What's happening in Public Sector Innovation
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One week of Innovation Month down, and four to go!* The calendar is packed, and lots of interesting stuff is happening. As this email flies into your inbox, the Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) at the OECD are prepping to talk to Michael Schwager, CEO of IP Australia. 

As this emails flies onto the screen from our fingers, we just finished up a pitch-training session (more on this in a second) run by the Canberra Innovation Network for finalists in the Public Sector Innovation Awards. 

And as things continue to be tricky and tough, our thoughts are with everyone affected by this really, really tricky, really tough year. We'll get through it, especially if we share what we learn. Hope you're doing ok and hope what we share here helps. OK, let's get started.

Week one recap: what we learned

Our current crises have amped up empathy, led to the throwing away of the books, and created a desire to hang on to this new spirit of collaboration and shared purpose, according to the secretaries of two public service departments. You can catch up on their thoughts in more visual, audible, or filmic detail. 

As you'd imagine, data collected from space is hugely important and gathering it is very complex and involves a large number of incredibly smart people, many of whom are Australian. Nobel-Award-adjacent** ANU Professor Daniel Shaddock enlightened us about how this data is collected and what it can be used for here on earth, like mapping water across the globe by measuring its a lot more.

Our friends in ANZSOG and the Centre for Public Impact led a discussion about how government might share power with the community and move from a 'we know best' to a 'you know best model'. They claim no-one has yet perfected this enablement paradigm but there's lots of experimentation going on in different countries. The recorded session will be up on the ANZSOG site next week. 

And our Queensland colleagues in the BiiG network, talked with Martin Stewart-Weeks and Jeffrey Tobias about how starting in a place of empathy, and proving you're competent, will win the trust of the people you're trying to help. They also reflected on how COVID-19 has pushed governments into this space, and how important it is for that work to continue.

Check out  the Innovation Month calendar for events coming to you this week!

We want a pitcher, not a belly itcher...

Pitching is tough. Just ask anyone who's been on Shark Tank/Dragon's Den/Tigers of Money,*** or ask anyone who's made it to the finals of the Public Sector Innovation Awards. 

This year, award finalists gathered virtually in a Remo space run by the Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN) to learn how to pitch. CEO Petr Adámek, helped us all dissect what makes a good pitch, and then took everyone through the process of building their own. 

Top tips to draw your audience in, include:
- tell a story (billions of people binge TV series, very few binge annual reports)
- make it personal and emotional (hit them in the feels)
- be authentic and don't be afraid to be a little raw (someone who is nervous but cares will beat someone who is smooth but couldn't care less)
- do something memorable (props, songs, things that make your story different will stand out long after graphs have faded away).

The other key ingredient is to include a call to action, that is, ask your audience to do something (give you money, sign you up to receive weekly deliveries of hummus in perpetuity, choose your work to win a Public Sector Innovation Award...)

And last, but far from least, practice, practice, front of the mirror, in the shower, in front of co-workers, family and friends. And when you're sick of practicing, practice again. 

As an extra treat, because the session was online, we were able to record it, so we can share our helpful (antics, and) advice, so check out the PSIN session on engaging videos (starring your humble, clearly, newsletter author Nick Ellis, pictured above) and CBRINs session on putting together a pitch.

And if you want to get the full workshop on how to pitch your innovation, you'll just have to do some impressive, innovative work in the public sector and enter into next year's awards!

Coming up... Innovation Month, we have a raft of plainly-but-excellently named events that aim to do exactly what they say on the tin. 

As mentioned above, later today (Wednesday AEST), the OECD chat to IP Australia about how to make an innovative organisation.

On Friday, the BiiG Network presents on how not to waste a crisis

And next Tuesday, Beaker and Flint will run us through the paces of how to run collaborative, online meetings that don't suck.

And if you want more, or missed something from last week, go look at the full schedule.

That's all for now. Stay warm, be safe, we'll be back next week with more to share.


Week 2 of Innovation Month is underway!

The schedule is up, so go check it out, sign up, and fill your screen and your brain with new ideas! More events will be uploaded over the next little while so keep checking in.

*Because July, this year, is one of those weird months where you get five weeks. Bonus!

**As Professor Shaddock explains, his research definitely contributed to the Nobel won for the discovery of gravitational waves, as did a lot of other researchers, but the original authors of the original paper are the ones who get the prize. Still, Nobel-adjacent's pretty dang impressive.

***Which, are, apparently all the same show, just renamed to make more sense in the local market. Australia got both a Dragon's Den version in 2005 and Shark Tank in 2015.

Variations usually include some sort of dangerous animal, lions, or tigers, or sharks (oh my), though we're particularly fond of how straightforward the French are with their version Qui veut être mon associé? which translates to "Who wants to become my business partner?" 

Tres genial.
Photo credits:
Fish photo by by Nguyen Linh on Unsplash
Microphone photo by Matthias Wagner on Unsplash

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