Update Creative Bureaucracy Festival Berlin 20-21 Sept with UNDP

@noemi@alberto Formal details of the Creative Bureaucracy Festival can be found at https://en.creativebureaucracy.net At UNDP I have been communicating with Millie and Lejla Sadiku, also based at the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub, and who has a wide understanding of the UNDP innovation agenda. Lejla will be the lead UNDP contact. My attempts to arrive at a decision from UNDP have been frustrated by delays, postponements and a seeming lack of urgency on their part. In the end, it appears that they see the opportunities and are committed to participating in the Berlin festival. I have remained in close contact with the festival organisers, and we have confirmed that UNDP/Edgeryders will curate two panels, both taking place on Saturday 21 September. In a conversation with Lejla on Wednesday, she proposed a ‘consultancy contract’ between UNDP and ER with 3 main deliverables: i. assisting with developing the content and approach to the panels at the festival; ii. updating the concept note for BH Fellowships; iii. assist UNDP at the festival in engaging partners/donors. I sent my proposed budget ($9800) to you separately. In addition to a consultancy fee, UNDP will also pay travel costs for ER attending the festival.
Lejla said she would send me her initial thoughts about the panels. speakers etc. I am still waiting for this, and the Berlin organisers asked me to provide details today. If I don’t receive anything, I will go ahead myself and submit a draft description of the panels. Lejla goes on holiday next week, which will may mean a further delay. I am taking on trust the fact that she said a contract with ER can be ‘easily’ fast-tracked and would be completed within 2 weeks, since it falls below a threshold of $10k.
ER will not be responsible for the two panels; we (me) will be advising UNDP, but UNDP will undertake all the management, logistics, etc. The two panels proposed are as follows;

  1. Hacking Bureaucracy: a panel discussion with 3-4 ‘bureaucrat hackers’ speaking about their ‘hacks’ similar to the Cas event, followed by a general discussion + questions from the public. UNDP will suggest and contact all speakers. I will probably end up moderating and speaking to each of the panelists before the festival and creating a narrative of some kind. Depending on the speakers chosen, an alternative might be to present one main ‘hack’ and then have the others comment on this, including the issues involved in ‘hacking’ a bureaucratic system in the public sector.
  2. Changing Bureaucracy from the Edge: this panel will comprise UNDP officials (from NY, Istanbul or other offices) and focus on approaches, tools, processes used by UNDP (such as the Accelerator Labs, other innovation incentives, etc), and ER to present their approach (building communities, use of online platforms, tools) that are relevant to public sector bureaucracies. For ER, this is simply an opportunity to expose our work to a largely professional public who probably has never heard of ER. I guess it could be conceived as a ‘pitch’ for more work in the public domain as consultants or advisers or project leaders. The ER presentation would need to be ‘geared’ to public sector managers and leaders, as well as to governments, foundations and other funders who will be attending the festival. I will encourage UNDP to speak briefly about the BH Fellowship proposal, and ER could pick this up and endorse the idea. On this panel, there could be 2, but we could get away with 1 ER doing the presentation. After the presentations, there would be a short discussion (UNDP/ER) possibly moderated by me, and then questions from the public.

Due to the delays from UNDP and the shortage of time, I have abandoned the idea of ER organising a workshop at the festival. The panel discussion will be a kind of ‘taster’ to whet the appetite for ER work.

There will be potential donors attending the festival (government ministries, private foundations, international organisations etc). We will have a list of these contacts, and the festival will help us organise one-to-one meetings to describe and discuss the BH Fellowship proposal and generate interest. UNDP and ER would be at the meetings. UNDP would take responsibility for any follow-up. UNDP has agreed to organise a follow-up meeting with potential donors in Istanbul (possibly October or November). So, in addition to me, one or two other ER should help assist at the meetings.

The festival offers a networking opportunity for ER. There will be many panel discussions, presentations, keynote speakers, stands and exhibitions, receptions, etc. Having at least 3 of us present would be helpful.

The festival may also be of interest to others in the ER community who are working in the public sector, and the event should be communicated to them. Certainly those who live in/near Berlin might attend, and others too.

To be clear, assuming the contract with UNDP is confirmed, I am asking you @alberto @noemi to be involved. I will do all the heavy lifting, liaison with UNDP and the festival, and content development. I will need you to offer advice, assist with an updating of the BH Fellowship concept note, give brief presentations on a panel and contribute to the donor meetings, as appropriate. The commitment would be to do a little preparation (half-day) and attend the festival (20-22 September). Easy to travel Brussels-Berlin. If not you, who else?

I will continue to post updates here, Let me know if you have any questions. We could organise a joint call if easiest.

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Thanks @bob. I am struggling for time in that period, but I understand the importance (also symbolic) of this project, with you leading an Edgeryders project for the first time. Hence yes, I am willing to play ball. Let me know what you need from me.

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Same here, will partake :slight_smile:

But isn’t it 20-21 Sept, Bob? Those are the dates we had previously.

Also, site is: https://en.creativebureaucracy.net/

Thanks @alberto. Know how busy you are, but I don’t know who else could speak on the panel and orient Edgeryders approaches and tools to the public sector, possibly with examples of what ER has done. If you can suggest others, let me know. As I pointed out, in a way, this is a pitch for more work with governments etc. EU, OECD, etc will be present, as well as private foundations. Being on the panel with UNDP and speaking with potential donors may also strengthen ER role in whatever happens with the BH Fellowships. What will be needed from you both is finding some hours before 20 September to develop a short panel presentation, and help update the concept note for BH Fellowships to add appeal to donors. The presentation might involve both you and @noemi (10 mins each plus discussion. I may moderate. It is not really the panel that will be instrumental but the follow-up and networking afterwards. The dates of the festival are 20 and 21 Sept. The panel is on 21 Sept. Donor meetings will hopefully be arranged for both days. If you can, stay in Berlin until 22 Sept, so that we can have a short de-brief in the morning. In free time at the festival, you might want to attend other sessions. The first list of speakers is on the website [https://en.creativedemocracy.net which will be significantly increased over the next month (more than 100 speakers). No need for any work from you just now. Will wait for an update from UNDP, their proposed speakers, and the contract (being prepared). There may be other ER interested in the festival. I will post general info on Campfire, but are there specific people I should ping? Can the ER communications team assist drawing attention to ER involvement in the Berlin festival?

Correction: Yes, site is https://en.creativebureaucracy.net/

@alberto @noemi One more urgent question. Any further suggestions of names of possible speakers for the panel of ‘hackers’ - any Edgeryders working in the public sphere hacking systems; any other of your contacts working in the public sector? We are compiling a long-list this week, and contacting people next week. UNDP seems short of suggestions (bizarre!). But also keen to involve an ER working in a bureaucratic context, if such exists. If not any names you can suggest will be helpful.

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For the Turkey retreat, I had suggested Michele D’Alena (who could not make it, but is a good friend – we discussed hos work extensively in the retreat) and Annibale D’Elia (who could, you met him, and is also a good friend). A third alternative could be Annibale’s old-time partner in crime, Roberto Covolo, who is now assessore (kind of échevin, if you are familiar with the Belgian system, or alderman in Dutch) in Brindisi. Roberto and I have met, and he is aware of my work (he came to the unMonastery), but we are not friends. But we could easily be, it just did not happen because Annibale was the face of that first operation.

Another nice name is Paola Casavola, a very senior administrator who knows the machine inside out and yet manages to keep an outside perspective. She is the muscle behind OpenCoesione, which might still be Europe’s largest open data initiative (it certainly was at the time of launch). Also a good friend.

Giulio likes Stéphane Vincent from La 27eme Région. I do not know him so well.

IF we could get her, Francesca Bria would be super-inspiring. But it would not be easy. We have met once, I believe she is aware of my work, but not a friend.

We can also ask the community (well, my network, mostly) to suggest more names.

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@bob here is a practical question. What dates exactly do you need me in Berlin? Arrive on 20th, depart on 22nd? I ask because I need to be in Helsinki on the 24th evening, and it’s looking like I might need to go directly there from BErlin :slightly_frowning_face:

Being available in Berlin 20th/21st September should be sufficient. You could probably even leave late on 21st if needed.

Noted. So you want me there on 20th morning?

Will depend on any meetings with potential donors, but I could cover those.

Hi @bob @alberto I re-read the concept note, as well as the documentation from the co-design retreat - closed forum in Turkey last year, and here are some thoughts:

  • Branding was discussed a lot at the retreat and people were pointing to how this should be an internal co-design process - highly mindful of the aspirations and identity of a ‘bureaucrat hacker’. I think we should mention somewhere that out of respect for growing ranks of public sector innovators out there, the 3 year prototype will be an exercise of self-reflection and refining of the narrative the Fellows choose to state outwards.
  • Commitment from the Fellows:
    One issue is: Now what we say is that the Fellowship Package has 2 components: 1) personalized learning journey 2) common across all: contributing to creating the Camp. I would replace 2) with a common commitment to sharing generously about their work, their learning with the others. Also here I would specify re: Language issues - that contributions and communication on the platform will come in in the language of the Fellow, and translation services will be used to loop in the entire community. Regular summaries in 2-3 main languages will be provided by community managers and translators to facilitate access to information by all.
    Another issue is commitment overall: how much time a Fellow is required and realistic to spend sharing the knowledge and interacting inside the program’s community; but it also means how much time can be secured from their current job or as an addition to it. Since this is a design specification which should probably not be included in the concept note, I would advise we keep it generic, and avoid the following:
  • Co-creation of the Fellows Camp (unrealistic) - reading this now feels highly unrealistic because collaborative online work and coordination to build any event, especially an international one, takes a lot of time. Not to mention the language issues - how not all Fellows will be confortable using English, especially on the (public) platform. This should be the goal of a committee or the core staff of the Program, whose process will be to request periodic input from the Fellows at an affordable cost of time.
  • Fellows Camp To keep it realistic, I would advise that the Camp is an internal event for deep sharing between Fellows, and between Fellows and alumni. This is already there. But also a deep self-reflection about the Program, since this is the one opportunity a year we could do it collectively. In the more public part of the camp - this could be a 1 day Summit, with more partners, investors and general PR, but not more, since this would eat a lot of resources and we are looking at a prototype still.

What is missing or is not emphasized enough (?)

  • The role in the program for senior management and other active supporters. We talk about changing organisational culture through initially changing the behaviors of individuals. This could be achieved more rapidly if senior officials are made part of the program’s activities to the best of their availability. Also, becoming ‘active ambassadors’ or any other invented role could be helpful - already to add it as a core Activity (page 9). It is mentioned, but not visible enough.
    This is important to support senior mgmt as well to get their heads clear around the mindset of innovation. What Annibale mentioned it in the retreat: I discovered that in top management collaboration tables in a change management program, focus was on very simple question. Why are you doing this? What are your expectations for the future? It was incredible because they were not able to answer, they answered with the rules of civil code. Or what Millie mentioned about often UNDP people trying to solve the wrong problem; or the higher value conversation. How do you sell systems mapping to a mayor?

Does this help?

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This is a lynchpin of the whole thing, IMHO. Not that I disagree with you, I don’t. We just need to be aware that we move away from online collaboration and building events together, and so we (EDGE) have less to offer to this program. We become another consultant, and bring to the table more or less the same approach that other (good, clear-eyed) consultants would.

This I really like. So, deep sharing + deep reflection + documentation?

Thanks Noemi. I will add my comments but agree with yours. On another issue, is it possible to engage the ER social media and communication channels to draw attention to the CB Festival in Berlin and involvement of ER?


ping @anon82932460 here. But he will need some content to promote.

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@anon82932460 The main story is the festival itself www.creativebueaucracyfestival.net. The Edgeryders/UNDP will share ways of “hacking bureaucracies” and illustrate these through case studies. Our sessions take place on Saturday 21 September. Happy to talk through possible angles.

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DMing you

We will find 1-2 hours with Leijla to do just that in Berlin. The intention is then to get 3-5 people to work together for a day at the invitation of UNDP Istanbul to follow this up. Our internal exchange is really to prepare a bit for our discussion with Leijla. She (with UNDP colleagues) is doing the same.

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