Thinking creatively, acting routinely? Innovation, design and experimentation in the policy process - 6 June 2018

Governments around the world are turning to new approaches to designing public policy. A few main trends can be observed: The first is an emphasis on innovation in the public sector, which has seen the rise of innovation units and labs. The second is the growth of design approaches to policy, which rely on empathy and creativity rather than rationality and procedures. The third is a renewed focus on behavioural and experimental approaches to policy, including design experiments and ‘nudges’. This lecture will address the question: Is innovation, design thinking and experimentation fundamentally changing public policy-making?

Professor Jenny M Lewis is Professor of Public Policy in the School of Social and Political Sciences at The University of Melbourne. Jenny is also the founding Director of The Policy Lab, a research unit which focuses on: opinion, expertise and policy; policy processes and systems; and understanding what works in delivering public sector services. She is particularly interested in policy design, experimentation, and public sector innovation, and is the current President of the International Research Society for Public Management.

Jenny is the author of six books, and more than 70 journal articles and book chapters. She was an Australian Research Council Future Fellow from 2013 to 2016 and has been awarded numerous Australian and international research grants. She is also a previous recipient of American, European and Australian prizes for her research. Finally, she was a civil servant for 5 years, and has worked as a consultant to government.