Challenge Grant: The Government of the Future - Looking to 2040

 

Challenge Grant: The Government of the Future - Looking to 2040

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 - 11:06

Provided below are proposals presenting applicants' 2040 vision for the structure and operations of government. Please provide feedback on the following proposals by emailing us the proposal number and your comment. Deadline for the 300-word proposals was February 28, 2018.



Proposal 1:

Investing in Resilient Communities


By 2040, government will be focused on investing in more resilient communities. 2017 gave the United States an unfortunate preview of what will become increasingly common - natural disasters of exponential magnitude. From hurricanes to wildfires, climate change and rising seas will effect the United States from coast to coast.


How will communities bounce back from these frequent adversities? Besides the initial response, how can communities overcome the lasting economic hardships? Resilient Economic Development and Urban Planning will become more colloquial terms at the local and state levels. More and more, communities will need to think regionally if they're to become more resilient. Resilient communities will demand that governments think beyond traditional jurisdictional boundaries.


We are only beginning to learn what we can do today to invest in a resilient future. My proposal is to examine the salient areas of community resilience and outline a road map that governments can use to develop their resiliency strategies.



Proposal 2:

A Workforce in the Future


By 2040 the following changes are likely: (1) growing complexity and rate of change of organizations, networks, and technologies, will increase the number of problems that require agility and operation across organizational boundaries to address, and (2) most government workers will need advanced degrees and skill sets to add value in managing delivery of public services. (3) Depending how the United States addresses income and skills inequality, government could be smaller, or perhaps larger if government becomes a vehicle to provide meaningful employment for many people.


Organization of government agencies could reflect a pattern similar to that proposed by Diane Disney many years ago at the Department of Defense: (1) a small cadre of full-time permanent top civil servants overseeing (2) a larger group of term civil service employees (to allow an agency to refresh its skills regularly, while permitting a body of civil servants large enough to oversee contractors well), and (3) a much larger body of contractors.


Management will require increased skills, including interpersonal skills, to (1) coordinate and collaborate across public, private, and nonprofit organizational boundaries, (2) implement Enterprise Risk Management and strategic foresight, and (3) use pilot projects and experiments and other evidence-based approaches to persuade policymakers of the wisdom of new ways to deliver public services. Changing technology will create increasing cultural gaps between age groups. While a hierarchy will continue to exist, government managers will need to treat their workforces as a network, especially since activity often will involve multiple organizations and individuals. Network management requires use of chains of command of individual organizations to ensure allocation of resources and employee attention to leadership priorities, but often by eliciting performance rather than merely instructing members of the network what to do. Complexity of network relations will require special attention to compliance with ethical standards.



Proposal 3:

The Distributed, Multi-Layer Republic


After the cryptocurrency collapse of the late 20-teens, the underlying blockchain technology ultimately finds a completely different popular use: distributed politics. The emergence of distributed contribution to politics began as a far-left backlash to combat hard-right control with pure democracy but eventually evolved into a more reasonable system of layered representation where representatives prioritize national initiatives based on the vote-share contributed to them. By 2040, this approach of moderated direct representation has taken root as the pre-eminent national means for political contribution and is starting to chip away at the distinctions of what a nation-state means in the long run.



Proposal 4:

A Useful Point of Reference for Critical Infrastructure Resilience


The purpose of this paper is to frame the elements of the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Integration Engineering process, management, and engineering considerations with attention to the roles of the Resilience Integrator and the Intelligent Middleman and the convincing evidence of Resilience Integration Engineering earned value analytics used in calculating resilience risk.


The critical infrastructure is the industrial base on which the competitiveness and security of the nation are dependent. The current state of the nation’s critical infrastructure is at risk as the Internet has become the central nervous system of the nation both private and public. The nation’s critical infrastructure continues to be vulnerable to natural disasters and cascading Cyber Security attacks. In fact, software has become the critical infrastructure within the critical infrastructure. It is here in the mashup among an immature software profession, a vulnerable Cyber Security environment, and diverse and interdependent industry sectors that the challenge of system of systems resilience is born.


A resilient-ready Critical Infrastructure would achieve adversary deterrence by cost imposition and perhaps even deterrence by denial of particular objectives as long as there is a convincing credible will and demonstrable capability. Systematically measuring earned value resilience assurance evidence is an important step in calibrating and establishing convincing credibility of will and demonstrable capability.


This is made difficult by the context and culture challenges of the industry sectors within the critical infrastructure. The capabilities needed to impact crosscutting issues cannot be expected to evolve in a loosely coupled environment. They must be holistically specified, architected, designed, implemented, and tested if they are to operate with resilience under stress. A management, process, and engineering maturity framework is necessary to advance the assurance of software security, business continuity, system survivability, and system of systems resiliency capabilities.



Proposal 5:

The Individual is the State


In 2040, with the ongoing exponential growth in technology (i.e., the march to the singularity), the power of individuals on many levels will begin to grow exponentially as well. Whereas the concept of self-determination historically led to autonomous groups of individuals to form states and principalities, by 2040 self-determination as a political construct will essentially give way to the practice of the individual as a state. International relations will be conducted between individuals as states, and thus the concept of a state governed by a particular form of government will give way to associations of individuals bound together by treaties and enforced mostly through mutual benefit and interests (similar to alliances and trade blocs historically negotiated by nation-states). Individuals as states will also issue their own currencies and debt, as well as function as their own central bank, due to developments in distributed technologies across a myriad of disciplines and human activities. The development of AI will supplement the workforce of each "individual as a state", by providing enhanced capabilities and skill sets, with AI also acting as a "populace" that also supports the "individual as a state". This development will not lead to anarchy in most cases, but rather to an enhanced complexity in international and regional affairs due to exponential technological growth. As the Human race gets closer to the singularity, the power of individuals will increase in like fashion over the traditional concept of the state and government.



Proposal 6:

Procurement of the Future


The government consistently makes public procurement decisions using methodologies and procedures that are contrary to the nature of services. Despite the fact that nearly 70 percent of federal contract spending has been on services (Schwartz, Ginsberg, & Sargent, 2015), the federal government still manages contracts from a goods-centered point of view. This divergent methodology has resulted in poor contract management and acquisition decisions. As a result the highest levels of leadership within the Department of Defense acquisition community have called for improvement in the “tradecraft of services contracting” (Kendall, 2015). Part of this improvement lies in the selection of services contractors while another considers the management of services firms once selected for government contract. My research intends to consider both areas utilizing a set of factors that can both measure service quality in terms of its intangible and diverse nature (Apte, Ferrer, Lewis, & Rendon, 2006). These measurements can then be used as indicators of relative service firm value for making award decisions, while also serving as a more direct influencer of post-award behavior from the firm itself (i.e. a motivating stimulus to perform as advertised/expected). The ability to “monetize” any level of subjective tradeoff in contract award decisions has be an area of primary import to the Defense Department (Kendall, 2015) and has manifested itself recently in the area of product (goods) source selections (DFARS, 2016, Appendix B), but has yet to be adequately developed for service offerings. I intend to work toward changing this approach. I am currently working to develop a scale to measure the perceived quality of knowledge-based services for use in source selections and a new past performance rating system.



Proposal 7:

Term Limits in Congress


Many aspects of the current system of government in the United States (US) are enviable and some are not. One area of particular disfunction is the longevity of US representatives and senators. The majority of these individuals are seemingly life-long professional politicians consumed with the primary objective of continuous re-election. Their demographic primarily corresponds with a monotonic upper class cross section consisting of wealthy individuals. The need for re-election creates strong bias toward financial supporters with skewed agendas. These supporters are extremely influential since they fuel the re-election objective.


The concept of term limitations has been considered, however, unless an absolute maximum number of years of service is stipulated, this concept would degenerate into the same re-election focus, only at a higher frequency and tend to maintain partisan/skewed politics.


It is alternatively proposed that the house and senate fill its seats every two and five years, respectively, using a system akin to the jury duty process. Interested citizens would “qualify” and be willing to serve for the 2- or 5- year commitment period. There would be a random selection of these individuals from each states “pool” of candidates. The benefits of this approach are numerous and strike at the heart of current disfunction:


• 100% of time focused on the job.
• Zero time focused on raising money and the next re-election race.
• Qualified individuals, i.e., “peer representatives”, truly in touch with the struggles of a broad cross section of the US.
• The service period is similar to the time scale of a military, or, secondary educational commitment.
• Minimized influence from political benefactors due to elimination of the re-election demand.
• Special interests would need to tell their story to the entire US to garner support, which is entirely feasible with today’s technology.



