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Government After Shock – 17-18 November 2020

17 November 2020 - 18 October 2020

On 17-18 November, the OECD is hosting the conference “Government After Shock”.


The COVID-19 pandmic has shaken our understanding of the world and how things should work. The aftershocks of it will undoubtedly ripple through all domains, whether personal, economic, social or political. While no one can say how things will unfold, it is clear that 2020 will mark a fundamental shift. But what will the changes coming out of it be? What should they be?

The two-day event will combine in-person and digital experiences and focus on questions such as:

  • What do we need to leave behind from this shock? What are the things that no longer fit with the world we are heading into, what are the structures and processes that have revealed themselves to be inadequate, unsuited or inappropriate for the world emerging from the crisis? What did the crisis show was no longer appropriate, or what has emerged from or been exacerbated by the crisis that we need to stop doing?
  • What do we want to keep? What do we hold dear or value from before or during the crisis that we want to keep or sustain? What things might we cherish but need to adapt to the changed context?
  • What should we do differently? What could we do differently given what has been revealed by the crisis? What should we change, what should we experiment with and what should we attempt now?

Coordinated by the OECD’s Observatory of Public Sector Innovation and with the support of the European Commission through its Horizon 2020 ProgrammeGovernment After Shock will be an event to suit today’s unsettled context, one built upon learning from diverse experiences and bringing them together to help identify and consider the implications for governments and those involved in public purpose work. The two parts will be:

  • Day 1: Rethinking and rebuilding through innovation – a series of local conversations hosted around the world, connected together by shared elements to help inform a global dialogue
  • Day 2: Collaboration for systemic change beyond crisis – this high level forum will bring together contributions from leaders to discuss the insights from day 1 and how governments can build upon the hard-won lessons from the crisis to make for better government into the future.

The goal: to support each country’s capacity to anticipate, understand, and govern complex and changing circumstances, at the same time as promoting international collaboration. Joining with affiliates across the world, the OECD will also be working to help collect and curate some of the lessons from the pandemic for governments in the lead-up to the event. Then, coming out of the event, the OECD will provide more formal guidance and reflections for member countries, including a Call to Action, about the implications for government transformation.

The conference will include a high-level panel debate with trade union representation, Public Service International General Secretary, Rosa Pavanelli.



Start: 17 November

End: 18 November