What we do
We uncover emerging practice and identify what’s next, turn the new into the normal and provide trusted advice. We take a multi-level focus and our portfolio spans across individual, organisation, and system levels. We tailor our approach based on our partners’ contexts and needs.
The dimensions of our work include:
- Uncovering emerging practice and identify what’s next, including:
- Knowledge creation and learning enhancement
- Innovation and technology trend-spotting
- Empirics-led research
- Turning the new into the normal:
- Frameworks, skills, and methods diffusion
- Convening networks of innovators
- Global case study, tool, and community management
- Providing trusted advice
- Custom transformation strategies
- Methods, skills and tools
- Reviews and evaluation
Who we work with
Our partners are innovators everywhere: in government, academia, global NGOs and civil society, and industry. We connect with leaders and practitioners alike, based on their emergent needs and where we can best add value. Our partners are our collaborators; we take risks with them so that we can continue pushing the boundaries in this evolving area of research and practice. Are you ready to make change?
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- Discover our specific projects and see how we can work with you.
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Who we are
The Observatory for Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) is a global forum for public sector innovation. In a time of increasing complexity, rapidly changing demands and considerable fiscal pressures, governments need to understand, test and embed new ways of doing things.
OPSI works with governments to understand and encourage new approaches to address society’s complex problems by empowering public servants with new insights, knowledge, tools and connections to help them explore new possibilities.
We value curiosity, understanding of people’s needs, a systems perspective and openness to new opportunities. From our innovation specialists’ first-hand experience working in government, we know that an innovative public sector makes better policy, builds constructive partnerships and delivers better outcomes.
Since 2013, we have built our strong reputation on our expertise in global trends, sustainable development goals (SDGs), transformative technology impact, public sector innovation systems, and innovation skills, processes, and methods. Our team connects and convenes innovators world-wide and directly advises leaders of public sector innovation in OECD member countries and beyond.
Marco Daglio is the Deputy Head of the Open and Innovation Government Division and Head of OPSI, a flagship initiative of the OECD to support and advice governments in making the most of innovative approaches to transform their public sector. Previously, he was Head of Unit in charge of public service delivery and public engagement. His last edited study “Promoting Innovation in the Public Sector” looks at the combined role of regulations, budget mechanisms, human resource management and organizational change to create space for innovation in the public sector. From 2005 to 2009, Marco has worked on several policy analyst positions at the OECD on digital government, fight against corruption, access to information and open government. Marco is a volley enthusiast (less so after spraining his ankle) and Juventus supporter. He can be found on Twitter at @DaglioM
Alex Roberts is an Innovation Specialist and deputy head of OPSI. Alex leads the work on the Observatory’s studies of country public sector innovation systems, as well as contributing to the work on OPSI’s innovation facets model and on the innovation lifecycle. Alex has long had a passion for innovation and how government can do things differently (and hopefully better). Before joining the Observatory, Alex worked in the Australian Public Service where he was one of the lead authors of the report Empowering Change: Fostering Innovation in the Australian Public Service (2010), supported the APS 200 project on public sector innovation which led to the ‘APS Innovation Action Plan’ (2011), and helped set-up, run and wind-down DesignGov, an experimental public sector innovation lab (2012-2013). Outside of work, Alex is interested in the Singularity, science fiction, trashy TV shows, and trundling about. Alex can be found on Twitter at @CaptainInnovate.
Kent Aitken is an Innovation Specialist with OPSI with a focus on individual, organizational, and international capacity-building. Kent brings expertise in public sector innovation, open government, citizen engagement, and digital government from his previous experience with the Government of Canada and Canadian public policy think tanks. In 2016-17 he was the Prime Ministers of Canada Fellow at Canada’s Public Policy Forum to advise on and research Governance in the Digital Age. He works with organizations that bridge the gaps between government and the academic, private, and social sectors, including as an advisor and contributor to public sector and civic good technology conferences, communities, and events. While public administration probably counts as a hobby as well, Kent also plays music, walks his dog, and multidisciplinarily nerds out. He’s on Twitter at @kentdaitken.
Jamie Berryhill is an Innovation Specialist at OPSI. His work includes surfacing and tracking innovation trends and conducting research on the intersection of innovation and digital government. Most recently, he co-authored a Blockchain guide and case studies for public servants. Prior to joining OECD, Jamie worked for the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as the Chief of Policy for the United States Chief Information Officer. His portfolio included restructuring technology governance in agencies, devising new funding mechanisms for tech modernisation, and providing transparency through open data and open source policies and approaches. Prior to OMB, Jamie worked for the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to provide the U.S. Congress with data-driven reviews of fraud and abuse in government programs.
