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  • Geoff Mulgan

Whole of government innovation and action

‘Whole of government’ approaches - that aim to mobilise and align many ministries and agencies around a common challenge - have a long history. There have been notable examples during major wars, and around attempts to digitize societies, to cut energy use, reduce poverty and to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This paper has been prepared as part of a European Commission programme which I'm chairing looking at 'whole of government innovation' and working with national governments to help them better align their actions.

My paper - linked below - looks at the lessons of history; the many tools governments can use to achieve cross-cutting goals; why too much coordination and coherence can be almost as bad as too little; the importance of processes and cultures as well as structures; why constellations and flotillas of coordination are usually more realistic than true ‘whole of government approaches; the importance of mobilising hearts and minds as well as money and command.

Finally, it addresses the relevance of different approaches to current tasks such as the achievement of a net zero economy and society. The paper is shared as a working document - I'm keen to find new examples and approaches.

My paper is linked below as a pdf. There is also an overview paper for the programme as a whole, mainly pulled together by Patries Boekholt, which can be found here.

Whole of Government Innovation paper Mulgan 2023
Download PDF • 1.16MB

1 commento

16 mar 2023

Surprised to see no mention of Mazzucato's work on the US Space Programme.

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