Creating the Agenda

A Report from the 2014 Public Sector for the Future Summit

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Table of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Summary


Leaders in the public sector have worked hard to respond to the major structural and social challenges of this new era. Facing technological, societal, and political disruptions, they have developed new operating models such as shared services, lean business processes, and cross-jurisdiction collaboration that have made great headway in driving government efficiency.

Yet more ideas and strategies are needed. Changes in the economy, demographics, technology, legislation, and more are forcing leaders to be more creative and collaborative, and to adapt and innovate. They must not only to do more with less, but also build public trust and value.

We all know the problem – government models of the past are not sustainable. Major changes and creative solutions are necessary to maintain and improve our standard of living. Several questions guide these changes: What does the public sector of the future look like? How can policy be more responsive to societal needs and citizen demands? Where can new business and technological models enable improved delivery? What type of leadership is needed for sustained progress?

To address these questions and create an agenda for change, Leadership for a Networked World, the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, and Accenture convened public sector leaders for The 2014 Public Sector for the Future Summit: Creating the Agenda. This first annual Summit, held at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., brought together top practitioners, industry luminaries, and Harvard faculty, fellows, and researchers to explore these topics.

During the Summit leaders from across the country and abroad studied new strategies to adopt and implement near-term innovations, and learned about long-term solutions and the leadership strategies needed to deliver a more efficient, effective, and responsive government.

Participants explored “Uptake” innovations and business models: those proven to increase effectiveness and efficiency, yet require robust leadership to implement. They also grappled with “Edge” innovations and business models, which, though still under development, seem poised to deliver a dramatic increase in public value.



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Leadership for a Networked World’s applied research, student innovation challenge, and on-campus summit programs are an initiative of Dr. Antonio M. Oftelie, Innovation Fellow at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH), part of the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. TECH is a hub for students, faculty, alumni, and government and industry leaders to learn together, collaborate, and innovate. LNW accelerates these efforts by connecting leaders across sectors and developing cutting-edge thought leadership on innovation and organizational transformation.

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