Proposal 8:

Trust in Government


All over the world there is an (increasing?) concern over the trust and confidence that individuals have with their politicians & political systems. That concern is, essentially, a concern over power and how it is being used. Is it being used responsibly? Is it being used in the wider, long-term, interests of society as a whole, rather than primarily on the short-term individual political interests of the politicians themselves. These concerns exist even in so-called democracies. In fact, it could be argued that these concerns are particularly prevalent within democracies partly because of higher expectations. Why are there these concerns? And what can be done about them?


These pressures generated similar underlying issues that significantly influenced the outcome of the recent US election, as well as the UK Brexit referendum vote. At its core there was a concern, often overlapping with considerable scepticism, over the role, effectiveness and efficiency of Governments at all levels, reverting to the core question: How do Governments add value to Society’? This question that is rarely, if at all, discussed, and certainly not within a non-partisan political environment. It is relevant, to any hierarchy of public sector decision-making. It is, however, difficult to find one simple answer. In practice, there are two fundamentally different – and potentially conflicting – activities that need to be reconciled will be explored in the 2,500 word version of this document.


Failure to give this fundamental issue much greater attention in all parts of the world, and at all levels of decision-making in government, we are unlikely to be able to make progress on the important challenges that we all face in the decades ahead.



Proposal 9:

Vision 2040: A Customizable Government


This essay is about a vision of government in 20 years. It is not, however, a vision in the sense of a fantasy, it is a vision in the sense of a necessity. It is also not a comprehensive treatise of government and governance. Its purpose is somewhat more modest. It seeks to construct the general contours of an adroit, accommodating and agile government that (finally) after multiple decades of failed attempts can reconcile pragmatic business efficiency with democracy. It is a vision of a “customizable government” – a government that is only as active and only as present as it is needed not more and not less; a government that is equally quick in intervention and in self-control; a government making decisions and delivering services by making the most of technology and artificial intelligence capabilities; finally, a government that adopts its design and operations to the social task at hand rather than attempting to reconfigure the nature of the problem to fit its structure.


Before crafting this vision, the essay addresses a question that is implicitly taken for granted here – whether government in its current conceptualization will still be needed in 2040. To discuss a vision of government in 2040 while speculating that government will remain unambiguously needed is perhaps irresponsible and certainly pretentious. If the latest national and global trends have warned us about anything, it is that impossible is nothing. The paradoxical nature of the response to this central question, which also constitutes the core argument of this essay, is that the answer to the latter is a function of the former. The design of the business of government will dictate the extent to which government in its current form will continue to be needed.


Comment: I disliked this proposal.



Proposal 10:

Meeting the Management Challenges of 2040: A Mobile Senior Executive Service


The level of political partisan fighting is impacting the management of government and will only worsen if bitter partisan battles continue. The bureaucracy is understaffed and so many political Senior Executive Service (SES) appointments are unfilled or staffed with “acting” personnel that public policy development and implementation, as well as federal agency management, lacks the necessary expertise and professional experience for success. According to the Washington Post, as of January 19, 2018, only 241 key positions have been confirmed by the Senate and 301 total confirmations, compared to 452 at this time under President Obama and 493 under President G.W. Bush. At the moment, there is currently a career-SES serving as the Acting Commissioner running the Social Security Administration. In 2040, more career-SES members will likely be required to run federal agencies across the government as political appointments languish in the nomination and confirmation process. The SES needs to adapt to meet this challenge. Congress created the SES to provide a government-wide, mobile corps of senior managers. SES members gain broader experience and leadership skills from mobility to apply across different agencies and positions. However, the goal of mobility has not been fully realized, as most SES members never leave their home agencies. Requiring mobility would bring fresh perspectives to agencies and provide SES members with a broader skill set to meet the government’s management challenges. It would also develop the broad experience necessary to handle the responsibilities and challenges of managing an agency. To avoid mass disruption to the SES management corps, my proposal calls for a new select corps of SES that are required to change agencies every two years. Those selected would receive compensation 15 percent above the regular SES pay level to compensate for the additional demands, burdens and challenges of changing jobs every two years.


Comment: I disliked this proposal.



Proposal 11:

2040: The Missing Cohort


In 2040 the student in my Master of Public Policy classes will be in mid-career. We know from their application essays, policy interests and conversations in class that they are passionate about “making the world a better place” and they see policy studies and careers in public policy as the means to pursue their passions.


Their choices of first jobs after graduation suggest they expect their lives’ work will take place outside of government. First job choices by policy school graduates are tending strongly away from government, particularly the Federal government. For instance, of last year’s graduates from the Ford School of Public Policy, only about a third chose government jobs and a mere seven percent went into the Federal government. At Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy fully 50 percent of the class of 2015 went to positions in the private sector. There are two likely results from this phenomenon: (1) there will be a missing cohort of top public policy graduates in senior career governmental ranks in 2040; and (2) the scope of institutions and organizations where the public’s work is done will include a broader distribution of non-governmental actors.


This paper proposes first to examine the data on first job choices from selected schools of public policy to detect major trends; and, second to expand on these themes through analysis of student statements about their public service motivations, policy interests and job choices. Inferences will be drawn for the reasons behind job choices and suggest recommendations for addressing this trend. Nevertheless, current data suggests unless something can change the perceived trends there will be a cohort of highly educated and motivated professionals missing from the halls of government though likely still working in the public sphere.


Comment: I disliked this proposal.


Proposal 12:

Expansion of Democracy


All visions for government in 2040 must begin with the foundation set forth by the United States Constitution. However, each branch of government will work more efficiently but shall not compromise citizens rights to privacy. By 2040 private and corporate donations to campaigns will be eliminated. Corporate funds to be eliminated first as they undermine the nation. This is primarily because corporations are not comprised of merely U.S. shareholders but also foreign shareholders who are not citizens of the US. Those campaigning for office should be allocated a fair and equal amount of tax dollars to run for office. Campaign commercials should be eliminated. In addition the Fairness Doctrine should be reinstated. Legislation eliminating the Electoral College will be a thing of the past. The Electoral College was created because of the 3/5 rule (i.e. slaves were considered only 3/5 of a person). The Electoral College should technically have been eliminated with the 1964 Civil Rights Act. By 2040 given the advancement of technology, registration and voting should be by popular vote conducted on line with highly secure servers, that are monitored closely by a Commission of Electoral Fairness, comprised of specialists, citizens and government employees (who must pass a civil service test). Gerrymandering should be eliminated by using a mathematical model using population and several other factors to create fair districts that are not partisan. All of this will aid in the expansion of Democracy. The three branches of government shall continue to execute their duties per the Constitution, however, no bills or legislation shall be passed that have not been thoroughly read and discussed. Each Representative shall have a staff whose sole purpose is to consult experts about the intended and unintended consequences of spending decisions. Problem solving should be the focus and serving the citizens the purpose.


Proposal 13:

When government can know everything, when should it choose to be ignorant?


The biggest challenge and opportunity facing governments over the next two decades is when to put a limit on their knowledge when they are capable of knowing almost everything.


In the coming decades, three technologies are projected to get dramatically cheaper, better, and more widely available: Public sensors always gathering data, cloud servers to store this data, and artificial intelligence programs to analyze this data.


With potential access to cell phone data, city cameras, social media monitoring, medical records, etc., by 2040 a government could choose to know effectively everything about every one of its citizens -- possibly more than people know about themselves.


Beyond that, thanks to the social, economic, and health research that will be made possible by the combination of big data and AI, a government could know what is “best” for each citizen. For instance, a government could know that if a person lived closer to work, which would cause them to bike more, their chance of developing diabetes would be reduced by 18 percent. In another example, the government could know that if an individual spent more time with people on the weekends, their chance of depression would drop by 23 percent.


The great debate of the coming decade will be when the government should choose to be ignorant -- and when it should force private companies to also be ignorant. It is one thing for a government decide it will not use personal data to make people behave in certain ways, but if the government allows private companies to access the same data and influence behavior, the same issue would still exist.

