Government of the future

Is looking for (semi) public sector organisations and students for tomorrow’s issues

[EN-120712 Government_of_the_Future_juni_2012.docx]

New concepts for the future public sector

Looking for 12 organisations for the Think-tank “Government of the future”

16 (semi) public sector organisations, public enterprises, companies and organisations, working in the public sector who want to make a radical sustainability switch and who are in search of the new role of the government in this respect.

Saxion, jointly with several public and social organisations, is working on the development and application of radical new concepts for the public sector. Each of these organisations is – in one way or another – confronted with the need of a transition. To be able to cope with the transition, they decided to share each others’ knowledge and expertise. The challenges and issues with which other sectors are confronted will provide a new and refreshing view on why a transition in their own field is – at times – complex and difficult.

Saxion intends to combine this development power in the programme ‘Government of the future’. The Think-tank ‘Government of the future’ is the driving force behind this programme. It determines the social issues, frameworks and directions for a solution to innovate the public issues, and, on the basis thereof, a programme is developed. This programme is implemented by a mixed group of young professionals from participating companies and a selection of talented Saxion students who – in a research-focused ‘honours class’ – will formulate innovation, present practical building blocks to participating companies and will also ask counter-questions.

The ‘honours class’ will be organised as such that it will represent a separate Minor in the curriculum, and could serve as the basis for a graduation programme. Since we deem the professional participants of the participating companies as (co-)researchers, it is possible to present them with a certificate in this respect. The custom-made approach also results in the possibility for these professional participants, to view this programme as a training or education – and perhaps on the long term – use the research as part of their (professional) masters degree.

Changes in the public domain

Society is undergoing substantial changes , and throughout Western Europe the relationship between government and citizens is being re-evaluated. Traditional concepts for a link between policy and implementation no longer meet today’s needs. The local economy of municipality, provinces and the state, but of many social organisations as well, indicate the boundaries of economising and ‘smart working’. The complexity of the society has increased significantly during the last decades, which also proves that the risks of the current manner in which we organise are no longer recognisable nor manageable. On the labour market, traditional permanent employment is replaced by self-employment. ‘Working in relation to competence’ and ‘Welfare new style’ give a new meaning to the concept ‘participation’.

Pension funds evaporate, permanent employment is less common, and the social security system is crumbling. In the mean time, municipalities are expected to carry out more and more implementation and management tasks for their own account. Complex horizontal cooperation associations are increasingly organised on regional level and related neighbourhood municipalities and province, while simultaneously the gap between citizen and local government must be closed.

The necessity to innovate
In our view we are now witnessing an immense transformation into a different society with regard to the manner in which the public function was defined and organised during the last two centuries in Europe. The “old” manner was to be organised on the basis of limitations and monopolisation: bordering the territory (national states, House of Democracy – Thorbecke); a limitation of the public, social and private life; monopolization of information in public sector registrations, and a limitation of knowledge – with regard to competences – often legally protected, and only to be obtained based on long, official education and socialisation processes.

These limitations are now all null and void. The world is one single ‘global village’, economies are operational 24/7, government organisations have become a hardly recognisable part of hybrid networks and policy chains, and the limitations and shortage of knowledge and information have fully disappeared into the Information society. The illusion of manipulability is final and now belongs to the past.

However, the manner in which government organisations and social parties are organised, still follows the patterns of Weber’s principles of bureaucracy. This leads to a variety of frictions and fundamental questions. Youth Care organised along social lines, which does not provide an answer to the accumulation of the issues in problematic multicultural families. Local councils who increasingly need to provide a framework from a distance, and who struggle with complex management and accountability arrangements, and who at the same time hear the ever louder call from its citizens to provide a committed management. Compulsory and forced treatment where tension related to the traditional difference between public and private applies. The privacy policy in a society where registration of personal data is no longer a government monopoly. Housing associations who struggle with their governance-regime, social services, transparency and own responsibility

In search of 24 students in the final phase of their degree programme, for the implementation of research related to the “Government of the future”.
Students will conduct a research within and around public sector organisations and other public institutes with regard to the implementation of the new roles of these state-controlled companies and other public sector organisations appear to be too difficult to combine within a bureaucratically organised cost and quality assurance system. Police forces who increasingly cooperate with private security companies and civilians, based on the understanding that they can no longer handle it on their own, and who – resulting thereof – are more and more confronted with difficult debates on the merging of responsibilities. What other possibilities exist?

