One of the main reasons I joined FutureGov, moving just over a year ago from Italy, is that I was tired of working on commercial projects. Beyond rarely getting implemented, they aren’t making a difference to people’s lives. This morning I stumbled upon a presentation I gave when I started and in the last slide I wrote:
“I was tired of trying to solve problems that are superficial. By redesigning a service you might have users save 3 minutes, and then what?”.
In the last few months I have been working on a variety of projects. When I work with the Brits, I am struck by their energy and passion. What’s the difference? They’re doing this for their country. This was such an epiphany to me: to have FutureGov in Italy is the next natural step.
We have been building our relationships with the Italian government and recently headed over to enjoy a bit of the Italian Autumn air. It was busy trip and we wanted to share what we’ve been up to.
We can change that
Last month, Dominic joined a panel with Donatella Solda — Executive Director at Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, Andrea Landini — Strategist at Coppa+Landini, Alessandro Piana Bianco — Design Director at Deloitte Digital, and Claudia Zampella — Service Designer at H-FARM Education. The event, organised by Service Design Drinks Milan focused on “Designing Public Services”, . We had an interesting conversation about how each country stands for a different context, with different rules and expectations, resistance or readiness for change. Dominic stressed that
“[Everyone has] moral obligations to improve the lives for people that don’t have a choice but to pay taxes”
and that is the reason we need to redesign public services, in each and every country, no matter what.
I spoke at Explore about some of the misconceptions related to working with the Italian Public Administration. We discussed how work at FutureGov is changing mindsets such as “public administration is slow” or “consultants don’t get their hands dirty”.
We also hosted a workshop with Coppa+Landini. We kicked it off with a light-touch digital maturity assessment of nearby municipalities, concentrating on Milan. This then led us to explore how we could redesign one public service there that people wanted to improve. One which could really impact our lives as citizens. The group decided to focus on services that span from buying a public transportation ticket to a triage tool for assessing health-related support.
We attended HFGOV2020 by H-FARM Education. It’s refreshing to be part of 100 people who are all on the same page. We all believe we can make real changes to the Italian Public Administration. The starting point, as Alessandro Fusacchia stated, is understanding that “your work doesn’t stop in your office”.
Recognising where innovation is already taking place
Besides attending various events, we had the pleasure to meet the Comune di Torino, Comune di Milano, Fondazione Politecnico and Nesta Italia. These conversations confirmed that the appetite for change and innovation is here, and is growing.
We’ve been following what’s been happening in Italy for a while now. There are some great public initiatives developing. From large-scale projects such as the Piano Triennale, a three-year plan to improve technology across public administration. To having a Digital Transformation Team in place, and the setup of Sistema Pubblico di Identità Digitale (SPID) — creating unified access for citizens to public services. Then there are the more local interventions, such as expanding the use of newsstands to tourist information hubs and citizen service points. These are good signs that change and continuous improvement, based around user needs, are becoming a reality.
Being a part of the community
In Italy, digital innovation is moving from being talked about, to being in place. We’re excited and hopefully we’ll be back soon.
To find out more about FutureGov in Italy, email us at email@example.com. If you’re thinking about and working on digital transformation we’d love to talk to you.