The Future of Government 2030+
A Citizen Centric Perspective on New Government Models
The project at a glance
Contemporary society is rapidly changing. Social and technological changes are deeply affecting European citizens and re-shaping their interactions with businesses and governments, and with one another. These developments are influencing power relations in society and might lead to new forms of democracy and governance. The role and form of government might change as well. Identifying requirements for future governments allows us to rethink their structures and processes and explore what they might look like in the future.
The overall aim of the project is to better understand these changing relationships and to stimulate discussion about them. New actors and responsibilities are emerging. With the shift of power relationships and new forms of interactions, the need for trust and accountability of governments is becoming ever more important. The project does not take its perspective from inside government, but puts people at the centre with their hopes and fears about the future. Based on the diversity of expectations and uncertainties about how things will develop, we can envisage several alternative pictures of the future. Together, these scenarios and a set of design concepts that bring them to life offer a starting point for discussing the positive and negative implications of these changes.
The Future of Government 2030+: A Citizen Centric Perspective on New Governance Models is a project carried out by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) for the Directorate General for Communication Networks, Content and Technology (DG CNECT). It runs from October 2017 until early 2019.
Who was involved and how did we get there?
The project uses a novel approach by combining creative design and foresight with stakeholder and citizen engagement techniques such as participatory workshops, engagement sessions, ideation and prototyping processes and online debates. Through this methodological approach and with the support of policy labs View Map and six European design schools (“d-schools”) View map, we stimulated debate with about 130 citizens in Austria, Ireland, Malta, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK and about 25 representatives of businesses, civil society organizations as well as over 100 design students. In the engagement phase we are launching a discussion with students, civil society organisations, think tanks, foresight experts, civil servants, and others around possible, plausible and desirable future government models and strategic implications for today.
The report can be downloaded here:
Check our latest report on policy implications and recommendations:
The final event of the FuturGov project took place on 6 March 2019, for more information read our blog post
Alternative futures of Europe in 2030 +
The Future of Government scenarios were developed through a bottom-up process on the basis of open dialogue workshops in Europe with about 130 citizens and 25 civil society and think tank representatives. The Joint Research Centre then reviewed these discussions and synthesised them into four scenarios. Together they highlight some of the key uncertainties about the relationships between citizens, governments and business and explore, through the eyes of European citizens, how government will look in the future. The four scenarios are:
More than 100 students and staff from six European design schools were involved in exploring and developing concepts about how government might work, in response to the JRC scenarios . Depending on the school, a range of students, staff and external partners were involved including BA, MA and PhD design students. Often these design concepts focus on specific interactions involving citizens, businesses and government. Below you will find a selection of concepts, out of over 40 initially received. Realised in different media, these concepts bring to life some of the implications and risks of possible future developments.
Now it’s your turn to make your voice heard. Click on a concept, find out more about it and have your say
Just select the concept that interests you,
and add your opinion as a comment to the post.
Your feedback will help determine which d-school concept will be presented in Brussels and provide input to the final report. The five concepts of the best quality and with the highest number of comments will be selected as the winners of the challenge by the Joint Research Centre EU Policy Lab. The representatives of the winning teams will be invited to a high-level event on the Future of Government in Brussels in the European Parliament in early 2019 where they will have the opportunity to discuss their ideas with panellists.
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The diversity and the richness of concepts presented, illustrate the enthusiastic commitment and inspirational guidance of lecturers and professors with whom we collaborated:
- Elisava Barcelona School of Design and Engineering: Arianna Mazzeo, Ignacio Ezcurra Azpurgua
- Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Art: Sabine Junginger
- Malmo University, Collaborative Future Making: Per Anders Hillgren
- Poli.Design, Politechnico di Milano: Stefano Maffei, Beatrice Villari, Massimo Bianchi – Poli.Design FuturGov website with further concepts from the course
- SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities Poznan: Monika Rosinska
- University of the Arts London, Public Collaboration Lab: Lara Salinas
FuturGov Game: A tool developed to stimulate debate
The FuturGov game uses people’s anticipatory assumptions about what the future may look like to generate conversations, negotiations and collaborations. By designing a process through which participants immerse themselves into the future, take on roles that are not theirs, and strategize to achieve their goals, the FuturGov game generates a participatory setting in which a debate can take place.
The FuturGov engagement game has been developed as a part of a research project: The Future of Government 2030+, A Citizen Centric Perspective on New Government Models. Developed by an interdisciplinary team from the EU Policy Lab, each step of the project has been pursued in a highly participatory and engaging way with diverse groups of stakeholders (Civil Society Organizations, Policy Officers, Research Experts, European Design Labs and Design Schools and Administrative Schools and Political Science University departments). The components of the engagement tool are a result of this collaborative process of reflexion and production.
Through the FuturGov game, players are invited to role-play emerging situations and foster their imagination by bending the rules of reality. As the game evolves, players tackle the limits and freedoms of the system and suggest ways in which it can be overthrown. The game has the capacity to spread anticipation principles to a larger public, by empowering participants on the topic of future government and governance. Such an initiative is quite timely in the context of defiance towards political institutions, leading to the rise of populism in recent elections and decrease of trust in many European countries.
