30 October, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Amy Gandon, Lord Gus O'Donnell, Andy Haldane, and Charlotte Pickles

Civil unrest? The civil service in an era of change


  • Amy Gandon, report author and Head of Policy and Participation, the RSA
  • Lord Gus O'Donnell, former Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service
  • Charlotte Pickles, Director, Reform
  • Andy Haldane, Chief Executive, the RSA

Despite many successive administrations’ attempts to modernise and improve the civil service, deep-rooted challenges remain, with instability and falling morale. How can we embed positive change in the Whitehall machine – change that lasts?

In the wake of the fallout from Brexit, the global pandemic, and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, a well-functioning civil service is more critical than ever to the future success of the nation.

Drawing on insights from a major new report featuring candid reflections from current and former civil servants, our panel will discuss the current health of civil service culture, structure and operations, as well as the main barriers that continue to impede its systemic capabilities.

Reform was delighted to be hosting this panel with RSA to explore what could go right for Whitehall: the challenges ahead, the state of the workforce, and the practical reforms that could be the key both to better government and to Britain’s future prosperity.

Sign up to watch the event online by clicking here.