Introducing the 2023 Digital Government Survey

Published On Feb 10, 2023

Since our first event in 2017, we’ve asked public servants around the world to help us shape the content and format of the event. Our annual survey tracks the rise of various technologies, as well as specific themes we’ll be diving into more throughout the year and at the annual conference.

Help Shape Our 2020 Event!

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash.


In past years, we tackled resilient democracy, trust, and service delivery. We’ve also seen a shift from questions about specific tools and services to a broader look at the incentives, organizational structures, and culture needed to bring about change.

We’re exploring four big themes in 2023:

  • The Cheese Grater: Historically, governments were organized into departmental silos. Each ran its own services, which was fine in a physical world. But in a digital reality, many of the building blocks of a digital service (such as an accessible, multilingual form) can be re-used across departments, and many commodities (such as cloud computing) can be operated more efficiently as a shared service. We like the analogy of a cheesegrater as something that uses pressure and constant motion to “shave off” components and services that have, until now, been jealously guarded by the fiefdoms that run them.
  • To Each Their Own: Government is a collective system. But digital makes personalization possible—hastened by digital identity and AI chat. How do we deliver tailored services in an institution that’s for all? What should be one-size-fits-all, and what should be created just for each citizen or resident?
  • The Public Sector Serenity Prayer: American theologian Winnifred Crane Wygal wrote, “give us courage to change what must be altered, serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.” Some parts of government are necessarily slow, risk-averse, and bureaucratic, and no amount of wishing will change that. What we need is the courage to change what can be changed, the serenity to accept what cannot, and the wisdom to know the difference. While many advocates of digital change clamour for more disruption faster, plenty of smart legislators and governance experts have very good reasons why things don’t—and shouldn’t—be disrupted. This year, we want to include them in the conversation.
  • Plurality: The Internet connected us with everyone, and it turns out, we don’t all like one another. What new approaches allow groups to govern themselves while coordinating with other groups they may not agree with, but need to coexist with? Movements like Plurality, which advocates new forms of consensus-making such as quadratic voting and shared sensemaking tools, can help us coexist and tackle challenges that affect everyone, while letting smaller groups self-organize according to local consensus. In what ways can such tools inform the public sector?

Our annual content survey is a way to shape our content, both at our annual event and throughout the year. We run it early in the year, analyze it, and share the results (you can see the 2022 survey analysis online.) This helps speakers propose talks and respond to our Call for Proposals, which opens later this spring.

The survey takes around 10 minutes to complete. We don’t share any personal information, and aggregate the responses before publishing. We also do some longitudinal analysis of how the relative importance of various technologies change year-over-year.

Introducing the 2023 Content Survey

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash


You can help us out, and shape the content of the 2023 conference, by responding to the survey (and sharing it with everyone you know who cares about government transformation!)

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