Want to find some good examples of government innovation? Then look not just towards the highest echelons of government but rather to the frontline of public services. This is because closer proximity to service users leads to a greater visibility and understanding of what works, what doesn’t and what can be done differently.
The frontline is where young government professionals often begin their careers. They can also be found in innovation labs, behavioural insights teams and alternative finance units – all of which attract young policy professionals eager to be at the forefront of the evolution of government.
But it’s not all good news. The Centre for Public Impact’s global public impact survey has shown that younger civil servants feel less optimistic about their government’s ability to have the impact it sets out to achieve. This generation of public servants are also concerned about the scale of the challenges facing government, as well as the current tools and methods available to help policymakers achieve their aims.
Governments today are more interdependent than ever before. But globalisation doesn’t stop there. New technology has connected billions of people around the world in instant touch with each other, enabling them to share information and insight. And yet when it comes to public impact, such exchanges across borders do not yet exist. Few channels or forums have been established for communicating what works, what doesn’t, and why.
Of course, important differences exist between political systems. Each country has its own set of bespoke structures and environments. However, governments around the world also share many similarities that need to be leveraged. Emerging strains of thought across evidence-based, outcome-focused and human-centred policymaking and delivery principles transcend political jurisdictions and can be applied broadly.
Young public impact professionals are particularly interested in grasping early the trends that will shape government over the coming decades. Forums for sharing ideas and learning about how governments are approaching reform are critical.
This is why the Centre for Public Impact is launching its global Young Public Impact Leaders’ Network. The Network connects emerging public impact leaders with their peers around the world. Composed of independent chapters across the globe, this Network fosters the exchange of ideas and insights and seeks to inspire its members to strengthen the public impact of their organisations.
Young Policy Professionals, among the chapters in the Network, is based in London and we are proud to support them. We were delighted to participate at a recent event at the Institute for Government attended by more than 100 young policy professionals from think tanks, and across Whitehall – all committed to improving the public impact of their organisations.
During the evening we listened to a panel discussion with experts from media, think tanks and government spanning the coordination challenges of fighting modern slavery to spreading ‘agile’ project delivery methodology throughout the public service. Attendees were eager to ask questions on strategy implementation and civil service reform well past the scheduled end time with the conversation continuing on afterwards. The Young Public Impact Leaders’ Network will continue to co-convene speaker events and informal networking opportunities to provide an outlet for the great energy surrounding these topics among young policy professionals.
Everyone working in or with the public sector is mission driven. We want to help government alleviate suffering, support the most vulnerable and ensure equal opportunity for all. This is why public impact is particularly critical to young policy professionals. We want to be sure that our chosen career will achieve the public impact necessary to fulfil our intrinsic need to make a difference. Public impact is at the heart of what we do. The Network will help its members expand their networks and increase the impact they can have in their organisations.
Member organisations gain access to a global network of like-minded individuals, invitations to closed-door roundtables convened by the Centre for Public Impact and opportunities to tap into the Centre’s wider network.
Organisations who are part of the Young Public Impact Leaders’ Network may also publish commentary articles on the Centre’s website or be featured in a newsletter sent out to a global group of civil servants, policymakers and other public impact thinkers and practitioners.
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