Proposal 14:

Autonomous, Networked, and Precision Governance


Today, public agencies are experimenting with various artificial intelligence inspired computational mechanisms. These projects focus on augmenting the public workforce, automation of structured tasks, and even innovate around the delivery of public services. We are also seeing a greater effort by public agencies to leverage networked computational resources and platforms (e.g. cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT)). The ubiquity of mobile computing systems has also opened up significant opportunities for provision of information that is context-aware and real-time. In addition, mobile computing systems open up new avenues for environmental situational awareness. Given these trends, coupled with the fact that our public agencies have increased their maturity when it comes to technology management and collaborative governance protocols, our public agencies in 2040 will enjoy be transformed due to their autonomous and connectivity. Agencies able to:


• deliver greater public value through the deployment of systems are intelligent, connected, and seamlessly interoperable across heterogeneous environments

• realize greater levels of innovation when it comes to designing, testing, and scaling solutions on our most vexing social challenges through hybrid (human-machine) systems that can scale yet retain their ability to be precise to address peculiarities of local contexts

• rethink their organizational design, processes, and systems from their current reactive nature to one that can proactively sense, process, and respond to dynamic conditions in the environment in real-time

• build and sustain livable, resilient, sustainable, and just communities at any scale from local to state, regional and federal through embedding intelligent systems that remove existing barriers that stifle ambition, achievement, and security

Proposal 15:

Attacking the National Debt with AI


The national debt is one of the nation's foremost challenges; it poses a serious risk to the economy and the government's ability to fund its military and domestic programs. Unquestionably, the three largest areas of government spending are Medicare and Medicaid (about 28%), Social Security (about 24%) and defense (about 15%). If government embraces artificial intelligence (AI) approaches, which include a wide range of machine learning, natural language processing and predictive analytic techniques, it can substantially lower costs and improve the delivery of services in these critical areas.


In healthcare, AI methods can be utilized to individualize care. Providers can leverage both individual-level and aggregate data to make better decisions about what kind of testing, pain management and treatments are most appropriate for someone in light of his/her specific symptoms and medical history. A more individualized approach to healthcare, based on the use of AI methods, will substantially reduce financial costs in addition to lowering the emotional and health tolls that unnecessary testing and misdiagnoses take on a sick or injured person.


With respect to Social Security, a more individualized approach using AI methods can likewise lower waste that is quickly rendering the program unsustainable. Today, benefits are determined by the age at which you retire and income. A more tailored approach, using AI methods, could account for the myriad other factors that influence how much government assistance is needed and can be afforded by the federal government.


Thirdly, in the area of defense spending, AI methods have numerous applications that can lower costs while bolstering efficacy. For example, satellites are currently capturing millions of images daily to monitor security targets. AI methods can be used to extract relevant, actionable recommendations from this seemingly indigestible amount of image data. Other defense-related applications include speech recognition, procurement decisions and performance evaluation.

Proposal 16:

Open, Transparent and Shared Government


The year is 2040. The vision of a Shared Government has eventually materialized. Co-creation and Co-production of government services is in vogue. Citizens now have direct input in design and delivery of government services; while their elected representatives ensure efficient and effective service delivery through a specialized civil service, operating with a very lean and agile structure and regulated by tech- enabled monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.


Complex decision making is aided by sophisticated Artificial Intelligence based Information Systems powered by real-time Big Data and analytics. The trio of: Government’s Expertise, Artificial Intelligence and Citizens Aspirations, assures optimal decision that harnesses a sense of togetherness and empowerment.


Government, by law, is bound to release all data related to its projects, programs, contracts, agreements, incomes, spending etc. Furthermore, common use of Blockchain-based applications has added an unprecedented level of transparency to government business.


This tech-enabled transparency has helped independent groups develop instruments like Government Performance Index (GPI) and Government Credibility Index (GCI); to which citizens now frequently refer while gauging the collective, as well as the individual, performance and integrity of the elected members of the executive branch of government.


More sophisticated indexes, further take into account, elected government as a whole, as well as, individual member’s campaign promises versus their actual accomplishments, during as well as at the end of their terms in office. Along with federal government and its representatives; these Indexes are also being maintained for State departments, local governments and corresponding elected representatives.


Today’s government is more open and transparent than the ideal form of an open government envisaged at its conception. The Government-citizen relationship has altogether altered. Citizens are in the Big Brother role now!

Proposal 17:

Government 2040: Coordinated, Connected, and Crosscutting


In 2040, relationships between the public and private sector will be reshaped to grow and accommodate advanced technologies that will aid in improved connectivity amongst systems, safer infrastructure, as well as responsiveness to the needs of citizens. These relationships will be reshaped by crosscutting sectoral initiatives that will enhance city, state, and federal level functions. We will see the rise of highly connected cities and coordinated national infrastructure that will work together and allow, for instance, autonomous vehicles to be driven on intelligent transportation systems that communicate with weather, law enforcement, and traffic systems that are all protected by a secure cyberinfrastructure operated using cognitive computing capabilities.


The approaches to the development and financing of smart or intelligent cities in years prior will provide new templates for public-private partnership. These templates will show diverse mechanisms for effectively implementing new models of governance, citizen engagement, partnership, regulation, and financing models. Forms of public-private partnerships will increase and will stretch across multiple sectors, if not all, to create streamlined, connected processes. Similarly, the various regulatory barriers that are designed for safety and to prevent collusion or unfair business tactics will be revised in order to create stronger, more secure networks that work smarter, faster, and more efficiently. Finally, given the relationship change with the private sector, the financing of these efforts will be redeveloped with more attention to designing infrastructure ownership, compensation and/or reimbursement, and mega-scale financing practices.


Comment: I appreciated proposal 17 (Government 2040: Coordinated, Connected, and Crosscutting) the most because it provided great ideas for the future with lessons learned from today. Particularly, it takes a realistic approach to looking into the future and provides a best-case scenario for future government if government learns from present day challenges and opportunities. I would be very interested in seeing a complete essay regarding future government based on the author's abstract.


Comment: This is a cool idea and is best case scenario for government if we learn from the past to make a better future. The idea of new templates for partnership being created now that will be implemented in 2040 seems interesting.


Comment: I liked this proposal.


Proposal 18:

Fluency in Information Technology and Public Deliberation as Essential Skills


Significant increases in computing power and machine learning will lead to an increase in the usage of technology in the provision of public services. Public sector jobs that involve routine repetitive tasks will be phased out and automated as government agencies seek to save money and enhance efficiency. New jobs that rely upon creativity, relationship building, judgement, and knowledge of computing systems will emerge as citizens demand new services in response to discoveries in technology, medicine, economics, law, and the arts. City governments will take-up advances in computing to a greater degree than the federal government given that the political and financial risks of using such technologies are much greater at the federal level. Public sector managers at all levels will need a greater understanding of information technology to competently staff their agencies, acquire technology, and develop rules to protect the public from cybersecurity threats and technological failure.


Not only will public sector managers need to become more fluent regarding information technology but also more fluent regarding public deliberation. Rapid increases in computing power and machine learning will force society to think more deeply about the core functions of government, what makes us human, and the degree to which we trust government, our fellow citizens, and machines. High-profile technological failures will spark a demand for greater public deliberation regarding the use of technology by governmental agencies. Efforts at deliberation will be complicated by an increased feeling of busyness among citizens as technology further blurs the boundaries between work and home. Public mangers will need to be skilled at convening face-to-face deliberations with the public to discuss the relationship between technology, government, and citizenship and to resist the temptation to discuss such matters solely through technological mediums given that they generally do not engender the same amount of trust.


Proposal 19:

Government No Longer Thinks in the Present; It Lives in the Future


Fast-forward to 2040: The government faces a nation that is increasingly dynamic and evolving, driven by escalating socio-technological-economic changes. Networks - both digital and human - are hyper-social. Emerging technologies are breaking new molds to capture, translate, and secure data. Yet the disparity in wealthy versus poor draws deeper divides, and environmental flux aggravates our daily living and basic purchasing patterns (water, electricity).


This acceleration to extremes stressed government capacity and caused it to chase a growing number of mission-essential priorities. But rather than continue recklessly, the government regrouped, reassessed, and took a smarter approach to manage the complexity.


