Who we worked with
Public sector representatives
What we did together
A 1-day unconference
Innovation and collaboration are two essential ingredients to promote change in government. We are passionate about empowering government agencies to create positive impact. A lot of our mahi is centered around this – from our annual GovTech accelerator, to our work with government agencies in Aotearoa and internationally.
To further strengthen the government innovation ecosystem and to foster the exchange of ideas, we set out to create an event to bring together innovators to share, challenge, learn from and take action with like minded people.
“I value the opportunity to be part of conversations that bring together so many different voices and perspectives. I also enjoyed the structure of the day and the sessions.”
How we did it
We didn’t want to just create a traditional conference format where attendees sit down and listen to a line up of speakers throughout the day. For this reason, we decided to create an “un-conference”, and put the participants in the driving seat.
What is an unconference? An unconference is basically a conference without predefined topics. There is a high level structure and theme, but participants’ interest dictates the topic selection and agenda.
Prior to the event, attendees voted on the topics they wanted to highlight during the day – this led to a selection of 15 topics. Topics included: collaboration across the public service, community-led Innovation, open data, Māori crown relationships and role of technology, to name a few.
The day was broken down in rounds, to encourage fast-paced discussions focused around one key question “what action could ‘I’ (the participant) take to improve public sector innovation?”.
At the end of each session each group had the opportunity to present back the learnings and any actions that had been committed to.
We were also lucky enough to have Helmut Modlik (CEO at Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira) give a keynote address that challenged the audience to design public services that are truly universal.
To wrap up the day we concluded with a showcase of examples of great public sector innovation and held an open group discussion to reflect on the learnings of the day.
Greater collaboration results in more successful public sector innovation outcomes. This is the key principle we kept in mind when designing the Innovation Exchange – we wanted to create more opportunities for like minded public sector innovators across Wellington’s ecosystem to collaborate.
The Government Innovation Exchange was attended by 150+ public sector representatives. The insights and learnings from the day are summarised in the high-level illustration below and they have been a rich source of information that will inform our efforts to further connect the ecosystem.
The participants appreciated the opportunity to get out of their BAU and connect with key players in Government Innovation in Wellington. They also valued the opportunity of being put in the driving seat and to influence discussion topics. The structure of the unconference was successful in fostering a productive exchange of skills and learnings.