FWD50 2020: Innovation

Published On Oct 21, 2020

FWD50 is a global digital government gathering held annually in Ottawa, Canada. Each year, technologists, executives, and industry come together for a week of content and discussion, focused on steering progress and innovation towards our better selves.

We’re covering a myriad of topics in 2020, and featuring some key speakers for each topic. 

This year, one of our focuses will be around Innovation.

Digital means reinventing government and reconsidering what’s possible. Governments might not be able to follow the Move Fast And Break Things mantra of startups—they have to build for the vulnerable edges, and the Minimum Viable Product can’t marginalize users or destroy services on which they rely. On the other hand, they can tackle low-hanging fruit, share code and ideas, and collaborate across organizations far more easily than their public-sector counterparts. So how do we build innovation into government?


Relevant speakers

Sue Gardner has worked with CBC.ca and Wikimedia, and was named a technology pioneer by the World Economic Forum. She works with a wide range of non-profit, grantmaking, and policy organizations. She also received the Nyan Cat Medal of Internet Awesomeness for her work defending Internet freedom.

Cori Zarek is the director of data + digital at the Georgetown Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation. She helped launch the US Digital Service, 18F, and the Presidential Innovation Fellows.

Kristo Vaher is the CTO of Estonia, where he’s set the standard for digital adoption worldwide. He works on a variety of innovations, including digital identity, and is currently building a national chatbot platform to service citizens more effectively.

Gina Lucarelli is a team leader with the UN Development Programme Accelerator Lab Network. From crowdsourcing to realtime data collection to collective intelligence, she applies innovation and design thinking to human rights.

Andrew Greenway is a founding partner of Public Digital, one of the most prominent public sector innovation consultancies. The author of Bluffocracy and Digital Transformation At Scale, he advises organizations worldwide on institutional reform and organization design.

Shomik Dutta founded Higher Ground Labs, an accelerator and venture fund for the US Democratic Party. He’s invested $20M in 40 tech startups since 2016.