Now it draws from societal innovation which has been more effectively communicating, contracting, and managing services given its quicker adoption of new technology, processes, and "mature" work roles that creatively use AI, blockchain, and IoT to make faster predictions and decisions. It has adopted the gig economy concept which has shifted the size and pattern of work across agencies. It has identified where startups can fill voids in government services, getting the public what they need more efficiently and effectively.


Boldly, the government no longer thinks in the present; it lives in the future. It looks at unorthodox approaches to understand and solve societal challenges, and leverages or leads advancements in analytics to make sense of the broader, complex world that places requirements on its missions and resources. It operates from the idea that it is no longer defined by geographic borders, but by thought centers, and that it must reorient and reorganize its people, processes, and infrastructure to more closely mimic societal demographics and growth patterns. After several decades of being 'caught in the headlights' as society reached farther, thought bigger, and pushed boundless innovation, government is taking a razor-sharp focus on the future to bring thoughtful change and success.


Proposal 20:

Alternative scenarios for the future: Looking ahead to 2040


In recent years, government structure and operations have been in flux due to changing demands placed by technological advancements and transitions with demographic populations. Technological advancements have impacted every area of government operations from how information is provided and received to how performance is assessed to the hiring and firing of personnel. Such advancements have included geographic information systems, social media, drone surveillance, big data analytics, and, more recently, digital currencies. Likewise, demographic shifts have brought to light persistent issues of income inequality, the need to serve a multicultural and global population, and questions of how to engage millennials while also care for the aging.


The aforementioned have laid a foundation for the structure and operations of government in 2040 to be impacted in two key areas: 1) service provision and 2) personnel management. In regards to service provision, in 2040 people will no longer have to “come to government” but rather, government will directly come to them. This will entail virtual realities where government is not only adapting to and/or being a consumer of technological advancements, but rather, reproducing technological advancements to meet the needs of service recipients. Further, local governments will leverage technology to maintain a significant dependence on alternative funding sources in order to be loosed from state and/or federal control in the provision of equitable services to ensure the well-being of all “residents” and not just “citizens.” In regards to personnel management, technological advancements will lead to an even smaller public service personnel and more specialized positions; whereas, demographic shifts will necessitate managers being able to effectively manage personnel with demographic, intellectual, cultural, and experiential diversity. Technology will also provide opportunities for virtual management and immediate foreign language translation to better engage service recipients.


Proposal 21:

The Extinction of the Clock Watchers Delivering Municipal Services


Untenable federal debt and, according to some estimates, $150 trillion in unfunded liabilities have a profound trickle down effect on the fiscal health of the states. The states are forced to fend for themselves from a budgetary and resource allocation standpoint as the federal government is no longer in the position to aid the states financially. This impacts the dynamics of municipal governance and service delivery. Local municipalities are forced to consolidate on a regional basis. Individual municipalities exist nominally but they are no longer autonomous. Redundancies in human resources and service delivery positions are eliminated. Job rotation and personnel sharing become the norm as part of a nationwide municipal consolidation trend. Technology and automation is incorrectly viewed as a panacea for overcoming these local government dilemmas.


Comment: I liked this proposal.


Proposal 22:

Federated Autonomous Zones


People all over the world are already experimenting with open, participatory ways for business organizations to operate. As people gain more autonomy, they are able to choose flexible roles and connect with others in more diverse ways. Small groups of people will self-organize around common purpose. These small groups will be more agile, and by engaging each other with greater intimacy, will tap into the highest levels of human performance. These groups will be able to solve complex problems in a globally-connected world. These emergent, open participatory organizations will function as “living centers” which will seed new types of governance, based on multi-dimensional domains of interest. Governance will be a preferred platform for a domain of interest. Think Facebook or Twitter, but designed to capture the innovation that comes from the many, to solve problems that we all face. Much like a good university campus can revitalize rural town life, the centers of learning, innovation, and production based on principles of open participation, will revitalize democratic participation. These emergent, “virtual centers of participation” will both attract incoming associations with other centers, and seek out synergistic affiliations with other vital centers, giving shape to larger and larger networks, spanning multiple domains of interest. Each participatory center, would retain its autonomy for as long as it maintained a core purpose that served the larger network. Together, the core purpose of every living center would define the “articles of federation” for what would be known as their “Federated Autonomous Zone” (FAZ) Inside each center, inside each domain, inside each FAZ, technologies such as blockchain and micro-currencies of exchange will help people enact a peer-to-peer participatory ecology at different scales of participation. At each level, a uniquely specified governance would co-evolve with the participants it exists to serve.


Proposal 23:

Emergence of Compassion in Government


Our constitution was conceived as a social contract whereby people ceded some rights to the government for protection of others. The country was 98% farmers. Voters were white, landowning men. Slavery was enshrined. Technological power was limited to the horse and peripherals. There were no taxes. Employment, medicine, the environment were administered locally and managed by small communities responsible for day-to-day life which was largely expected to be similar from birth to death. These are not today’s conditions.


We’ve experienced at least two major technological revolutions (industrial and digital). And we may be entering a third (artificial intelligence). We’ve experienced at least four major social revolutions (civil war, suffrage, immigration, civil rights). Government has expanded to keep up inexorably tearing the seams of the original contract.


Government 2040 must account for needs we have going forward including: our position not merely as a sovereign state, but as a member of a global community and people who will be inevitably left behind one way or another. It must account not only for the continuous defense of justice, but also for the continuous re-creation of a just society in the face of epiphenomenal changes. We must create a government that maximizes human potential while eliminating injustice – by intention or by happenstance – with modern technologies and sensibilities. In short, government must evolve with systems that enable us to take care of each other by default and not by exception. This essay examines compassion as a collective, emergent feature of governance and how we can get there using complex adaptive systems techniques. It is possible to design systems to distribute justice and equity with special consideration for those with less power, access, resources, etc., such that we increase the probability of emergent compassion to inspire long term, pro-social action.


Proposal 24:

Future Ready Public Sector


You have probably heard this before: five of the top six biggest companies on the Fortune500 are mammoth internet companies - Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft. Before I go any further, let me point out that this is not another ode to the big five. But I would like to borrow from how these companies operate. Not to say that government should be run like this business, but what can government learn from how they synthesize data from different fronts of customer engagement into a cohesive strategy that informs product/service development and the creation new products/services that we all crave?


In the United States, the government has the largest operational structure. The public sector is a gigantic operation in action. However, the government still has huge systems that do not communicate with each other. In this era of technological advancement and complex challenges, that is nearly fatal. Thus, my idea for governance in 2040, revolves around the use of information technologies to optimize the delivery of public value.


A system of delivering public value optimized by data sharing and innovation would require a change in organizational culture. From attracting young talents to upgrading technological processes, implementing new policies for engagement, and encouraging innovation among others, governance in 2040 should wear a new skin.


In an era where big data and artificial intelligence Increases efficiency, my vision for governance in 2040 is one which promotes innovation and creativity that helps synthesize data from various government institutions for effective service delivery. A public service with the right strategy coupled with preparedness to engage the talents and intellect of all peoples to tackle the complex challenges of today’s society.


Proposal 25:

Government and the Pursuit of Happiness


"In the 50 years before I took office in 2021, most of our social problems had only gotten progressively worse," former President Oprah Winfrey reflected. "We shifted government's purpose from legislating and regulating solutions, to engaging society's leaders in preventing and detecting problems, setting goals, measuring progress, and driving change at the local level."


Within a week of her inauguration in 2021, following her historic landslide victory a few months earlier, President Winfrey called her Broken Promise summit assembling leaders from business, education, faith, social non-profits, and government in Washington. The data showed 1-in-4 Americans fail to achieve self-reliance and depend on government subsidies.


"The promise of happiness achieved through self-reliance is broken in childhood by sexual, physical and emotional abuse, neglect, trauma, multi-generational poverty and multi-generational incarceration," explained Winfrey showing the correlation between trauma and government dependency.


Broken Promise inspired a revolution in government. "We began tearing down the bureaucracy regulations had built and reorganized launching new teams as we set new improvement targets," tells the former president. "My vision is that government's job is to inspire, enable and engage others - not just to enforce the law and pick up the broken pieces."


"Watching the news today after it was announced we had achieved our third of six major national goals, it struck me that we have truly changed the course of the nation," said the 86-year-old Winfrey who completed her second term a year ago. "We exceeded our target of reducing the number of our fellow citizens who needed government subsidies by 50 percent. It was beautiful to see the spontaneous celebrations popping up from Seattle to Miami - something we have not seen in our country since the end of World War II. There is no doubt we have rediscovered the soul of this great nation."


Proposal 26:

The Dissolution of Bureaucracy


In 2040 the federal government will look markedly different than it does today. Mandatory spending, including interest on the debt, will strangle discretionary funding, while public and Congressional resistance to tax increases will suffocate agency operations. Executive and legislative leadership will attrit empty federal billets while implementing flexible firing procedures that slash the size of the federal workforce. Federal contract obligations currently account for around 40 percent of total discretionary spending. This trend should continue in coming years and could result in third party contracts accounting for 70 to 80 percent of total discretionary funding by 2040, with intergovernmental transfers comprising most of the remainder.


In 2040 no federal activity will be considered “inherently governmental” with the exception of offices involved in national security. The private sector will assume key government duties including tax collection, airport security, social security distribution, and federal prisons, among other services. The remaining skeletal staff of civil servants will oversee third party activities, with their attention directed at discovering waste, fraud or abuse in third party expenditures. The federal government will transform into a central bank that distributes funding to third party organizations to execute governmental functions. In this new, market-based environment, the bureaucratic departmental hierarchy – the central organizing tenet of federal government – will be replaced by a patchwork of for-profit, nonprofit, and subnational institutions.


In the wake of bureaucratic dissolution and the rise of networked governance, Congress will establish new federal program coordinators to implement interagency and inter-sector programs. Deputy program coordinators will be assigned from state and non-governmental organizations, depending on the program’s needs, and performance will be measured by the initiative’s quantitative outputs and fiscal austerity. Congress will hold the program coordinator – not the department – accountable, and congressional committees will reshape themselves to support cross-agency programs.


Comment: I found this to be an interesting concept and an idea that, while too early to tell at this point, may be currently at the beginning of execution in current time.


Proposal 27:

Emergent Government


Our constitution was conceived as a social contract whereby people ceded some rights to the government for protection of others. The country was 98% farmers. Voters were white, landowning men. Slavery was enshrined. Technological power was limited to the horse and peripherals. There were no taxes. Employment, medicine, the environment were administered locally and managed by small communities responsible for day-to-day life which was largely expected to be similar from birth to death. These are not today’s conditions.


We’ve experienced at least two major technological revolutions (industrial and digital). And we may be entering a third (artificial intelligence). We’ve experienced at least four major social revolutions (civil war, suffrage, immigration, civil rights). Government has expanded to keep up inexorably tearing the seams of the original contract.


Government 2040 must account for needs we have going forward including: our position not merely as a sovereign state, but as a member of a global community and people who will be inevitably left behind one way or another. It must account not only for the continuous defense of justice, but also for the continuous re-creation of a just society in the face of epiphenomenal changes. We must create a government that maximizes human potential while eliminating injustice – by intention or by happenstance – with modern technologies and sensibilities. In short, government must evolve with systems that enable us to take care of each other by default and not by exception. This essay examines compassion as a collective, emergent feature of governance and how we can get there using complex adaptive systems techniques. It is possible to design systems to distribute justice and equity with special consideration for those with less power, access, resources, etc., such that we increase the probability of emergent compassion to inspire long term, pro-social action.


Proposal 28:

GOVERNMENT IN THE AGE OF CYBER-REALITY


Context in 2040


A world shaped by Cyber-Reality (CR) a combination of digital reality (DR), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), is transforming social, economic, cultural and even political foundations of our civilization. Permanent transformation and Innovation in a world with:


− Hybrid forms of organizations and government based in “Our Reality” and CR

− Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs and Artificial Intelligent Entities (AIE’s) as ‘partners’ in all spheres of life activities

− Blockchain based agreements supervised by AIE’s

− New highly advanced ‘Internet of Everything’ combined with AI and Cyber-Reality the most powerful “Cyber-Entity”

− Growing role of increasingly self-sufficient cities

− Explosive amount of Big Data and increasing complexity

Government Scenarios


− Governance policies aligned with constitution and human rights and based on advanced Blockchain

− Control of congruency and compliance of government policies and their execution by ‘Compliance AEI’s’

− Shift from democratic towards technocratic and authoritarian forms supported by AI technology

Key Issues (Double edged - for or against us- depending on the purpose!)


− Transparency as main factor for trust in governments and reduction of corruption

− Adequate Leadership supported by AI

− Government as a Cyber-Reality platform

− Development of new taxes and new forms for income

− Fight for control of the big data and AI between governments and big tech

− Control of all people with new technologies

− AI based crime prevention

− Fast growing influence of machine-learning algorithms on important issues of society

− Dealing with virtual currencies

− Social cohesion weakening and communities falling apart

− New forms of education focused on individuals and based on competency, talent and personality development

− Artificial enhancement of human physical and mental abilities

− Security issues: Cyber-Crime, and Asymmetric Threats etc.


Proposal 29:

Radical Localism and Networks


The U.S. federal government is currently struggling to achieve basic policy goals. The fissures that have formed in its various branches over the past quarter century are deepening and will continue to do so if current challenges remain unaddressed. This being the case, the best description of government in 2040 will likely be, however unwieldy, "radical localism through networks."


For the fact is that, owing to the failure of national institutions to deal effectively with such policy issues as global warming, income inequality, immigration, education, and infrastructure, local governments have no choice but to fill the void. This move toward greater self-reliance on the local level can already be seen, for example, in the formation of coalitions among the nation's mayors that are working to control pollution. The trend is almost certain to continue, meaning that governance in 2040 will be even more diffused than it is today.


Thus, policy will be made through complex networks made up of actors who see the value in cooperation. In the face of continued gridlock at the national level, radical local networks will marshal a wide range of resources in order to confront the local manifestations of national problems.


In such a world, public administration will need to rely on technology to connect networks, to encourage managers to rely on persuading instead of ordering, and to increase citizens' participation in local decision-making. These efforts at the local level must not, however, replace or even diminish efforts on the part of experts, practitioners, philosophers, activists, and citizens to leverage the potential represented by the national government-however unlikely success may seem at the present.


Accordingly, I will in this essay consider the structure and function of the radically local networks that are likely to dominate governance in 2040.


Comment: The idea radical localism is interesting because it speaks to an opportunity to applying the responsiveness and citizen involvement unique to local government to the often entrenched and calcified federal government operations.


Proposal 30:

Can a Democratically Accountable, Systems Science of Governance Come of Age?


The tools and technologies of systems science are providing opportunities to better understand how complex social, technological and ecological systems function and are governed. Fueled by the employment of artificial intelligence, deep and machine learning algorithms, big data analytics, and computer simulation models to address pressing public policy problems, the "situational awareness" of governments is increasing. But we must ask: At what cost?


Climate change, population growth, resource scarcities, income disparities, and political, social and ethnic conflicts serve as fundamental drivers and disrupters of our shared future. These are large scale disruptions and their effects are complex, nonlinear, and dynamic. Systems science tools are being employed to model, study and anticipate how these disruptions will impact systems of people, places and things.


Systems science tools are also, unto themselves, disrupters. Large volumes of data are being collected on the movements, communications, sentiments and buying habits of citizens. The employment of these tools and technologies is already being used to advance the interests of powerful and conflict-driven actors and may be employed to advance the interests of the few, or to optimize the benefits to the many.


Can systems science be employed to carry on the governance of the common good? The resiliency of societies will hinge on the extent which governments can remain democratically anchored institutions that serve as the central vehicles through which contested, but critical, public collective actions are coordinated.


The effectiveness of government operations in 2040 will likely depend on our abilities to successfully blend the tools of systems science with democratically anchored legal and ethical frameworks grounded in the principles of transparency and openness that enable self-organization and self-determination. New governance frameworks will be needed to litigate, mitigate, moderate and modulate the development and application of these systems science tools and technologies.


Proposal 31:

Averting the Social Apocalyse


For much of history the focus of government has been on making it less human and more machine-like. This was done to increase efficiency in delivering goods and services. By 2040 the emphasis must switch to making government more human and less machine. Soon a generation will be born who, through the internet, can live an entire life within their homes where they have access to food deliveries, education, work, entertainment and government functions. Few futurists have imagined a world more efficient and convenient yet so impersonal and inhuman. Most will continue to live in the outside world, spending time at work, with friends and in the outside community, yet as social withdrawal becomes easier, many may fall for its siren song. As research increasingly warns of the dangers of loneliness, social media addiction, and engagement with toxic online communities it becomes clear that the potential dangers to physical and mental well-being in this new digital age are high.


The government’s role in this? The best answer to the potential of social apocalypse is not by attempting to turn back time or restricting new technologies but by humanizing them. Government must take up the role as champion of community and focus on bringing isolated people out of their cocoons to re-engage in social activities. First addressing the culture within its own offices, government must find ways to make work social and invigorating, with focuses on communal problem solving and the power of relationships. Technology can ease many of the burdens of traditional government, but it will also create new problems that will demand government redirection. We need programs that increase face to face interaction, spur community involvement, and humanize the delivery of government services to restore not only faith in the power of government but also positive American identity.


Comment: This is a great idea. It is needed to counter the extreme interest in adding technology as the only answer to societal problems. This sentiment is similar to what we are seeing now with the drive to reduce vehicle use in cities and adopt greener approaches to transit. At one time, Ford sold America on the vehicle and shaped society to what we know of today. By doing so, we have reaped great benefits but have also experienced several new problems because of the automobile. With the adoption of new technologies, we will experience the same benefits and risk. This proposal speaks to one of the risk we will have which is dehumanizing ourselves, our experiences, and each other.


Proposal 32:

2040: Managing Together a Mission to Mars


In 2040, after years of preparation, a multi-national, multi-sectoral consortium is ready to set off on a great voyage to Mars. The “Mars Together Project,” as it is called, involves space agencies from the U.S., Russia, China, Canada, Europe, Japan, and India. It is undergirded by hundreds of industrial firms and universities, and thousands of scientific researchers from all over the world. Many companies involved are not only contractors, but share in the costs, a process exemplified by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.


The collaboration is led by NASA. Administrative leadership is needed to make the most of the expertise that has been assembled. The Mars Together Project is a logical step in a progression of collaborative programs that began with the International Space Station (ISS) and was succeeded in the 2030’s by a global project to build a base on the Moon. Along the way, government and private companies have found incentives to cooperate to explore. Public interest in Mars has been stimulated by soil-sample returns to Earth indicating strongly that Mars once had or still has life. In 2040, human spaceflight and robotic technology have been merged in the interest of exploration.


This essay will track the evolution of collaborative relations among governments and the private sector, beginning with ISS, then projecting lunar collaborations, and finally the ultimate collaboration to go to Mars. Discussed will be barriers to this enterprise, particularly those resulting in conflict and how they are overcome. The essay will focus on the forging of organizational mechanisms that enable large-scale collaborations. Leading nations and private entities to cooperate requires satisfying their most vital interests while persuading them to move in a common direction. Collaborative leadership also necessitates coping with domestic and international politics at the same time, building a grand coalition required of a grand challenge.


Proposal 33:

Competing for Good: Using Competitions to Achieve Public Purposes


In 2040, government will harness the power of competitions to promote public purposes. Competitions, just like this competition, breed innovation and performance improvement. Whether independently or through collaboration with private nonprofit and for-profit partners, governments will deploy and leverage their limited resources through an increasing array of formal and informal competitions. Governments step in to provide services where markets fail. By definition, competitive pressures are typically absent and limit incentives to continuously improve performance. Governments in 2040 will continue to embrace public service delivery where markets fail, but will have learned from public and private counterparts to create market-like competitions to solve discrete problems and enhance efficiency.


The use of competitions to promote socially-desirable outcomes has quietly emerged in recent years across all sectors, and in government beyond the traditional purview of procurement. Local governments and public utilities sponsor competitions among neighborhoods to conserve energy and water. The federal government offers a limited pool of grant funds to incentivize innovation and policy change in K-12 education. Nonprofits take advantage of the competitive spirit to maximize blood donations and fundraising by pitting the students of rival universities against one another for a good cause. Budget-strapped governments use performance contracting to competitively finance energy efficiency projects that ultimately help the environment and reduce annual costs with no upfront expenditures. NASA and Google’s Lunar Xprize both leverage financial awards to mobilize disparate groups to creatively tackle space exploration. State and local governments empower employees through competitively awarding dedicated innovation funds to support grassroots performance improvement initiatives. Cataloguing and communicating the variety and structures of these competitions will encourage more pervasive use by governments in the future.


Governments in 2040 will leverage their limited resources to incentivize people and groups through the power of competitions to address our public challenges both large and small.


Proposal 34:

Counties: The New Hub of Local Government in 2040


We finally have it all: better quality services, lower taxes, and home rule. Thanks to shared services through county governments in 2040, police protection is up and crime rates are down. Residents enjoy quick fire and medical response times. Parks and recreation departments provide more programming and address long-needed maintenance backlogs. Taxes cost less to administer and are processed more quickly.


How did all of this happen just 20 years from a time when state and local governments faced fiscal stress, residents were weary of potential tax increases, and capital spending needs were mounting? The answer lies in shared services at the county level with state support.


Governments across the nation had called for shared services for decades. Local governments had worked together in a limited capacity with other local governments. Some states incentivized shared services or consolidation through changes in revenue sharing. Other states forced the hands of local governments with emergency measures.
As valiant as these efforts may have been, savings were limited. Part of the reason was a desire for home rule: government of a locality by its own residents. Some residents saw shared services as an intrusion into local autonomy by out-of-touch policymakers in a faraway city.


By sharing services at the county level, residents now enjoy the financial benefits of shared services without losing a local connection. The fit is natural: in a 2013 IBM study, 63 percent of county officials already reported talking to local governments at least once per week. Police services are still provided by nearby residents and staffing decisions are still made locally. Parks and recreation decisions are still responsive to local preferences.


In 2040, counties have become the new hub of local government, facilitated by state support, and residents are happy for the change.


Proposal 35:

A Public-Private-Nonprofit Partnership Approach to Governing in 2040


Public-private-nonprofit partnerships will distinguish government in the year 2040. As communities across the globe encounter challenges beyond the scope of single-sector solutions, government will increasingly partner with the private and nonprofit sectors to obtain the expertise and resources needed to execute traditional government activities. Challenges such as cybersecurity, infrastructure depletion, health crises, institutional distrust, and natural disasters are but some of the challenges beyond the scope of government alone, nor should government be expected to solely address all local, national, and international-spanning issues. Many of the impending challenges for government in 2040 are human-made, and therefore can be solved by the collective power of all sectors.


Each sector embodies characteristics that act as catalysts to success and alleviate the inadequacies present in other sectors. Harnessing the power of all sectors has proven successful in the past and can be utilized again to quell tomorrow's multifaceted challenges. History reveals that the impossible can become achievable when government encourages cross-sector partnerships and creates a space for cross-sector collaboration.


Accomplishing this requires government to explore how to more effectively create cross-sector partnerships to overcome the looming challenges of the next two decades. First, more research is needed that explores techniques to harness the expertise and diminish the vulnerabilities of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Second, mission and value conflict threaten the effectiveness of public-private-nonprofit partnerships, and therefore requires further attention regarding how to address the individual and collective goals of each sector. Lastly, a culture of inclusiveness that values the perspectives and contributions of each sector and expels the negative connotations often associated with each is essential. Government in 2040 will no longer be a traditional single sector enterprise, but rather a partnership of public, private, and nonprofit sector actors coming together to eradicate the impossible with bold and innovative solutions.


Proposal 36:

A Feminist Open Government


Open Government initiatives leverage Internet-based technologies to enhance transparency, citizen participation, and collaboration. We outline a vision for a feminist open government. By feminist open government, we mean designing government websites with both women and men in mind. A future with feminist open government implies, among other things, that managers running data portals post datasets woman want, that women and men file FOIA requests in equal number, and that participatory initiatives have equal representation by gender.


Today, open government initiatives reflect a desire to expand citizens’ access to government information and make it easier for individuals to participate in public affairs. These initiatives are generally welcomed because of their potential to transform relationships between citizens and government, in large part by empowering citizens. Namely, by enhancing transparency and creating forums for participation and collaboration, open government initiatives contribute to engendering a more informed citizenry, accountable and responsive government and, as a result are predicted to improve the quality of democratic governance.


We discuss how these open government efforts can run at odds with efforts to enhance gender representation and equity. Specifically, closer consideration of the implications of efforts to render government more open reveals striking concerns over equity issues. Indeed, as a Carter Project notes, females continue to face significant barriers to accessing government information. These barriers are the result of a host of complex institutional, social, and psychological factors. If not addressed, open government initiatives may actually stand to democratically reinforce institutionalized gender inequity, as opposed to alleviating it.


In keeping with the spirit of this call for proposals, we develop a framework of institutional, social, and psychological factors responsible for gender imbalances resulting from open government initiatives and outline strategies for engendering greater gender equity and improve the quality of democratic governance by the year 2040.


Proposal 37:

The Democratization of Democracies


Most democracies today are not true democracies. It would be too time consuming for the public to engage in each and every decision the government made, as it would under a "participatory democracy". Yet, under our current systems, there are far too many policies in place that defy the interests of the majority. These range from issues concerning climate change to gun control to tax regimes.


Today, the best barometers of public perception, other than elections, are opinion polls and these have little to no direct influence on policy implementation. As we move towards 2040, developing more secure digital government platforms can allow for real-time Q&A to collect broad public feedback during legislative or parliamentary sessions on important issues. For example, the public can be asked a set of questions on gun control (given the issue's current prominence) during a session, and the poll figures can influence, or perhaps even override, the actions to be taken.


Having more real-time referendum-type feedback allows for a broader, more thorough democracy. Although there may be challenges in framing the issues, as well as the potential for rapidly changing public views, such a system could overcome issues of political stagnation and return power back into the hands of the public.


Proposal 38:

Big Everything


We often hear that "big government crowds out strong business and civil society". Is this tension inevitable, or based on assumptions of zero-sum competition between sectors?


My vision for 2040 involves transcending these assumptions. It's about "Big Everything" - strong government, agile and thriving commerce AND vibrant citizen communities, each sector achieving its highest purpose and balancing the others' unavoidable dark sides. Government will achieve its highest purpose of scale and institutional reach; its dark side of slow bureaucracy will be balanced by an agile and creative private sector. Businesses' potential dark side of greed and avarice will be balanced by the idealism and empathy of citizen communities, whose possible dysfunctions of dogmatism and single-issue focus will be balanced by governments' scale and reach.


Technology will be key. It will enable internal transformations in how governments organise their administration and policymaking, to be more integrated, drawing from data that illuminates citizen and business needs. It will also catalyse external transformations in how governments deliver services: harnessing the potential of crowds for greater public participation, while having the courage to shed functions more suitably carried out by self-organising citizens and businesses. Such a government will convene, aggregate, facilitate and mediate among multiple conceptions of public value, moving away from pure central direction and hierarchical regulation.


Even more critical than technology: people. The best policymakers and partners of government will have inclusive, innovative mindsets - jettisoning outdated models of paper-based government fiat and embracing more encompassing digital tools. They will be savvy change managers, understanding that this vision may initially seem idealistic and impossible, but is achievable with grit, determination and the accumulation of small, everyday steps.


By 2040, our challenges and risks will be much bigger in size, scope and speed. Our mindsets, toolkits and inter-sector collaboration must get bigger too.


Comment: I think technology will enable both big and small government at the same time. Big in the sense of all data being shared, inter-connected, transparent and secure. Government knows everything about everything. Yet, the people who work in government are few, since services that can automated will be, and citizens will be empowered to self-help for most government services. Citizens will become co-creators and even owners of traditional public services. Services will be customised and seamless, yet fairly distributed, according to the citizen’s needs and circumstances.


For the above to happen, you will need a high level of trust between government and citizens (and amongst citizens), as well as major mindset shifts from both parties. Underpinning all that is, of course, shared values.


Such technology/system has the potential to be the largest government without territory - we can sell a governance system as a service (like how Airbnb is the largest hotel chain which does not own any hotels).


Proposal 39:

THE FUTURE ACCOUNTABILITY CHAIN BETWEEN STATE AND INSTITUTIONS


In my opinion, the government in the year 2040 will probably be featured by more citizens’ involvement, through more digital infrastructure models. The governance of the governments will thus be characterized by even more bottom-up approach. Citizens will probably have more possibility to interact with state institutions, by co-creating and co-producing services, policies and programs.


In an agency theory setting, citizens will have more opportunities to represent themselves, by electing the priority of the questions to be issued and formulating proposals and suggestions regarding the laws and regulations in draft. In addition, they will probably also be called to elect the legislative framework issued by the regulators. In this way, politicians would remain representatives of citizens (so as they will continue to have the authority to issue laws and regulations in accordance with the public interest) but with less discretion to run into opportunistic behaviors.


The digital means therefore will become even more the milestone of connection between citizens, stakeholders and public administrations, thus improving the accountability chain among these actors as well as reducing the distance between state and institutions.


Proposal 40:

Cities as agents of change: Urban governance in improvement the business of government


With rapidly increasing global urbanization, there exists a mounting imperative for any vision of the future to consider the role of cities – not only how they will be shaped by future change, but how cities themselves can be agents of change. Long known as engines of economic innovation, cities must also become the point of focus for the management of government bodies. The vision of the next 20 years is one of a fundamental shift in the business of government towards more empowered, growth-focused urban governance.


Globally, the operating and financing of government has been driven almost exclusively at the national level – a necessity engendered by the benefits of economies of scale. Often, this can result in great territorial inequality and contentious politics, as well as widespread inefficiencies in the allocation of resources and provision of public infrastructure. National governments will continue to be of key importance to driving prosperity – particularly as stewards of the legal and political frameworks that set the stage for the citizens and businesses of the nation to thrive. However, this view seeks change in the role of urban governance in providing the necessary context for this prosperity. Municipal bodies are fundamentally more knowledgeable about the optimal means of designing, financing and operating key elements of public infrastructure to achieve the greatest prosperity for their citizens. Building on Tiebout’s model for local expenditures, I propose to consider how developments in technology and data analytics will increase efficiencies such that many services previously relegated to national governments will become feasibly provided by municipal governments. Moreover, I propose to consider how the increasingly important realm of municipal finance must shift to accommodate this fundamental change. The future of urban governance holds great promise, and can drive prosperity – particularly for the developing world.


Proposal 41:

Biosensing and the Biology of Organizational Behavior: Enhancing Productivity and Well-being in the Government Workplace of the Future


Emerging biosensing technologies, combined with increasing knowledge of the biology of organizational behavior provide means to make the “human side” of work better suited to individual biological differences and predispositions. For example, existing and emerging sensing technologies may afford knowledge of an individual’s periods of peak cognitive performance serving to identify time of day effects for optimal performance. Such direct knowledge of individual and group attributes may better allow employees to utilize periods of peak performance resulting in both improved productivity and well-being.


Emerging sensing technologies will track physiological functions of employees (i.e. body temperature, hormone levels, cognitive function, sleep patterns) to identify periods of peak performance and cognition. This will not only affect the way in which government functions, but also will influence how governments provide services. If public organizations fully utilize the naturally occurring “rhythms” of its employees – we may achieve a more productive workforce in which organizations customize work hours and individual work activities based on individual biological predispositions. Other benefits may also arise concerning topics such as shift work based on chronobiology.


Rather than a one-size fits all industrial age bureaucratic operation, governments will focus on individual predispositions and offer customized work schedules and activities for its employees. Benefits should arise in employee commitment, engagement, performance, satisfaction, and turnover. Estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that annual productivity losses in the US due to absenteeism amount to approximately $226B. The costs saved and the psychological and lifestyle benefits that may accrue as a result of addressing the unique elements of the biological differences among employees may be enormous. These emerging sensing technologies also raise issues of privacy that must be part of the dialogue for the government of the future.


Proposal 42:

2040 – The Golden Age of the U.S. Federal Government


It was a combination of three factors that created the highly effective and efficient federal government of 2040. The first factor was the establishment of the national universal basic income in 2024 in response to the increasing use of specialized-intelligence AI and robotics in the U.S. economy, government, and society. The AI agents performed many of the menial and even some skilled jobs which freed people to pursue interest and occupations better fit for human imagination and creativity.


