Building bridges across government to achieve transformative change

Past Event
9 February 2022 15:00 (GMT)
9 February 2022 17:00 (GMT)

An experimental session with TIPC and One Team Gov to explore the liminal spaces between formal and informal change.

About this event

This is a bridging event, bringing together people working in government and other agents of transition for shared learning and enquiry – we welcome diverse perspectives from people engaged in research or practice around any aspect of transformation globally.

As people around the world grapple with grand challenges, governments are tasked with delivering transformative change across interconnected systems, such as those for food, energy, mobility, education, or healthcare. This requires an integrated and evolutionary approach directed at a common mission or societal goal. Action might only deliver impact in the future, perhaps beyond our own involvement.

This is why intersections between ‘islands’ of government are important. They help to facilitate learning and collaboration on policies and programmes, and the exchange of ideas and resources. Across TIPC, we might call this ‘networking’ – one of 12 the Transformative Outcomes orientating us towards system change.

This is slow, social work which takes place in the liminal spaces between formal and informal change and between present and future ways of organising to address grand challenges. It bridges strategic aspirations and real-life practice.

Session details

So how can we build these bridges? What conditions give rise to them? And how might we invoke ‘cathedral thinking’ to plant seeds today that prompt change in the future?

Join us for an experimental and participatory workshop with Nour Sidawi, David Buck, and Clare Moran from the UK Civil Service and One Team Gov and Ed Steinmueller and Vicky Shaw from TIPC.

In the session, as well as reflecting on personal experience of making change in government in a sustained and prolonged way, we will invite people to share their own stories to build bridges between our islands of understanding.

In Part I (first hour), we will explore:

• the human aspects of building bridges across islands, of seeking to make cross-government collaboration more systemic, and of building capacity for ambiguity and emergence; and

• how transitions theory can help us to understand and accelerate this process.

In Part II (second hour), we will take part in plenary and small group discussions to understand:

• the organisational and personal conditions needed to facilitate networking and other outcomes that support transformative change.


To learn more in advance of the event, see:

Learning from the places where informal and formal change activity meet — Part One

Learning from the places where informal and formal change activity meet — Part Three

Transformative Outcomes: Assessing and Reorienting Experimentation with Transformative Innovation Policy

More information