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Agenda 2019

The Digital Summit 2019 addressed some of the biggest challenges facing public sector heads of digital around the world

19 September
19:00 – 22:00

Welcome dinner

Leadership in the digital world

Civil service digital leaders need a unique set of abilities. Working with their peers across government, they must pursue common agendas such as those around data-sharing, platform services and emerging technologies. Bringing together business owners, frontline staff, service users and technology specialists, they must catalyse the transformation of public services. And, strengthening recruitment, career development and training, they must build a resilient and expert digital workforce.

This session will consider the leadership skills and styles required by digital professionals, and discuss how senior managers are best identified, recruited and supported. It will examine how top officials can nurture the next generation of digital leaders. And it will explore the structures and programmes through which senior leaders can coordinate their work and support one another.

Anna Eriksson, Director General, DIGG, Sweden 

Followed by group discussion

20 September
08:30 – 09:00

Welcome refreshments

09:00 – 10:45

Building capability

All civil services find recruitment and retention most difficult in fields where they’re competing directly against private employers in thriving jobs markets – and this is certainly true of digital. Yet unless governments can build stable, highly-skilled workforces of digital professionals, their efforts at service transformation are doomed to fail.

In this session, the participants will discuss how to attract, retain and develop a digital workforce, and how best to manage and deploy that workforce across the civil service. And they’ll consider other closely-related topics, such as finding the right balance between in-house capability and external support; the challenges and benefits involved in promoting diversity; and the task of developing digital skills within other key professions, such as procurement, finance and policymaking.

Neal Craig, Public Sector Digital Lead, PA Consulting 
Edward Hartwig, Deputy Administrator, U.S. Digital Service, The White House, USA

Followed by group discussion

10:45 – 11:15

Coffee break

11:15 – 13:00

Data, identity and public trust

Data is the lifeblood of digital services – and it must be able to flow. Where public bodies can share and use high-quality, compatible datasets, they can build cross-departmental services that sit around users’ needs. And emerging technologies – such as machine learning – could dramatically increase services’ effectiveness and efficiency. But to realise the potential, governments must overcome a set of challenges around public perceptions, legislative obstacles, data security, identity verification and common formats.

Some of these issues – such as those around data security, quality and compatibility – can be resolved with good leadership, central direction, and the right training and technologies. But few countries have successfully introduced identity verification systems that work across public services: this session will consider some of the potential models. And the issues around winning public trust and building a suitable legislative framework demand a wider approach, involving political leadership and public engagement alongside new digital systems; participants will explore their options for moving forward on this agenda.

James Hodge,
Chief Technical Advisor EMEA, Splunk
Lauri Lugna, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Interior, Estonia
Adrian Cooper, Field CTO UK Public Sector, NetApp

Followed by group discussion

13:00 to 14:00

Lunch and networking

14:00 – 15:30

Adopting and deploying emerging technology

Emerging technologies hold out both great promise, and substantial risk. AI technologies, for example, can ‘learn’ to make discriminatory or inequitable decisions; and as their algorithms evolve, their decision-making can become opaque – impeding accountability and transparency. And a set of new technologies are already coming over the horizon – including Edge and Quantum computing.

This session will consider how governments can work with their peers overseas, businesses and academics to promote the development of new technologies for use in the public sector. It will examine ways of building the skills and confidence to deploy new technologies across government. And it will explore the role of the centre in creating standards and buying frameworks for the commissioning of emerging technologies.

Alwin Magimay, Chief Transformation Officer, PMI
Chris Hayman, Director of Public Sector, UK and Ireland, Amazon Web Services

Followed by group discussion

15:30 – 16:00

Coffee break

16:00 – 17:30

The role of the centre

Pursuing digital transformation demands coordinated action on many fronts. Cross-government frameworks are required to ensure interoperability, compatibility and efficiency in new services, and to promote best practice. Platform services and common buying frameworks must be developed and deployed across the public sector. Digital career paths and training offers are best developed at the government-wide level. Facilitative reforms in relevant fields such as financial oversight, programme management and career development demand collaboration at the centre. And substantive reforms need political support.

Governments have various ways of managing this coordination – from the centralised to the diffused; the directive to the persuasive. This session will explore the pros and cons of different approaches, and discuss the tools, levers, forums and systems that can best support progress.

Aaron Snow, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Digital Service, Canada
Chan Cheow Hoe, Government Chief Digital Technology Officer, Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, & Deputy Chief Executive, Government Technology Agency of Singapore, Singapore

Followed by group discussion