If there’s one thing that I can promise about the year 2020 – and given the past few months of unpredictability, it will probably be only one thing – it is that there is going to be a LOT said about this year. We’ve all experienced a big shock that has upturned our lives and there’s certainly a lot to talk about.
A big part of these conversations will be to do with governments, their role, what they did well, what they might have done less well, where they may have failed, and what needs to occur in the future. Already through our sensemaking initiative we’re starting to see and collect many different conversations taking place.
This is important and needed of course. Governments need to think through the events of this year and understand the implications, and there’s no short-cut to processing and analyzing them.
However, in all of this there is a risk of repeating conversations in different places and at different times, rather than building on and maturing the dialogue. There’s also a risk of there being some excellent conversations that people miss out on, because there’s just so much going on and being said.
So how can we help make sure that the pertinent points of different conversations are captured and made accessible to others? How can we link different events that are bringing people together, to make it easier to learn from each other?
To assist with this challenge, we are forming the ‘2020 After Shock Dialogues Network’, a convening of global conversations and insights, joining together like-minded events.
We will do this by hosting a facilitated Dialogue Session with community convenors, and potentially participants, in the wake of events that bring people together. We will capture and disseminate the highlights and themes through our networks, while also looking for the common threads that flow through the entire network. In this way, we hope to build bridges across many conversations and help those who are trying to understand and create the future of government.
We also hope that this collection can serve as building blocks and starting points for those beginning work, or organizing events, related to COVID-19 specifically or the role of government in the current and rapidly changed and changing context. It will certainly be an important contributor to the conversations we will have at Government After Shock on November 17-18.
To join the Network, a like-minded event with some relevance to the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis and its impact on government and its role, simply agrees to hold a facilitated Dialogue Session. We are excited that a number of like-minded events have already committed to joining this network including:
- Centre for Public Impact / ANZSOG ‘Reimagining Government’ series (21 May-30 July, recordings of webinars available on the website)
- States of Change ‘Learning Festival’ (1-19 June, recordings of sessions available on the festival website)
- UNDP NextGen Gov Online Summit ‘Governing at an Age of Long Emergencies’ (22 June)
- RiConfigure ‘Democratizing Innovation: A Virtual Dialogue Event’ (6-10 July)
- Creative Bureaucracy Festival (28 September-2 October)
We hope that the Network will help those holding events to reflect upon how they want their event to feed into others, and also help other events and participants to build upon what has already been discussed.
This is a bit of an experiment on our part but we think it is an important and needed step. We would like to give a huge thanks to the States of Change team for being our first test subjects in testing out the approach – we’ll have more to share on that next week.
If you would like to be part of the Network, please get in touch – and please share this with anyone whom you think might as well.