Held on 19-20 May 2016

70% of national populations surveyed do not trust their governments. Citizens are demonstrating against their leaders in unseen before numbers. In many parts of the world voter turn out has rarely been so low. Citizens are losing faith in their governments… 

Now leaders are finally seeing the need for dramatic and rapid reform.

"Authorities should subordinate themselves to the overall situation and have the courage to face up to challenges" - Xi Jinping, President, The People’s Republic of China
“Friends! We are on the path of transformation. To start this process, we are making efforts to change the work culture. We have to strengthen our institutions and systems of delivery.” - Narendra Modi, Prime Minister, India
“In the UK…there is a greater prize at stake - the opportunity to create 21st century services: cost-effective and sustainable for the future, but also faster and more responsive to people's needs.” - Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office, UK
“[W]e cannot accept the long held perception that the public service is synonymous with inefficiency and that you can only expect diligence and efficient service from the private sector” - John Mahama, President, Ghana

But while the intent is there, do we really know what good government in the digital age looks like? How to engage with consumers to innovate and deliver the society and services they seek?

Watch a summary of insights from the conference below, and watch the full sessions on YouTube.


The overall theme for the Challenges of Government Conference was be centred on government reform, how to best meet citizen’s needs, and what can be done to restore integrity and values in government. Areas that were discussed included:

  • Restoring integrity and values in government
  • Building diverse and representative governments
  • Driving performance and motivation in government
  • Increasing social impact
  • Balancing transparency with government responsibility
  • Models of innovation and digital services
  • The prospects for better government
  • Sheikh Mohammed Abulahoum, Chairman, Justice & Building Party, Yemen
  • Rafat Ali Al-Akhali, Fellow of Practice, Strategic Projects, Blavatnik School of Government
  • Persio Arida, Executive Chairman of Asset Management, BTG Pactual, Brazil
  • Baroness Catherine Ashton, Former High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
  • Professor Victor Bekkers, Professor of Public Administration and Public Policy, Erasmus University, The Netherlands
  • Nematullah Bizhan, Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellow, Global Economic Governance Programme, University of Oxford
  • Lord Browne of Madingley, Executive Chairman of L1 Energy
  • Fadi Chehadé, Chairman & CEO, Chehadé & Company
  • Sir Ian Cheshire, Government Lead Non-Executive and Chairman, Debenhams
  • Charles Clarke, Former Home Secretary and Member of Parliament, Norwich South, UK
  • Nick Clegg, Member of Parliament for Sheffield Hallam and former Deputy Prime Minister, UK
  • Sir Paul Collier, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government
  • Bjarne Corydon, Director of McKinsey Centre for Government, McKinsey & Company
  • Rola Dashti, Former Minister of Planning and Development Affairs and former Member of Parliament, Kuwait
  • Stefan Dercon, Professor of Economic Policy, Blavatnik School of Government
  • Simone Finn, Special Advisor, Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, and Peer, House of Lords
  • Andrew Grant, Director and Global Leader of McKinsey’s Public Sector Practice, McKinsey & Company
  • Dato’ Sabariah Hassan, Secretary General, Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, Malaysia
  • Miles Hewstone, Professor of Social Psychology, University of Oxford
  • Peter Ho, Senior Advisor, Centre for Strategic Futures, Singapore
  • Rt Hon Dame Margaret Hodge, Member of Parliament for Barking, UK
  • Christopher Hood, Emeritus Fellow, All Souls College, University of Oxford
  • Anthony House, Director of Policy Strategy for EMEA, Google
  • Dato' Sri Idris Jala, Chief Executive Officer,Performance Management and Delivery Unit, Malaysia
  • Emily Jones, Associate Professor in Public Policy (Global Economic Governance), Blavatnik School of Government
  • Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer, National Institution for Transforming India
  • Baroness Helena Kennedy, Principal, Mansfield College, University of Oxford
  • Dr Gerald Z Lan, Professor of Public Management and Director of Beijing Center for Organizational Learning and Urban Governance Innovation, Tsinghua University
  • Clare Leaver, Associate Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government
  • Jeffrey B. Liebman, Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
  • Elizabeth Linos, Vice President and Head of Research and Evaluation, Behavioural Insights Team, North America
  • Nick Lovegrove, U.S. Managing Partner, Brunswick Group
  • Colin MacDonald, Government Chief Information Officer, New Zealand
  • Anandi Mani, Associate Professor in Behavioural Science and Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government
  • Heather Marquette, Reader in Development Politics, School of Government and Society, University of Birmingham
  • Calum Miller, Chief Operating Officer, Blavatnik School of Government
  • Donald Moynihan, Epstein Professor of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive Officer, Nesta
  • Professor Mthuli Ncube, Professor of Government and Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government
  • Kathryn Nwajiaku, Head of the Secretariat of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding
  • Dato’ Sri Nazir Razak, Director, Board of Directors, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Malaysia
  • Bo Rothstein, Professor of Government and Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government
  • Marietje Schaake, Member of the European Parliament, Netherlands
  • Stephan Shakespeare, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, YouGov
  • Tom Simpson, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government
  • Robert Tombs, Professor of History, University of Cambridge
  • Maya Tudor, Associate Professor of Government and Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government
  • Sarah Wilkinson, Chief Technology Office, The Home Office, UK
  • Lord Wood of Anfield, Fellow of Practice, Blavatnik School of Government
  • Ngaire WoodsDean, Blavatnik School of Government
  • Hidehiko YuzakiGovernor of Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan