Consolidating the gains, liberating our imaginations and investing in the journey and transition ahead of us, to build better public services for the 21st century.
Welcome, good morning and thanks for choosing to spend your Monday with us. Welcome to Transitions, I’m your host Dominic Campbell.
Hopefully, by now you’ve done the school drop off, made yourself a nice cup of tea and are ready to settle down and hear from some of the best in the business to bring some inspiration to the start of your week.
As you can see we’ve been busy during lockdown moving into the TV business. Welcome to the FutureGov studio — where today I get to live the dream of all fellow geographers and pretend to be a weatherman for the day.
Before I start I wanted to say thank you. So many of you on the line right now has been fundamental to getting the country through its toughest year for a century. We have some hard months ahead still, but as we can now start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, this morning feels the right time to pause, come together and take some time out to think.
Today’s event is themed around transitions, to give us an opportunity to reflect in this time of major change. You’ll hear from people who have lessons for us all about organisational change, societal change, stories about managing change as individuals and as teams, supporting communities and places as they face up to a range of challenges and opportunities.
I’ll introduce my fellow speakers as we get into this morning’s show, performance, conference — whatever we want to call it. Don’t forget you will also get a chance to meet more informally over the first two Fridays in December where we’ll be holding the follow-up breakout sessions covering everything from climate change to community action, organisational redesign to the future of health and social care.
Before I pass on to my fellow speakers, I wanted to frame today’s event with some initial thoughts.
For those of you who don’t know us, we’re an organisation passionately committed to the rather untrendy idea that strong modern public institutions remain a force for good in our communities. Now more than ever.
Yes, communities have acted fast. They’ve acted in hours and days to help respond to the crisis, but alongside them have been strong local public institutions acting in days and weeks to help take us forward, supported again by central government to scale the level of response we’ve all needed. For us, this is what makes great public services. This brilliant partnership between communities and the organisations around them.
That’s why earlier this year we launched our mission around organising for change. It’s no longer enough for us to just think ‘what makes the best public service institution’. Those institutions still need to change and change fundamentally. In many ways, more this year than in the last twenty years. But alongside that, we need them to stand strong with communities; for the two to weave together and learn from one another in order to get the best from all of our strengths in local areas and national government.
For us, today is about managing transitions. We’re in this period of change. Obviously, there is a lot to learn from this year, and many of you out there are consolidating those gains, which is fantastic.
Whether it’s starting to talk to your GP on video calls, whether it’s implementing Microsoft 365 and being able to attend events like this where many of you wouldn’t have been able to before. That’s a fantastic move forward. But alongside that, many of you are starting to dream and open up your imaginations around how the world might look beyond this current pandemic. Again, really important work and I applaud many of you who are starting to prompt really important questions as we transition into the future.
But importantly for us as well, there’s this period of change over the next one year, five years, ten years. How do we help ourselves, our leaders, our communities and our organisations think about the world ahead of us? How do we build capacity and capability into our work in order to be much more resilient, responsive and effective as we need to respond to similar challenges like climate change going forward?