Use technology to make
society better for all.

Where the people building tomorrow’s government go to learn, connect, and recharge.

Watch the 2023 recordings

FWD50 is the annual gathering of public sector innovation. Since 2017, FWD50’s global community has brought together a global community of public servants, technologists, and civic innovators to answer one vital question: How do we use technology to make society better for all?

What happened in 2023?

In 2023, we expanded the event to a second building, added workshops and networking exclusively for online participants, and introduced a library, an executive cohort, and programs that welcomed nearly every Federal department.

FWD50 at a glance

Latest updates

Throughout the year, we interview authors, public servants, and digital innovators from around the world. We also publish thought-provoking essays on our core themes, and survey government employees on public sector transformation.

Here are some of our most recent updates; you can check out past updates as well.

A look back at 2023

Here is a recap of our 2023 event! You can also watch sessions from this year’s event, including keynotes from bestselling authors and leading public service executives, absolutely free of charge. We translate, caption, and publish these talks on our community platform.

A big thank you to Rob Butler for the video footage.

Our speakers

We’ve welcomed hundreds of the world’s leading digital government experts to our stage, and we’ll be announcing the 2024 lineup shortly, as well as opening up our Call For Proposals. In the meantime, you can check out speakers from previous years. 

Want to take the stage? If you’ve got a talk to give or a speaker to propose, contact us.

Jennifer Pahlka

Author of "Recoding America: How Government Fails in the Digital Age and How We Can Do Better"

Tom Loosemore

Partner, Public Digital

Gulsanna Mamediieva

CEO, Digitality GovTech Center of Excellence

David McRaney

Author, You Are Not So Smart
Science Journalist

Martha Lane Fox

Chair, Wetransfer

Afua Bruce

Director of Engineering, Public Interest Technology, New America

Vinton G. Cerf

Vice President & Chief Internet Evangelist, Google Cloud Canada

Pia Andrews

Service Integration Lead, Department of Internal Affairs, New Zealand

What people are saying

Something for everyone


Government runs on information, and it’s your job to keep it running smoothly while upgrading old systems and incorporating new approaches.

FWD50 has the kind of workshops, case studies, and expert voices to help you shape the platforms on which tomorrow’s governments will run.


Modern society is a partnership between the public and private sector. To keep up with rapid, pervasive change, governments need the help of disruptors in industry.

Whether you want to attend, speak, or help support the event, FWD50 is the best way to connect with your public service counterparts and chart the course of digital government together.

Government executives

Digital-first services are better for citizens, cheaper to maintain, and more cost-efficient. But building and leading teams remains a challenge.

Through bestselling authors, peer-led learning, and our new Executive Cohort, FWD50 gives leaders the tools they need to rethink government in a digital age.


Each year, our conference links academic theory with practical deployment. We bridge research on procurement, cultural change, technology ethics, and other vital topics with the day-to-day challenges of service delivery, compliance, and budgets.

Civic tech

In the liminal space between public service and private enterprise lives, a thriving “third estate” of civic technologists. This “digital peace corps” gives innovators a chance to contribute to society, challenging norms and accelerating tech adoption.

Each year, we partner with leading civic tech organizations around the world on stage takeovers, research, and vibrant discussions.



Gone are the days of “fire-and-forget” lawmaking that has no regard for the implementation of legislation. Today, policy and implementation go hand-in-hand, with digital possibilities informing outdated laws.

Navigating this new, iterative world means connecting policymakers with those responsible for building and operating the resulting services, which is a core element of the FWD50 curriculum.

Get involved

Even though the 2023 event is over, it’s not too early to get involved with us for next year:

  • Help us put on the conference by becoming a sponsor, or suggest other ways to collaborate.
  • Cover the conference as a member of the media.
  • Volunteer, and attend the event while seeing how things run behind the scenes.
Get started

Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest updates straight to your inbox.

Notice at collection Your Privacy Choices