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September 15, 2022

Co-creation is key to innovation




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Svitlana Khrystenko

Innovation Programme Manager & Service Designer

About GovTechNL

Technology is key to keeping pace with the growing need for a strong and trustworthy relationship between the government and the public. We believe that we can unite all parties in a dynamic collaboration to stimulate civic connection. The GovTechNL programme accelerates the development of new products, systems and concepts for bright and positive cooperation in the public domain. We strive to play a leading role and are highly motivated to grow the best possible community for civic innovation.

13 September co-creation session

GovTechNL is full of events and activities for different types of collaboration! We brought the community together at The Hague Tech on September 13 for an interactive session where all participants had a chance to share their ideas and collaborate with others who are enthusiastic about tech in government.

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The objectives of the last interactive session were:

  • Bring people together to further develop the GovTechNL community
  • Articulate the purpose, function and what is possible for GovTechNL

The process

The session was facilitated by Matt Barnaby and Svitlana Khrystenko, who led the crowd through a series of activities to foster brainstorming and active interactions between participants.

The session began with the quick speed networking. Participants were tasked to find a partner and talk on a certain topic for 2 minutes, then switch to another participant. The questions included:

  • What brought you here today?
  • If you were to implement a new law what could it be?
  • All your non-work related apps vanish - what is the first one you reinstall and why?

After an energetic start the crowd divided into several small groups to ensure active participation. They now brainstormed on these questions:

  • How can we make sure that GovTechNL is the worst possible thing you've been involved in?
  • What do we need to do as a community to prevent it from happening?

At the end of the exercise, they presented their outcomes. Several important outcomes were:

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Throughout the session participants also created inspiring messages to themselves as they were writing them 2 years later. What was achieved during these 2 years at GovTechNL? What are we proud of? What lessons did we learn along the way that we'd like to advise our current 2022 selves on? You can find the full cards on Miro board where we collected all the results from the in-person session.

The challenge that GovTechNL faces now is in bringing the public and the government together to accelerate the development of new products, systems, and concepts for bright change in the society. The last activity helped participants think about this challenge from the perspective of opportunities. With how might we questions, they turned challenges into opportunities. With what if we questions, they continued thinking about possible solutions and dropped some valuable ideas on how to go about pursuing these opportunities.

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Next steps

This session was a first step toward creating an innovation hub dedicated to collaboration between the public and the government. According to the steering committee on the initiative, which will meet in the coming weeks, many more announcements are forthcoming, including news of the official launch of a new brand identity, participation in the GovTech summit and more. We look forward to hearing your thoughts about this initiative and hope that you will participate in its development.

Before you go…

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