Adaptive State — A podcast about public service in the 21st century
In March 2019, I gave my first hour-long talk at the Service Design in Government conference in Edinburgh — where I tried to express what nearly a decade working to modernise public services in the UK has shown me are just a few of the vital organisational, conceptual and cultural challenges for 21st century government.
Since then, I’ve been digging into the parallel histories of innovation, economics and the role and reform of government (primarily in the UK) over the last two centuries, trying to understand what government could (and arguably should) be in this most impenetrably complex and uncertain, yet in many ways transformative of ages — and, more importantly, what forms of change it would take to get there.
In the process, I’ve unearthed some fascinating stories — tales about people and perspectives largely overlooked by history — perspectives that I’m convinced anyone working in or with government institutions will find useful when thinking about the future.
Adaptive State is the vehicle for those stories — a roughly commute-length documentary podcast that highlights the issues, ideas and questions at the heart of how government functions and is practiced today.
Adaptive State will offer you engaging, informed and inspiring stories about the nature of this new world and the comparatively old institutions within it — stories that link our unknowable future with our forgotten past. Think 99% Invisible, Digital Human, Freakonomics Radio or Hidden Brain — but about government in the 21st century.
Adaptive State will be shameless in seeking out those with deep and relevant expertise — wherever it exists to be found — arguing by example that public servants owe it to those they serve to seek out most relevant ideas and methods in answer to the question: what does ‘government’ mean in the 21st century?
Thanks — and speak to you soon!