An article authored by PGI President Jocelyne Bourgon was recently published in Ethos, the Journal of the Singapore Civil Service College. Entitled Rethinking Public Innovation, the article argues that the public sector’s role is critical in developing innovative solutions to today’s complex problems.

“Innovation in government has received much attention over the years. For the most part, the focus has been introspective, giving special attention to the modernisation of public sector systems and practices as well as the service delivery functions of government. The focus of attention in these conversations is on innovation in government and as a result may have missed the most important contributions of government to public innovation….

The author argues that, despite the generally accepted view that most innovations come from the private sector,  “the public sector is responsible for many of the innovations that have given shape to our modern societies. Public organisations have funded and built infrastructure necessary for a modern society to function. Government investments underlie the radical technological innovations that have fueled the “New Economy” … Far from being risk averse, the State is the ultimate risk taker in society. Government takes risks on a scale that no other sector or agent in society could take on and intervenes in areas where the forces of the market or the capacity of civil society would be unable to go.”

The full article can be found on the Ethos web site at: