Innovation Trends

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría with OECD & MBRCGI staff after launching the 2018 Global Trends report.


To further its mission and learn from leading-edge innovators, OPSI has partnered with the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation (MBRCGI) for the last two years to identify innovation trends by conducting global reviews of new ways in which governments are transforming their operations and improving the lives of their people.

Through extensive research research and an open Call for Innovations crowdsourcing exercises that have surfaced hundreds of innovation examples, the reviews surface key trends, challenges, and success factors in innovation today, as well as examples and case studies to illustrate them and recommendations to help support innovation. Each year, the work culminates in the publication of a key report at the World Government Summit in Dubai, the largest annual gathering in the world focused on shaping the future of governments through innovation. The Summit brings together over 130 countries and 4 000 people to discuss innovative ways to solve the challenges facing humanity.

By identifying and sharing trends and examples through these reviews, and by serving as a global innovation forum, OPSI and our partners at MBRCGI hope to inspire action, embed successes, reduce the impact of failure, and speed up the transformative process of innovation to deliver better outcomes for people.




Our 2018 report identified three key trends in government innovation, as well as 10 case studies to illustrate these trends. In particular, we found that governments are innovating to:

  • build and scale digital identity programmes that serve as a foundation for innovative services, while supporting people and businesses to express their unique identities and spur discussions of national identity in an increasingly borderless world;
  • embrace systems approaches and enablers to lead a paradigm shift in the way they provide services, by innovating to transform and re-align the underlying processes and methods of the business of government in cross-cutting ways;
  • foster better conditions for inclusiveness and vulnerable populations, in order to address complex current and future problems, and to create a world in which no one is left behind and everyone has access to opportunities for a better life.

To read more about what we uncovered and to read the case studies, please check out the full report.


Our 2017 report identified six key trends in government innovation, as well as 10 case studies to illustrate these trends. In particular, these trends involve:

  • balancing and augmenting the comparative advantages of human and machine approaches for solutions that exceed the abilities of each of these alone;
  • finding new ways to zoom in or zoom out to scale government services for more impact and to identify new solutions at a scale not previously possible;
  • involving citizens as experts to provide new ideas and stimulate innovation among those most affected by its outcomes;
  • developing mass or personalised services that are user-centred, view citizens holistically, and recognise that individuals have unique wants and needs;
  • fostering the principles and cultures of experimental government to turn the public sector into a testbed for testing innovative ideas;
  • breaking the norms in the areas of government that manage human and financial resources, and which serve as the brains and lifeblood of public programmes.

To read more about what we uncovered and to read the case studies, please check out the full report.


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