Agility has become a common term when it comes to today's discourse on digitalization and government transformation. There is a widely held view that governmental bureaucracy with its laws, regulations, institutions, and `red tape' is unable to keep up with a rapidly changing and digitizing society. It is now often claimed that the solution is for governments to become agile. Along these lines, the resulting discourse on `agile government' posits that government is not agile now, but it could be, and if it were agile then government would be more e?ective, adaptive, and, thus, normatively better. We argue that while agility can represent a useful paradigm in some contexts, it is often applied inappropriately in the governmental context due to a lack of understanding about what `agile' is, and what it is not.
The GovLab and Nesta’s Centre for Collective Intelligence Design conducted three dozen interviews with public officials, platform creators and community managers to gather hard evidence of what does and does not work when using collective intelligence. We studied 30 examples from around the world in order to identify what is involved in using and institutionalising collective intelligence successfully. Drawing on this body of original research, we explain how to make collective intelligence an efficient mechanism for improving governance. Throughout the research report and case studies we illustrate how collective intelligence can be used to solve different kinds of problems, and can involve the use of different methods and tools. The cases span a wide range of topic areas from sustainability to transportation and include local, regional, national and international perspectives from six continents. The tools include everything from simple mobile applications for opinion gathering to more complex data analysis tools that use artificial intelligence. The methods range from completely digital consultations to in-person deliberations, and everything in between. Ten of the case studies cover projects that have attained institutionalisation, meaning that they have achieved longevity, survived a change in political administration or achieved success at scale.
In this time of great challenges, our democracies urgently need to produce citizens who can move from demanding change to making it. But the skills for doing so are not innate, they are learned.
This twelve-part program trains participants in the equitable innovation skills needed to become more effective and legitimate changemakers.