Anticipatory Innovation Governance: 2021 Call for Innovations on Cross-Border Collaboration

The Observatory for Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) is a global forum for public sector innovation led by the OECD. OPSI supports policymakers with insights, knowledge, tools, and connections to adopt innovative policy practices to respond to complex societal challenges.

The OECD-OPSI has recently published a report to recommend policymakers to adopt Anticipatory Innovation Governance—defined as the broad-based capacity to actively explore possibilities, experiment, and continuously learn as part of a broader governance system.

Considering complex societal challenges, national and regional governance approaches increasingly require reactivity and proactivity in anticipating and preparing before a crisis has manifested. Innovation governance tools such as system thinking and foresight can be used to increase governance flexibility and possible policy decisions in light of unanticipated events and emerging trends. Governments face many challenges in policymaking today. These are connected to factors such as uncertainty, the pace of change, technological change, multi-causality, ad hoc approaches and short-termism, and overall risk avoidance.

Innovation governance must have space for:

  • effective and efficient products and services (enhancement-oriented innovation),
  • directed innovation to solve societal challenges (mission-oriented innovation),
  • undirected entrepreneurial discovery (adaptive innovation).

Graph of balance approach to innovation governance

Figure 1. A balanced Approach to Innovation Governance. Source: OECD-OPSI Anticipatory Innovation Governance

Innovation governance must also find the right balance between adaptation and anticipation to be resilient and reactive to emerging issues but also between mission and anticipation to not be locked in into a specific problem. To do so, innovation governance must rely on a set of formal and informal institutions empowering human agencies.

Explanatory overview of anticipatory innovation governance

Figure 2. Anticipatory Innovation Governance. Source: OECD-OPSI Anticipatory Innovation Governance

Announcement: 2021 Call for Innovations on Cross-Border Collaboration (deadline 29 April 2021)

The OECD-OPSI and the MBRCGI have launched the 2021 Call for Innovations in government focused on innovative cross-border collaboration. The selected good practices on cross-border collaboration will have the opportunity to be featured in OECD-OPSI reports, webinars, and conferences, and participate in international workshops.

Read online the OECD-OPSI report on Anticipatory Innovation Governance

Apply to the Call for Innovations on Cross-Border Collaboration (deadline 29 April 2021)

Image credit: Photo by Scott Webb from Pexels