Use technology to make
society better for all

Nov 6-8, 2023

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

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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. Our annual conference returns November 6-8, both in-person in Ottawa and online around the world.

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.

What’s in store for 2023

We’ve added plenty of new content and activations to this November’s conference. In addition to an expanded in-person venue, we’re running a three-week Executive Cohort exclusively for digital executives. In addition to hands-on workshops at Lansdowne Park, we’re adding virtual workshops. And we’re using a new online platform for improved networking and impromptu discussions.

We’re also working with some of the Canadian Federal Government’s largest departments on department-wide passes, allowing every employee to participate in the world’s largest gathering of public sector innovators.

Want a taste of what’s in store? Check out this 2022 recap reel:

You can also watch sessions from last 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.

Our 2023 speakers

We’ve welcomed over a thousand speakers to our stage. While we’ll be announcing the complete lineup once we’ve reviewed and confirmed the overwhelming response we received to this year’s Call for Proposals, here are just a few of the speakers we’ve already announced.

Jennifer Pahlka

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

Dr. RS Sharma

Former CEO, National Health Authority (NHA)
Distinguished Visiting Professor, IIT Kanpur

Tom Loosemore

Partner, Public Digital

Robyn Scott

Co-founder and CEO, Apolitical

Nele Leosk

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador at Large for Digital Affairs, Department of Digital and Cyber Diplomacy, Estonia

His Excellency Saeed Al Mulla

Executive Director of the Customer Experience Sector, Abu Dhabi Executive Office

Dr. Alexis Wichowski

Professor of Professional Practice & Program Director, MS in Technologies, Columbia University School of Professional Studies

Andrew Greenway

Partner, Public Digital

Pooja Warier Hamilton

Chief Partnerships Officer, Apolitical

Gulsanna Mamediieva

CEO, Digitality GovTech Center of Excellence

Daphnée Nostrome

Head, Digital Talent Strategy, Benefits Delivery Modernization, Service Canada

Dr. Wafa Snaineh

President, Gov. Design Academy
Board Member, The International Foundation for Customer Experience in Government

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

There are plenty of ways to participate in the world’s leading digital government gathering:

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Our partners

FWD50 wouldn’t be possible without the support of our sponsors and content partners. Most of the world’s leading technology firms have helped us put on FWD50; here’s who’s supporting us this year:






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