Home > News > Imagining the future

Imagining the future

30 November 2018

It’s essential for this review to look ahead and think big.

We have to come up with transformational reforms to deliver a public service which is fit-for-purpose many years from now.

There is so much existing work about how the future may look, including government white papers and megatrends analysis from around the world. But nothing which is specific to the public service.

Possible futures for Australia’s public service

We commissioned the Boston Consulting Group to:

  • Look at the megatrends with the biggest impact on the Australian public service.
  • Use those trends to develop possible future scenarios.

The 4 possible futures developed by the Boston Consulting Group are:

  • #Techsplosion — a turbo-charged take up of technology
  • Devolution revolution — the shift from large institutions to community-based services
  • Wikigov — where people shape policy direct through online platforms
  • New world (dis)order — where global instability sees us turn inward

Boston Consulting’s report also outlines the challenges the public service may face in these environments, the skills and capabilities that will be needed to navigate them, and recommendations to address gaps.

The work is informed by survey responses from more than 2,700 senior public servants.

How this research is used by this review

We use these scenarios to test and stretch our thinking, and make sure we look ahead rather than focus on the world we have today.

There’s no telling what the future will look like. But the scenarios in this report are a tool to help the public service prepare for a range of possibilities.

Get involved

The Chair of this review David Thodey has put forward a vision for the future of the service — one that is confident, independent and impactful. We want your ideas on how to get there.

Download the reports below, use the scenarios to stress test your thinking and have your say on our online forum. And subscribe for a heads up as we release other research, insights and analysis.