After 3 years of fascinating topics, panellists, and insights, @CPI_foundation & @ANZSOG are closing the #ReimaginingGovernment webinar series. Learn why and explore key lessons from this partnership.Share article
@CPI_foundation believe the same dedication should be given to endings as beginnings, and are demonstrating this through the thoughtful close of the #ReimaginingGovernment webinar series.Share article
One door closes, another opens 🚪 While the @ANZSOG & @CPI_foundation #ReimaginingGovernment webinar series is no longer, there's a passionate community looking to continue the conversation.Share article
Partnering for Learning
We put our vision for government into practice through learning partner projects that align with our values and help reimagine government so that it works for everyone.
Back in March 2020, the world looked and felt very different. COVID-19 and lockdowns were in full force, and uncertainty, isolation, and a lack of connection were taking their toll on many of us. At the same time, this new environment provoked many of us to start imagining what better government might look like in a post-COVID world.
It was in this context that the Centre for Public Impact Australia New Zealand (CPI ANZ) and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) first came together to discuss the possibility of a webinar series that would connect and inspire people around how we might reimagine government so it works better for everyone. We wanted to create space for the conversations you don’t often get to have in an average workday - conversations that introduced new perspectives, pushed and challenged thinking, and are sometimes radical.
Enter the CPI x ANZSOG Reimagining Government series. What started as a cluster of several webinars hosted over two months in 2020, evolved over the years to become a quarterly webinar series, information hub, and Community of Practice (CoP) now with 800+ members.
"We wanted to create space for the conversations you don’t often get to have in an average workday - conversations that introduced new perspectives, pushed and challenged thinking, and are sometimes radical. "
Each webinar centred around fascinating topics (including shared power, learning from First Nations, and storytelling) and included three to four panellists who would present their work, speak to their experience, and answer questions. We’ve been so lucky to hear from incredible people from government and beyond, including Peter Shergold, Angie Tangaere, Nyadol Nyuon, Simon Kent, Sandra Parker, and many more. Inlistening to feedback, we've been able to improve the series and see participants’ ratings remain steadily high over time:
Going where the energy is
However, since first establishing the series during the uncertain days of the initial COVID-19 lockdowns, the world has changed. As our societies have opened up again, we’ve seen declining engagement - with registration, attendance, and views of the webinar recordings all decreasing:
Therefore, as our respective work to reimagine government continues, both ANZSOG and CPI have decided now is the right time to close the webinar series. Stewarding Loss advocates for the same dedication to be given to endings as beginnings, and see closure as a normal part of healthy organisations. We, like them, believe that endings that are responsible, intelligent, and compassionate, are positive steps for growth. So while it is a difficult decision to leave the webinar series behind, we’re excited to go where the energy is and focus on fostering the Community of Practice.
We’ve seen a big increase in membership and activity in the CoP since around mid-September 2022. It was also around this time that there was an increase in members from around the world joining. This could be due to two reasons:
We mentioned the CoP in a blog, and
We started to put more intentionality and energy towards the management of this community.
So, while this has been a difficult decision - the webinars have been a source of inspiration, challenge, learning, and insight for all of us - we’re also so excited to now have more energy to put towards fostering this unique and increasingly dynamic community of people from all around the world who are curious, interested, or passionate about reimagining government.
Key takeaways from the webinar series
As we draw the webinar series and this iteration of our partnership to a close, we’d like to share some key lessons we’ve learned along the way:
Listen, adapt, and learn from feedback: Webinar feedback from attendees and panellists was very influential in the changes we made in the series over time. This included taking on suggestions for future topics and speakers, introducing ‘Information Hubs’ for each webinar topic, and adapting the webinar format over time - including removing breakout sessions and changing how the audience engages in Q&A with panellists.
Work in the open and be transparent: A key theme throughout the series was the importance of government being more transparent, and it felt important to both organisations that we work “out in the open'' together and stay transparent with our audience and one another. We did this by using shared Miro boards and google docs, regular meetings and catch-ups, and frequent evaluations to take stock and apply learnings. In fact, it was this principle that led to publishing this blog, sharing the data, and being honest about ending the series.
Follow the energy: While it didn’t feel great to see a decline in webinar attendance in 2022, we are very pleased to see the CoP starting to flourish. Therefore, we’re choosing to follow this signal and consciously put more effort towards this community. We’re excited to be more intentional with this community and create a space that can help support their work towards reimagining government all over the world.
Join the community
The CoP is becoming a community where not only can we network and make new connections, but we can ask questions, have conversations that challenge each other (and ourselves), share ideas, look for help, or just share a funny meme. We feel it’s rare for such a unique community of people passionate about this topic to exist, and we’re excited to see where it will go by taking a more intentional and collaborative path forward.
So, if you’ve read this far, and are still not a member of our Reimagining Government CoP on Slack… what are you waiting for? We welcome anyone who, like us, thinks we can reimagine government so that it works better for all people. Join the Reimagining Government Community of Practice. And, be sure to watch this space for more exciting collaborations from CPI ANZ and ANZSOG in the future!
Join our community
We’re continuing to foster and grow our Reimagining Government Community of Practice, a space where members can dive deeper into reimagining government, connect with others, and attend exclusive events and workshops.