There are no easy answers, and innovations do not simply drop out of the sky. Innovation starts with organisations who understand the need to work differently. Naturally, their labels differ – Welfare new style, Natural district renewal, Community safety, Scale sensitive management, The new government. In our view the essence is the same – to get ready for the future role. Getting ready starts with the understanding of the finiteness of the current manner of working and organising. Subsequently this understanding must be translated into the many small local innovations which are currently underway.

Start on a local level
Saxion as a knowledge institute, is partner of these organisations. We recognise the current practical implementation of the need to innovate in eastern part of the Netherlands. Some examples. In Deventer, the old harbour area is transformed – without a master plan – into an exciting residential and working area, based on the existing qualities and in cooperation with the attending partners, and which has the additional competence to continue to develop itself. In Almelo, Zwolle and Kampen, the starting point of the policy is happiness, contrary to the government imposing of categorisation of problems. This results in the opening up of an enormous human potential and similar realisation power. The Tax office experiments with models of horizontal supervision. With regard to the construction industry, authorities and companies join forces in the network Pioneering, to realise a future-resistant sector which is no longer producing large number of houses in series, but which focuses on the individual requirements of individual citizens, without referring to this as additional work. Waste management and recycling organisations experiment with local networks, who focus on the creation of value and Cradle2Cradle. Meanwhile several local municipalities and regional energy organisations developed, based on grass-root initiatives, a variety of local and regional initiatives, ranging from care associations to regional care and welfare organisations, and ‘Welfare new style’ is given a true practical form.

In our view, as a partner and knowledge centre, we feel that the transformation in the eastern part of the Netherlands can be realised quicker and better if partners ensure that they will be ready for the future and develop mutually. In recent years we have witnessed how the worlds of housing corporations, waste management, construction, security, care and welfare, but surely also the world of organisations within the traditional public domains such as public order, environmental planning, quality of life and water safety, can learn from each other. They all work on the same transformation, and all need practical inspiration in this respect. Currently this is often based on individual powers, there are no combined efforts. This could improve.

Mission – Government of the future
Saxion is searching for partners, who want to join us – locally and regionally, together with their partners and citizens – in a practical manner to give new meaning to their social role and added value within the framework of the future. With them, we would like to form the “Government of the future”. We aim for a long-term relationship between the mutually strongly connected participants, who are all convinced that they focus on the realisation of one and the same objective, be it at a different pace or on a different scale, and that they can learn from each other during this process.

The alliance “Government of the future” consists of 16 public and / or social organisations, who:
– Each in their own way contribute to the realisation of a social objective;
– Are each individually aware of the fact that they are confronted with a transformation task;
– Are willing to be inspired and supported by partners from different sectors during the realisation thereof;
– By working together, have the possibility to organise a long-range approach regarding the learning and development process, which can be integrated in the organisation as such that it is not required to permanently assign people for this purpose;
– During the programme, develop their own competences, required for a different implementation of their role.

A long-range research and educational programme
Commitment of the participating organisations:
* Opening up the organisation for research and/or experiment;
* Active participation in the Think-tank of a Senior Manager;
* Participation of a ‘young professional’ in the programme for the duration of one (1) semester (half a day per week throughout the duration of the project).
* An annual financial contribution of € 4.000.
* Commitment to participate in the Think-tank for a duration of four (4) years.
* Commitment to allow one ‘young professional’ to participate in the Honours Programme each year.

The alliance “Government of the future” is very diverse. It consists of organisations from many different sectors, which have in common that they contribute to the realisation of public objectives. The core of the alliance is a Think-tank, where the main outlines for a research and development programme for innovation is formulated. The Think-tank receives information from knowledge centres in the eastern part of the Netherlands and their international network. Once every six (6) months the Think-tank convenes to ensure that during creative sessions the framework for grass-root innovation will be developed, and to translate this into a long-range research programme.

