Doug Ford’s Digital Dilemma

A decade ago as a Presidential candidate, then-Senator Obama was asked how he intended to pay for his signature promise of expanding health care coverage to all Americans. A frequent response was to invoke new technologies and the digitization of healthcare records as a source of significant savings. Such is the contrast between campaigning and...

EyeCues: Bot armies in public consultations

Automated software applications (“bots”) have been weaponized to unduly sway public opinion and online government consultations. A good defence starts with knowing the mischief each type of bot can get up to. Not all bots are bad. Many Internet-enabled services rely on them. Some bots can fight the good fight by improving political transparency. Knowing...

How can government make the most of AI without threatening rights?

Governments everywhere are announcing new strategies for artificial intelligence. From France, which has pledged $1.85billion in funding for research in the field, to Canada, which plans to cultivate a batch of AI specialists in its universities, it’s clear political leaders see AI as an area they need to get good at fast. As well as being an economic...

West spends billions on research, but Asian innovators beat them to market

The US and other Western governments are sinking more money into research but are producing less than half as many patents as South Korea for the same investment, according to a report. This is due to the US, UK and EU countries’ inability to take new ideas to market, said the 2018 Innovation Arms Race report . As a result,...

For government innovation to take off, it needs to break out of the lab

A single team or lab could never create the volume of ideas needed to make hundreds of small improvements in all aspects of a complex organisation. That became obvious to me while working for the New Zealand Post. I was in the Total Quality Service team, which had a year to develop comprehensive strategies to...

Why government disaster recovery shouldn’t be daunting

I was hosting a meeting recently when I received an urgent call. “Mr. Kratz, this is ADT Security. An alarm has been triggered at your home and we are dispatching the fire department immediately.”  Luckily, I knew there were contractors working at the house and after quickly confirming that the house wasn’t ablaze, I thanked...

Digital Reinvention addresses citizens expectation

Citizens are embracing technology as it rapidly changes. The experience that they are receiving from this adoption has created an expectation that they are looking for their government to meet. This demand from citizens is pushing governments to create personalized experiences for services similar to what citizens are getting through traditional means like shopping online....

A.I. and Government

Cultivating more intelligent government has long been a hallmark of public sector reform, as more agile and learning-based forms of governance are essential to innovation. The rise of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is an extension of this logic – albeit with one important difference. In place of human ingenuity, the machines take charge. Well, perhaps not...

Public sector innovation buzzwords: translating jargon into plain English

Innovation labs and units have become so fashionable in the public sector that the question “Have we reached peak lab?” has become a cliché. From MindLab’s ideation pod to Louisville’s digital badges , the culture of innovation is spreading. But despite their popularity, innovators have to admit one failing: they are simply not good at defining what it is...

In Search of Innovation

Today’s global and local environments require public servants at all levels of government to explore and undertake innovative and even transformative changes. The desire and in some cases the demand for innovation is prevalent in the discourse of duly elected politicians, their senior public sector leaders and in many cases from citizens themselves. The desire...