Tomorrow (30 July) Peter Shergold, former head of the Prime Minister’s Department in Canberra and Chancellor of Western Sydney University launches a book that Deloitte Digital Director Simon Cooper and I have written about the digital transformation of government and the public sector in Australia.
Over the next few weeks, I will be writing more about the book and its ideas and insights. Since we finished the book and now that it’s out and ready to meet the world, I’ve had so many thoughts about how we could have made it better, arguments I want to challenge and develop further.
So that’s what I’ll do and I’m looking forward to the next stage of the conversation. More soon…
In the mean time, this is what a few good people we’ve met in our travels have been good enough to say about the book.
‘…a valuable and very timely addition to Australian thinking and practice about digital transformation in government and the public sector from two “reflective practitioners” with a lively and relevant mix of theory, strategy, and practical operational experience…’
– Dr Sarah Pearson
Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Scientist, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
‘I’ve read a lot about the potential impact of digital technology on public services – how it can enhance productivity, improve citizen service, and require new workplace skills. But this is the first book to persuade me that the power of digital, properly conceived, really can transform the nature of democratic governance.’
– Professor Peter Shergold AC
Chancellor, Western Sydney University, and former Secretary, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
‘This is an unusually thoughtful and wide-ranging book on a subject that’s too often treated with shrill hype or hysterical fear. It rightly acknowledges just how revolutionary digital technologies can be. But it’s also clear that part of their value is to help governments change in ways they should be doing anyway: becoming more open, responsive and problem-solving, and throwing away the stiff hierarchical cultures that long ago lost whatever justifications they may once have had.’
– Dr Geoff Mulgan
CEO, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta), former head of Strategy, UK Cabinet Office and author of Big Mind: How Collective Intelligence Can Change Our World and Good and Bad Power: The Ideals and Betrayals of Government
‘Are We There Yet? lucidly diagnoses how digital technologies, including artificial intelligence and big data, are transforming the role of the public servant and the project of governance itself. In this timely provocation, Stewart-Weeks and Cooper describe the important shift from power to problem-solving and explain how to harness digital transformation to make government work better for all of us.’
– Beth Noveck
Author of Wiki Government, former Deputy Chief Technology Officer in the Obama White House, Professor in Technology, Culture & Society, New York University and Chief Innovation Officer for New Jersey
‘In decades to come, governments will be digital to their core, providing enormous benefits for everyone. Stewart-Weeks and Cooper have used this book to open our eyes to the opportunity and challenges of the transformation ahead. Far from being daunted, we should be excited by the vision that they paint.’
– Robert Hillard
Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, Deloitte and author of Information- Driven Business: How to Manage Data and Information for Maximum Advantage