This research will be implemented in cooperation with talented students who are in the final phase of their degree programme, and ‘young professionals’ of the participating organisations. Per research project one (1) team is selected, which includes the required expertise with regard to content as well as with regard to functionality. The ‘young professional’ is the team coach with regard to the content, the organisational and process-focused part of the research is managed by the students who complete the research as part of their graduation trajectory. For the selection of the research teams, students from the broad Saxion educational programme can be selected, including health care, welfare, education, construction, real estate, urban development, management and organisation, life sciences and technology.

The research programme follows the Think-tank’s programme. Every six months a new series of researches is conducted. During these six (6) months, students do not only work on the research project in smaller teams, but they also follow an Honours programme which feeds their research and development, and in which their research is embedded. Once every three (3) weeks they feed each other’s research based on presentations by core lecturers on themes such as:
– Mega trends and local answers
– Democracy and (virtual) citizenship in the 21st century
– The phenomenon ‘modern government’: the ’Big Society’ and other phenomena
– Transformation, transition and innovation: starting points, models, success factors
– Government and ‘governance’
– Chains, arenas, networks, cooperation and alliances – policy in a hybrid world
– The post-bureaucratic organisation
– Ethics of the public interest
– Applied research methods and techniques

The following researches / experiments could be implemented within the framework of the Honours Programme Government of the future:
– Happiness-focused working
– Reintegration as a core task of professional education
– Public-private-social cooperation regarding safety
– Virtual municipality in ‘the cloud’
– Smart grids and suatainable energy generation in the neighbourhood
– The municipality of the future: close to the citizens, and integrated in the region
– Neighbourhood and village corporations: citizens unite to create the future
– Strategic HR policy if a double downward economy applies
– Flexible urban development

Supply and demand is yours to decide

The alliance offers possibilities for a broad variety of organisations; after all, the alliance is intended as a breeding ground for public affairs in the eastern part of the Netherlands. In order to participate in the Think-tank, the core of the alliance, the organisation – as client – must order the implementation of one (1) research per two (2) years as a minimum. Naturally, a cooperation could apply with other organisations within the policy chain who are also sympathetic towards innovations, for this will result in a chain of researches.

The research programme includes approx. six (6) researches every six (6) months, and the initial duration of the programme is two (2) years. This means that approx. twenty-four (24) researches can be implemented, which – ideally – have been programmed as such that longer research lines apply.

The programme will take place from September 2012 up to and including July 2014. Subsequently, students have the possibility to follow-up on the project and to graduate on this topic. The plenary meetings of the Honours Programme will be organised on a fixed day. In the meantime the research teams will conduct their research. Students participating in the Honours Programme are expected to devote one (1) day per week to the project. The young professionals involved will actively participate in the Honours Class. The time they will need to allocate to this project will be half a day per week throughout the duration of the project. Students will assist in making contact and gathering information within the organisation.

The Think-tank will organise a meeting for the alliance every six months. During this meeting the results of the research will be tested, applied and enriched. The key word is “co-creation”. After the completion of the research, Saxion will – where possible – encourage the participating companies and students to initiate further deepening and application of the research results in individual graduation trajectories. This opportunity is explicitly also open to ‘young professionals’ with an adequate previous training.

Required efforts from participating students:
– A total of one (1) day per week during the period September 2012 up to and including January 2013.(Intensification to a Minor is possible).
– Active participation in the programme.
– Cooperation with other students and the client’s employee
– Implementation of a research or experiment within the organization
– If upgraded to a Minor, research management of one (1) research group
– A financial contribution of EUR 75 for catering purposes

Information and registration
Interested companies and students are invited to contact Frans Jorna, Associate Lector Governance,

Students and employees of the participating company must make their interest known prior to the 30th of August 2012, and their motivation letter must be sent to Linda Kemperink, .

As soon as the students have been accepted to participate in the programme, an invitation for the kick-off will be sent around by the end of June 2012.