Skip to content
CPI in the news Article February 2nd, 2020
Legitimacy • Innovation

Prospect: Good ideas for government will come from unexpected places

Article highlights

.@NadineMCSmith writes for @prospect_uk about how government should increasingly look to citizens for answers to what's next for gov

Share article

"Much can be gained when govs create cultures that allow public servants to listen & learn from failure as much as success" - @NadineMCSmith

Share article

"In the future, the ideas we export from the UK, therefore, may very well come from our citizens" - @NadineMCSmith on UK #softpower

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.

Partner with us


Bridget Nurre Jennions, Centre for Public Impact

+44 7387 522788



Prospect: Good ideas for government will come from unexpected places

Citizens' ideas, as well as their involvement and support throughout the policymaking process and beyond the electoral cycles, matter

Originally published by Prospect Magazine.


In the UK, innovators, entrepreneurs and policy wonks alike love to tweak and tinker with our often unfathomable system of government to find new answers to complex challenges. Ideas for government is a very competitive field. Indeed Dominic Cummings, Chief Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, started the New Year with a call out for ‘data scientists, project managers, policy experts [and] assorted weirdos' to enter Number 10 to help develop new solutions to the complex problems facing the country.

It seems like we are now entering an era where good ideas can come from anywhere and the public seems ready for it too. The types of ideas the UK will become best known for in the future, therefore, may well be those that come from unexpected places and ordinary people. And as we involve more people from across the country in generating new ideas, it is important not to just be fixated on or seduced by the first ideas that come but as much on how they can evolve, develop and improve over time.


Civil servants are themselves pushing an agenda across government here in the UK to be more citizen-focused. Many today are learning about ‘systems leadership' and ‘human-centred design', bringing members of the public into the decision-making process and listening at a much deeper level using, for example, ethnographic methods. Much can be gained when governments create and sustain cultures that allow public servants to listen and learn from failures as much as successes—what we at the Centre for Public Impact (CPI) call ‘failing forward.'


Read the full article in Prospect Magazine.


About the Centre for Public Impact

The Centre for Public Impact is a not-for-profit founded by Boston Consulting Group. Believing that governments can and want to do better for people, we work side-by-side with governments—and all those who help them—to reimagine government, and turn ideas into action, to bring about better outcomes for everyone. We champion public servants and other changemakers who are leading this charge and develop the tools and resources they need, like our Public Impact Fundamentals, so we can build the future of government together.

Share this article: