Event – Towards a Unified Theory of Shiny New Things

[Originally published on Australian Government DesignGov under a Creative Commons 3.0 BY AU licence]

Have you got ideas about how design, innovation, behavioural economics, foresighting, horizon scanning, policy visualisation and the many other tools and approaches available to public servants might fit together? Do you use one or more of these approaches and want to have a go at exploring how they might fit together?

If so we have just the event for you, to be held in Canberra as part of public sector Innovation Month 2013 on the morning of Friday 14 June – working towards a unified theory of shiny new things1.

Event Statement of Intent

To explore how the expanding array of new tools and approaches available to public servants might fit together to enable effective use and contribute to the delivery of better public outcomes.

Event Details

9:00-1:30, Friday 14 June
ComCare, Level 4, 121 Marcus Clarke Street, Childers Street Entrance, Canberra City
Register at Eventbrite

Nature of Event

Panel discussion followed by world café/rapid prototyping of options for a ‘unified theory’, followed by further panel discussion of the insights from the café and possible future directions and next steps.

Intended Audience

Public servants (particularly practitioners of different approaches), academics and external experts.


  • (Prior to event – background primer on the shiny new things will be circulated)
  • 8:30 – Arrival and tea/coffee
  • 9:00 – Introductions and overview of the event
  • 9:30 – Panel discussion (5 minutes per speaker on respective shiny new thing)
  • 10:15 – World café 2/ rapid prototyping of ‘unified theory’
  • 11:45 – Panel discussion of insights from prototyping and possible future directions
  • 12:30 – Lunch and networking
  • 1:30 – Finish

Panel Members (Field/Shiny New Thing Specialty)

  • Jane Treadwell, CEO, DesignGov (Design)
  • Merry Branson, Assistant Statistician, Australian Bureau of Statistics (Policy visualisation)
  • Michael Chisnall, Executive Director, ACT Government Information Office (Scaling)
  • Kate Delaney, Delaney Foresight (Horizon scanning)
  • Dr Robert Flynn, Vuca Concepts (Complexity sciences)
  • Rory Gallagher, NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet (Behavioural Economics)
  • John Sheridan, CTO, Department of Finance and Deregulation (Gov 2.0)