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Agenda

The Global Government Summit 2023 will address some of the biggest challenges facing public sector leaders around the world.

Wednesday 1 February 2023
18:00 

(All times are local)

Reception

Hosted by Mr Kevin Sorkin

Kevin Sorkin, Founder and Chief Executive, Pendragon International Media Ltd
Publishers of Global Government Forum and Global Government Fintech

Wednesday 1 February 2023
19:00 

 

Welcome Address

Hosted by Mr Leo Yip

Leo Yip, Head of Civil Service (HCS) of the Singapore Government, welcomes participants and provides the context for this year’s Summit.

Wednesday 1 February 2023
19:20

Protecting living standards in an era of conflict and inflation

After decades in which markets and supply chains became ever more globalised, that growing interconnectedness appears to have gone into reverse. Since 2016, Trump’s protectionist administration and Brexit have increased barriers to trade; the pandemic has disrupted international travel and shipping, hitting supply lines as demand returns; and Russia’s war on Ukraine has both hampered trade through the Black Sea, and prompted sanctions creating new economic dividing lines. The consequences include runaway inflation, which threatens to hit living standards around the world.

This session will examine governments’ options as they seek to maintain living standards during a period of international tensions, fragmenting supply chains and weak global leadership.

Open discussion, including a presentation from:

John McCarthy, Chief Economist, Government of Ireland

Wednesday 1 February 2023
22:00

End of discussions for day one

Thursday 2 February 2023
09:00

(All times are local)

Emerging stronger: leadership and delivery in the post-pandemic world

During the pandemic, civil services acted rapidly to protect the public – working remotely, launching new services to protect people’s lives and livelihoods, and speeding up policymaking and procurement. These rapid responses required an entrepreneurial flexibility and strong delivery skills; and here, many civil services benefited from the appointment of technical specialists and external recruits into senior roles over recent years. The challenge facing civil service leaders now is to hang on to the advances made over recent years, while addressing the risks attending these innovative ways of working.

How, for example, to operate remote and flexible working policies that support recruitment, staff wellbeing, diversity and efficiency, while restoring the face-to-face contact so important to team-working and public service delivery? How to maintain a quicker pace in fields such as policymaking and procurement, while safeguarding value for money and probity in the use of public funds? And how to lead increasingly disparate management teams, bringing in fresh perspectives and specialist skills while maintaining a sense of unity and common purpose?

This session will explore how leaders can hang onto the gains made over the last couple of years, ensuring that civil services emerge stronger and fitter from the pandemic.

Followed by discussion, including presentations

The session is followed by a refreshment break for 30 minutes

Thursday 2 February 2023
11:00 

Protecting our populations: public health and resilience

The pandemic has presented a huge test not only of countries’ health services, but also of their populations’ general health: many localities with high proportions of disabled, clinically vulnerable and obese people have been hit particularly hard, as have poor communities and minority groups. ‘Long Covid’ presents a new threat to public health, with implications for employment levels, health services and benefits bills. And many health services are struggling to recover from their efforts over the last three years, with long waiting lists and high vacancy rates.

Yet while this has been an incredibly difficult period for many health and care workforces, it has also seen major innovations in policies and services – such as the introduction of remote consultations, mass public testing and rapid vaccine development. Meanwhile, the pandemic’s huge personal and financial impacts have focused attention on nations’ health and care services, creating the potential for positive change. This session will consider how to strengthen resilience against health risks over the coming years, covering topics such as pandemic prevention, emergency planning, public health, and service reforms.

Followed by discussion, including presentations

The session is followed by lunch

Thursday 2 February 2023
12:30 

Networking Lunch

Thursday 2 February 2023
13:30 

Human intelligence and Machine Learning

Machine learning (ML) has many applications in public services, from powering chatbots to targeting counter-fraud work; from analysing aerial photography to forecasting demand for services. But these technologies come with unique and specific risks in fields such as transparency, accountability, and equity in service delivery – so civil service leaders should keep a close eye on how the technology is being introduced.

ML algorithms’ ability to evolve independently can, for example, mask how data is used and decisions are made – yet departmental leaders remain accountable for those decisions. Some applications can present challenges around privacy and data use, and poorly designed ML systems can end up discriminating against some citizens.

During this session, civil service leaders will explore the issues around deploying ML, covering topics such as monitoring and governance, standards frameworks, developing specialist capabilities – and when to reject ML in favour of non-‘learning’ technologies such as robotic process automation and data analytics. It will also consider how best to develop suitable legislative and regulatory frameworks, addressing the new challenges thrown up by ML. How, for example, can regulators oversee an ML system that keeps on changing as it ‘learns’? And who’s liable when people are harmed as a consequence of decisions made by an ML system?

Followed by discussion, including presentations

The session is followed by a refreshment break for 30 minutes

Thursday 2 February 2023
15:30 

Demonstrating impact, building trust

Despite civil servants’ best efforts, public trust in government is declining in many parts of the world. There are many causes, with some communities experiencing 15 years of falling incomes and job security; public services being hollowed out by spending cuts in the wake of the financial crisis; a huge rise in internet-borne misleading and inaccurate information; and a rise in disruptive events such as terrorist attacks, extreme weather and the pandemic. Now spiralling inflation presents a major new threat to quality of life, with the potential – like the post-credit crunch ‘Great Recession’ – of strengthening support for overtly populist leaders.

At this session, participants will consider how governments can help to restore public confidence in the value of democracy and free markets, address the threats of disinformation and misinformation, and build a sense of common purpose and shared identity among their populations.

Followed by discussion, including presentations

Thursday 2 February 2023
17:00 

Summary and Conclusion

Thursday 2 February 2023
17:15

End of Summit

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