Innovating the public sector – this is the underlying aim of SONNETS. This aim is not only challenging, it has also many different facets: the European society needs a public sector which addresses the current societal challenges, like inclusive well-being and health or experiential education and training and also specific challenges regarding the interaction with the public sector itself, like faster and transparent access to public sector services or new ways of political participation.
Improving the delivery of public services and meeting society’s demands is among the foremost missions of the public sector. Information and Communication Technologies are already playing a pivotal role in helping agencies to achieve this mission, as modern, though well-established technologies are adopted and applied by the public sector who acts thus as a follower of technological developments and a mere receiver of related innovations.
The new challenges posed by the evolution of society and the current financial crisis have once again shifted the spotlight on the modernisation of public sector. Consequently, the public sector is under increasing pressure to perform.
In the modern troubled times, where the crisis but also opportunities for innovation co-exist, the public sector must not only react to the crisis, but also pro-actively solve problems and seek new opportunities for value creation. As a consequence, its role is changing from what is known so far, to one that must also embrace a strategic and systematic effort to innovate.
The Climate action summit recently took place in Washington on 5-6 May. Remarking on the urgency to deal with climate change, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim commented: “We have no time to waste. Delay is not an option. We have to wake up once again from the fog of success”.
It is a fact that technology in our age is offering countless solutions and infrastructures that could change the way we act and perform activities, and that innovation is lately directly linked with emerging technologies that are applied in various domains and revolutionise them, such as manufacturing, healthcare, consumer services, media, etc.