Creating the government of the future

Uncovering the building blocks of change to become more anticipatory, human-centered, and resilient

Learn how governments can use the building blocks of change to design a more anticipatory, prepared, and resilient future.

An inflection point

THIS IS a big moment in the evolution of government. The year 2020 will be remembered for many things—the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic downturn, social and political unrest, and a contentious US presidential election, to name a few. But the future may also look back at 2020 as a year when governments at all levels reached an inflection point—when driving forces remaking our world prompted long-awaited changes to the way government serves its citizens.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated—in some cases, by years—the advance of the future of government. By necessity, government’s response to the pandemic resulted in rapid change of the sort generally not seen in the public sector. From telehealth to telework, virtual courts to virtual education, agile regulation to rapid digitization—rarely in modern history have we seen so many large-scale experiments in government rolled out so quickly and at such a massive scale.

But COVID-19 isn’t the only force driving change in government. Other forces include the exponential pace of technological advancement, rising citizen expectations for greater transparency, the erosion of trust in government and other institutions, and the need to meet daunting, complex challenges such as climate change, massive demographic shifts, and ameliorating the friction caused by a fundamental restructuring of the economy and business. The status quo is simply unsustainable. Government—an institution designed to resist rapid change—now faces a combination of forces that seem to demand fundamental changes to how it operates, how it serves citizens, how it manages its workforce, and even how policy gets made. Today’s environment demands governments take new action in new ways.

This study examines the forces of change driving government transformation, the tools of that transformation, and future scenarios of what is possible.

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