19 February, 2024
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Sarah Munby, Permanent Secretary, Department for Science, Innovation and Technology

An innovation mindset

This roundtable is part of Reform's new project with Newton Europe, 'Reimagining Whitehall: A manifesto for delivery'.

For decades, consensus has grown that the Whitehall system, despite its many strengths, needs transformative reform. To tackle current crises and prepare for future challenges, a more diverse, dynamic, and delivery-focused government machine is needed. 

As we head towards a general election, Reform, in partnership with Newton Europe, will explore the practical steps any government must take to ensure it is equipped to deliver. We will consider what structures and capabilities are needed to secure Whitehall’s position as a world-leading institution. This will include considering the skills, tools and insights needed to ensure government can turn ideas into outcomes, the corporate functions needed to execute, and the role that cognitive diversity and an innovation mindset can play in successfully addressing the huge challenges facing the nation. 

Through a five-part series of high-level events with Whitehall leaders and experts, we will identify existing best practice as well as opportunities for systemic reform. We will capture this in a collection of timely outputs, culminating in an impactful ‘Manifesto for delivery’ to inform an incoming government.  

Too often, risk-aversion, hierarchies and at times inflexible ways of working have acted as a barrier to innovation. Yet in an era of uncertainty, and with public services under unprecedented pressure, innovation will be essential in addressing the huge challenges facing the country – from a buckling health system to achieving net zero. In practice that means adopting new ways of working and a more balanced approach to risk, working at-pace and in multidisciplinary cross-departmental teams. It also means drawing on creativity and expertise from other sectors to create innovation-boosting partnerships.  

At this event, Reform will examine how government can best champion an innovation mindset, building a machine with the right skills, processes and culture that embraces creativity and identifies bold but implementable solutions to key challenges. 

Reform is delighted to welcome Sarah Munby, Permanent Secretary, Department for Science, Innovation and Technology to lead this roundtable discussion exploring what it means to embed an innovation mindset across government. 

This private roundtable will be held in-person and will take place under the Chatham House rule. Newton Europe Ltd Logo Vector - (.SVG + .PNG ...