The Government Summit UAE

February 2015, by Jason Chan

At the Innovation Lab: Roadmap to 7 Stars Service Centres
So-Young Kang & Jason Chan at the Innovation Lab: Roadmap to 7 Stars Service Centres

We are very excited and privileged to have been invited to attend The Government Summit UAE held in Dubai (9-11 February 2015) which attracted over 4,000 government leaders from multiple countries with leading guest speakers including HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum of Dubai and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

As part of the UAE government’s focus on innovation and creating a ‘7-Star Service Experience’ in government (photo above), So-Young Kang was invited to give an inspirational talk at a private closed door session to business and government leaders on ‘Transformation Design in Government.’

Here are 3 quick learning points from our trip:

1. The need for change for governments and public services globally is now. Public services, both in policy and service delivery, are being disrupted by several factors such as demographic shifts, rise in political awareness and activism (e.g., Arab Spring, Occupy Movement), and advances in technology such as social media that enable millions to connect, communicate, and coordinate action immediately. Governments need to find new, innovative ways to not simply communicate policy, but also influence attitudes and mindsets in a networked manner to get buy-in as well.

2. Technology will be a key enabler in developing innovative solutions for government-related challenges. From robots to virtual reality, to self-driving cars and Big Data, we saw many opportunities where governments could tap on these new technologies to design innovative solutions. Some opportunities include:

  • Anticipate citizen needs using Big Data
  • Deliver targeted and customised services on demand (Government comes to you)
  • Engage and partner with citizens using advanced online platforms

3. People are still at the core of transformative experiences. So-Young noted in her talk that while technology is a good enabler, people living out purpose-filled and values-driven lives are responsible for the change and growth of communities and nations in the future. Transformational organisations and communities require all users to be aligned on values and be inspired by each other to drive sustainable change.

A big thank you to the UAE PMO for inviting us to the Government Summit. Final learning point: Dubai is a great city for work and play!