While developed in the context of the Future of Government 2030+ project; to explore new government models and new power relations between four categories of actors: government+, business+, citizen+ and influencer+; the conversational qualities and spaces for critical reflections offered by the game can be extended to a wide range of customized topics and applications. A short description of four possible uses is listed below:
- Immersion into the Future
Confront participants’ hopes and expectations about the future
- stimulate the imagination of the future
- shift perspectives and assumptions about the future
- inform and get informed of emerging trends
- deploy scenarios for policy – use scenarios to think strategically about future policy proposals
- Educational tool
Stimulate collective intelligence and social collaboration
- explore how decisions are taken and how laws are discussed
- learn about the repercussions of your decisions today
- create collaborative pathways to solve future challenges
- produce insight on people’s actions and cognitive biases; could be focused on their collaborative, future-thinking (emerging patterns) or negotiation skills
- Conversational tool / Research tool
- create a safe place for a group of people to rapidly know each other and discuss
- stimulate knowledge sharing and knowledge creation
- produce knowledge on a topic
- examine multiple viewpoints on a given policy and its details
- examine how players conceptualize relationships and map socio-political actor landscape
- “Test your concept” and simulate
Test ideas about actions whether they would work, create your own prompts, or ready-made prompts collected from cities around new models of democracy
- create a structure to deal with complex problems
- engage public in a topic, to explore future actions actors may take
- produce structured conversation to create innovative proposals
- help translate insight into action
Partnership opportunities: customize and disseminate the game
In order to co-edit a version between the JRC EU Policy Lab and a partner the first step is to define together the application that would best fit your needs. We suggest the following the roadmap for next steps:
- Play the FuturGov game working version with JRC EU Policy Lab facilitator.
- After the trial session, gather feedback from participants and discuss with the JRC EU Policy lab team the pros and cons of the existent version in view of your specific needs and context. In order to do so,
- define objective for the partner
- define target audience
- define objective for the player
- define knowledge, experience or other input that the game should generate
3. JRC EU Policy Lab and partner, co-create a new version of the game
4. Implement a pilot phase (test and trial) with JRC EU Policy Lab facilitator (or we can also provide prior training for facilitators)
5. JRC EU Policy Lab and partner collaboratively refine and finalize a workable version of the game.
The game is currently configured to look at many diverse policy proposals to examine the complexity of futures modes of governance. However, with customized content, the game mechanics could be adapted to examine one policy, and its detailed components, with more granularity. By using a single policy as the primary conversational element, and focusing participant actions on the negotiation of the policy details from multiple perspectives (assumed responses from different actors), policy makers can better imagine and prepare for upcoming negotiations for future policy.
The game can be made digital.
You can download the game’s rules here.
For more information, please contact the EU Policy Lab team.
The final event of the FuturGov project will take place on 6 March 2019, for more information read our Save the Date blog post
To sign-up for the event, click HERE
Registration deadline March 3rd, 2019
8.30-9.00 Registration at the European Parliament
(Atrium Welcome Point, Esplanade Solidarnosc)
8.30-9.15 Coffee (P5B001)
9.15- 9.50 Welcome by the hosts and opening remarks
- MEP Ivan Jakovčić, ALDE
- MEP Brando Benifei, S&D
- MEP Franc Bogovič, EPP
- Vladimir Šucha, Director General, DG JRC
- Khalil Rouhana, Deputy Director General, DG CNECT
- Facilitator: Serge Novaretti, DG CNECT
9.50-10.05 Presentation of the project and launch of the report
- Fabiana Scapolo, Deputy Head of Unit, Foresight, Modelling, Behavioural Insights and Design for Policy Unit/EU Policy Lab, DG JRC
- Jennifer Rudkin, FuturGov, EU Policy Lab, DG JRC
- Lucia Vesnic-Alujevic, FuturGov, EU Policy Lab, DG JRC
10.05-11.15 Panel session: Future of Government: politics and power relations in 2030 and beyond
- Gaetane Ricard-Nihoul, Deputy Secretary General for the Citizens Consultations on Europe, French Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs
- Manuela Catrina, State Secretary, Ministry of Communication and Information Society, Romania
- Giuseppe Porcaro, Head of Communications Bruegel and author of Disco Sour
- Man Sze Li, Business angel and member of FuturGov advisory board
- Kadi Kenk, Partner Relations Manager, Let’s Do It Foundation
- Moderator: Andrea Servida, Head of Unit, eGovernment and Trust, DG CNECT
11.15-12.15 Panel session: Towards more inclusive government: opportunities and challenges of including citizens in policymaking
- Dorthe Nielsen, Policy Director, Eurocities
- Wietse Van Ransbeek, Founder, CitizenLab
- Tarja Vuorinen, Development Manager, City of Turku
- Arnau Monterde, Coordinator and leader of Decidim and director for democratic innovation at Barcelona City Council
- Moderator: Paul Hofheinz, President and Co-Founder, Lisbon Council
12.15-12.20 Conclusions from part 1: Lessons learned and what is next
- Maive Rute, Deputy Director General, DG JRC
13.00-14.00 Registration at the European Commission, Berlaymont
13.00-14.00 Light lunch and coffee at Piazza
14.00-14.10 Opening of the afternoon session and the exhibition
- Xavier Troussard, Acting Director, Directorate I Competences and Head of Unit, Foresight, Modelling, Behavioural Insights and Design for Policy Unit/EU Policy Lab, DG JRC
14.10-14.30 Exhibition walk: tour of the exhibition and presentation of the engagement game
- Meet the designers: Project pitches and discussions
14.30-17.30 Parallel activities
14.30-15.30 Talks: Innovating in government through interdisciplinary approaches
- Somya Joshi, eGovLab
- Cornelia Daheim, Future Impacts
- Christophe Gouache, Strategic Design Scenarios
- Moderator: Lucy Kimbell, University of Arts London
14.30-16.30 FuturGov game sessions
14.30-16.30 Wall of contributions
16.30 Closing of the event