Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur Davið Gunnlaugsson has invited his colleagues from the Nordic countries, the Baltic states and the United Kingdom to discuss government modernisation. The Northern Future Forum is to take place in Reykjavík on 28 and 29 October and will focus on simpler, smarter and innovative public services.
The annual Northern Future Forum has been organised since 2011, bringing together political and business leaders and experts.
According to the conference announcement, governments are facing major problems, including climate change, demographic change, technological developments and decreasing public trust in government. Conference attendees are to discuss the main barriers and enables to public sector innovation.
A discussion paper published on the conference website describes four policy levers that can play a key role in enabling and sustaining the innovation process:
- Institutions. Innovation is likely to emerge from the interactions between different bodies.
- Human Resources. Create ability, motivate and give the right opportunities.
- Funding. Increase flexibility in allocating and managing financial resources.
- Regulations. Processes need to be shortened and made more efficient.
“Public sector innovation can be difficult”, the paper states, “as public services deal with complex problems that have contradictory and diverse demands, need to respond quickly, whilst being transparent and accountable.”
“The Northern Future Forum is a great way to pool our knowledge and learn from one another”, an announcement from the Prime Minister’s Office quotes Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson as saying. “It is a unique venue where academia, the business sector and policy makers from nine countries come together to present and discuss innovative ideas. The challenges of our countries are in many ways similar and the sharing of ideas and knowledge in this open way strengthens our abilities to work through them.”