed their work in the ordinary activities of government.

Nesta have released a guide to running regulatory experiments.

"The whole point of cities is culture, not efficiency", Dan Hill on working with Brian Eno to bring a cultural voice into an increasingly technical space: urban planning. What might that look like for institutions?

Go rethink innovation. The State, Markets, and Society in Times of Upheaval. 24 Sept.


IIPP want two economic research fellows to help public organisations design and implement policy changes.

CPI in Australia are looking for a senior program manager and a senior associate to help them reimagine government.

The HIF are looking for an innovation manager to support their work on disability and older age inclusion.

Brink are hiring for four roles, in the UK and East Africa, from designers to community managers.

And get off your emails and *cough* virtually visit another city in the world, drive around and listen to whatever the local radio is playing (I wrote this newsletter while in Moscow).

If you’ve got something you’d like to share please send it my way!

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