Chiara Bleckenwegner works on mission-oriented innovation, innovation portfolios and the future of public sector employment at OPSI. She works with innovation labs, local and national governments to understand and implement innovation policy management. Prior to joining the Observatory, Chiara worked as a management consultant across Europe and South Africa. She focussed on people and digital transformations in the private sector and has experience delivering Future of Work strategies, user experience projects, organisation and process design, and technology implementations. She is passionate about mission-oriented and public value-driven transformation in the public sector. Chiara holds an MPA in Innovation, Public Policy and Public Value from the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at the University College London.
Heather Buisman is a Consultant with OPSI. Through stakeholder engagement, research, communications and outreach, she is working to strengthen the connections between OPSI and innovators around the world. Heather is passionate about fostering intergovernmental and interdepartmental collaboration to find innovative solutions to modern policy challenges. Prior to joining OPSI, she worked in various capacities within the Government of Canada, which included supporting the development of an innovation hub at Veterans Affairs Canada and promoting interdepartmental collaboration on diversity and inclusion. Heather studied International Affairs, specializing in Security and Defence Policy at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and Sciences Po Paris.
Angela Hanson is an Innovation Specialist at OPSI. She leads work around innovation methods, tools, and capacity-building. She is also the lead of the OPSI Toolkit Navigator, which guides public servants and policymakers toward resources relevant for their innovation portfolio and approach. Angela has been a public servant since she was born and has worked in multi-level administrations in the United States. Just prior to joining the OECD, Angela worked in the Office of Innovation at the City of Austin, Texas, where she focused on project-based capacity building, innovation challenges and prizes, Smart Cites ecosystem building, and innovative project teaming and resourcing. Prior to that, she served as the appointed Officer of Urban Forestry and Green Infrastructure for Austin, where she led multi-disciplinary teams for policy and strategic planning efforts. She has a passion for urban systems, narrative-based research and interventions, mountains, natural co-evolution, and psychogeography. She can be found on Twitter at @CivicCatalyst.
James Mohun is a Consultant at OPSI. He is currently working on an OPSI Innovation Primer focused on Rules as Code. James previously worked in the Australian Public Service, most recently with the Digital Transformation Agency on a program to develop life event-based services. He is interested by the intersection of technology, political systems and public policy, and enjoys grappling with big ideas. James works part-time with OPSI while completing his Master of Public Policy (Politics) at Sciences Po, Paris, where he is an Emile Boutmy Scholar. He completed his undergraduate degree in International and Global Studies at the University of Sydney in 2016. James can be found on LinkedIn.
Sam Nutt is a Consultant at OPSI. He primarily works on the Global Innovation Trends Report, researching and tracking case studies highlighting new public sector innovations from around the world. Before joining OPSI, Sam interned in the Public Affairs and Communications Directorate in the OECD, helping connect civil society and parliamentary stakeholders with the OECD’s policy work. He has a particular interest in civic tech and democracy-focused innovations, stemming from his Traineeship in the European Commission’s DG International Development and Cooperation (DEVCO) in civil society policy, as well as a year spent working in British politics for a member of Parliament and on a youth campaign. He studied Global Politics at the London School of Economics (LSE) and Geography at Durham University. Sam is a fan of anti-disciplinary thinking, from the use of big data in sports to systems theories in social sciences. He can be found on Twitter at @SamANutt.
Josh Polchar is a strategic foresight practitioner and facilitation and engagement designer at OPSI. With experience working with dozens of governments and international organisations, he designs and delivers interventions and processes to build anticipatory capacity in a range of settings. Josh is an alumnus and former facilitator of the Oxford Scenarios Programme as well as a lecturer on the Disrupted Futures course at EM Lyon business school. Josh has co-authored works on strategic foresight for policy making in a range of publications. Prior to joining OPSI, he worked in the Office of the Secretary General at the OECD, which he joined from The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. Josh holds an MSc in Political Science from the University of Amsterdam. His Twitter profile is @jpolchar.
Dr. Piret Tõnurist leads the work on systems thinking, innovation measurement and anticipatory governance at OPSI. She coordinates OPSI’s work on transformative innovations, innovation theory development and works directly with OECD member countries on their complex problems. Piret holds a research fellowship at the Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance, TalTech and she conducts research on a variety of topics such as innovation labs, co-production, digitalisation, machine-to-machine coordination and innovation policy management. She has previously advised the Parliament of Estonia and worked as a performance auditor for the State Audit Office in the field of innovation and entrepreneurial policy. She is an active proponent of purpose-driven change in the public sector and has collaborated with different governments, state-owned enterprises and innovation labs across the world. Piret holds a PhD and MA from TalTech in technology governance and MSc from KU Leuven in policy evaluation. She can be found on Twitter at @PiretTonurist.