The second factor was free and universal lifelong learning for all U.S. after the 2028 “Second Sputnik Event” when China established a Moon base and successfully landed on a Martian moon. Every U.S. citizen received a personalized cloud-based AI virtual tutor from the age of one. The federal government supplies and manages virtual tutors that create personalized, adaptive learning experiences for the citizens. The government has benefited from the increased number of highly-educated citizens as many people pursue government careers to serve their country better.


The third factor was the establishment of the Department of Technology Strategy (DTS). DTS’ mission is two-fold: mitigate or prevent potential or realized damage from technology while increasing the safety and sophistication of the nation’s physical and cyber infrastructure. Thanks to the DTS’ backing of national railroad electrification, renewable energy and increased rail traffic has created an economic boom for rural America while supporting the development of smart-city hubs across the U.S. Both 3D and 4D manufacturing has created an economy of abundance which has helped alleviate poverty in almost every part of America.


Citizens are now healthier, happier, and better engaged with their government. People's basic daily needs are met in the economy of abundance which leaves citizens free to pursue businesses and causes that best uses the talents and interests of the U.S. citizenry.


Proposal 43:

CRAFTING A BLUEPRINT FOR 2040


The structure and operations of Government in 2040 will be largely determined by decisions we must make very soon. Currently there is a great deal of pessimism because we have so many unresolved issues that are allowing entropy to permeate our democracy. Sadly, it appears that government either cannot, will not, or is no longer capable of dealing effectively with the issues and problems it is tasked to control. As evidence of this impasse, consider the following:


Massive Debt - over $20 trillion and growing rapidly

Deteriorating Health - obesity, drug epidemics, unhealthy agricultural practices

Abandoned Problems - Appalachian poverty, city ghetto violence

Global Warming - denial of its existence, lack of respect for scientific data

Immigration - bilingualism, assimilation, Balkanization

Institutional Disintegration - family fragmentation, underachievement in education


It is not very difficult to recognize problems but much more difficult to understand that each can consist of hundreds of thousands of variables. We have reached the point where there is so much complexity and volume of information that the human mind is incapable of dealing with so many variables at the same time. Computers have this capability. So, it makes sense to place greater reliance on science, artificial intelligence and large computer systems to come up with comprehesive factual advice on what can and should be done to deal effectively and efficiently with the issues confronting government. This would also help limit party line voting, minimize groupthink, and relieve congressional members of career pressures when voting.


Currently, our version of Welfare Capitalism is slowly giving way to a European style Socialism, with some overtones of Orwell's 1984. At the same time, quickly occurring calamities like war or economic depression have the potential to push us in the direction of fascist principles. Finally, look for more world government in 2040.


Proposal 44:

A Networked Ecosystem with Borderless Organizations and Talent


Strategy shapes structure and operations.


In 2040, our strategic vision for Government is a citizen-led, networked ecosystem, in which the citizen shapes and drives Government management and operations as a leader and co-creator. The networked ecosystem includes the private and non-profit sectors as part of the value delivery chain, with equal responsibility and accountability for service delivery.


To execute this strategic vision, Government in 2040 is a hybrid structure with borderless organizations and talent.


A Customer Champion (accountable entity) serves as the primary touchpoint for seamless personalized citizen experience across all levels of Government (Federal, State and Local). The customer champion orchestrates the delivery of services, which are performed by partners in the ecosystem. There are no departments or agencies in the formal structure with network of teams organized around major customer lifecycle events or transactions (customer journeys).


These networks of teams are formed around specific objectives with clear timeframes – teams are disbanded once the outcome or objective is achieved. The objectives are modular and decomposed as smaller problem areas - in aggregate, they help achieve a strategic goal (as an example: improve the access to, and the quality and transparency of, school choice options for K-12 students). The teams are multi-disciplinary in nature, composed of team members from public, private and non-profit sectors - the best minds brought together to solve the complex problems in 2040.


Operations complement the structure and are provided by ecosystem partners. The “Government” function mostly limited to policy making, with its primary role as a facilitator and enabler of service delivery. Administrative functions are provided as core shared services across the enterprise in a competitive marketplace. Finally, operations are lean in nature and leverage advances in technology – they are digital, automated, and driven by artificial intelligence.


Proposal 45:

Government 2040: The New Hollow State


The reinventing government movement of the 1990s reshaped the federal workforce in significant ways. Streamlined middle management and outsourced service delivery resulted in a "hollow state." While this initiative promised improved cost savings, it also introduced workforce management challenges, including knowledge gaps and succession planning difficulties. State and local governments faced a similar situation in the wake of the Great Recession. In an attempt to preserve public services against a backdrop of harsh economic realities, governments cut their workforces. Many still struggle to recover. Now, a variety of forces are ushering in a new era of hollow government. First, the context for public employment is shifting, including the expanded application of technology. Increasingly virtual workplaces offer advantages including continuity of services and office cost savings. At the same time, this trend can physically hollow out organizations. The implications for citizen-government interface as well as employee collaboration and mentoring are largely unconsidered. Second, the expectations for public work are eroding. It is generally assumed that government employees accept lower wages in exchange for relative job security, more generous benefits, and the opportunity to participate in policy processes. However, this bureaucratic compact is hollowed out by expansion of at-will employment reforms, benefit retrenchment, narrowed bargaining rights, and other trends. Third, the capacity for managing the public workforce is under threat. As governments prepare to welcome a new generation of employees, a variety of workforce management themes will remain relevant, including effectively resolving conflict, ensuring equity and inclusiveness, and engaging employees. However, reports indicate that public HR specialists do not have the tools or resources to effectively contribute to strategic planning discussions or participate fully as leaders in their organizations. Together, these trends raise concerns, but also highlight an opportunity to anticipate and respond to the workforce implications of a new hollow state.


Proposal 46:

Bot-government has hit a wall


Alexa 6.2 is a multi-faceted bot that automates most standard government services. With the security of Blockchain 3.4, and 80% of citizens willing to have police monitoring of their location most of the time, (they get tax credits and lower insurance rates) a bot-centered relationship to government is the rule. Fifty-five percent of citizens use bot-recommenders to vote in elections (and there is discussion of auto-bot-voting).


A robust minority is militantly Anti-Bot. Estimates for the “Don’t Bot on Me” (DBM) movement are 10% hard core, with up to 25% in sympathy.


DBMs remember Global Hack 2027 where banks closed for a week due to cyber-intrusion and data corruption. Hacked autonomous cars are in accidents which are largely perpetrated by jealous ex-lovers. Pharma-Guccifer 2035 hit pharmacies and doctors. DBMs trust their own security measures, such as exclusively face-to-face cash transactions for permits, or voting and other government services.


Since local election voter turnout is low, the DBM organized minority (using traditional religious and neighborhood trust networks, and coded messages in writing only, and then quickly destroyed) often control local government elected boards. Some in law enforcement suspect DBMs of e-sabotage to build their power.


Government management is thus more and more polarized: rapid adoption of some highly efficient technologies by the majority (Bitcoin-Blockchain allows for immediate sales tax collection, rather than a delay of merchant payments) contrasted with 20th century burner phones and a cash-tax evasion underground economy. The cat and mouse game of data breach and security fixes is never-ending. Many citizens are resigned to being hacked or having their data compromised: they see it like a hurricane or earthquake. They simply re-constitute their Bot Shell. DBMs claim they are today’s patriots: preserving liberty and hacking back overgrown, intrusive government.


Proposal 47:

The Future of Government: Agility, Automation, Coproduction, Dignity, Trust & Volunteers


Changes in governmental operations and management before 2040 will be driven by advancements in six areas. First, automation increases the amount and sources of data collected and decreases drudge work. This frees employees to focus on data quality and using data to make better decisions. Employees will also have time to invest in coproduction, the second area of advancement. These coproduction efforts will cross all silos including departmental, organizational and practice fields. They will also require superior communication, collaboration, negotiation, interview and project management skills and competence with the technologies supporting coproduction efforts.


Third, community members will be frequent and active volunteer participants in these coproduction efforts by providing both labor and input in the form of ideas, feedback and opinions. Their nonemployee status will require management and operational adaptations, but their involvement will yield many benefits. Fourth, trust in government will increase through volunteer involvement in operations and decision making. Trust will also increase as transparency and openness in government operations become the default for government, with rare exceptions for justified reasons.


Fifth, aided by the quality and quantity of data available from automation and the support of a trusting public, government organizations large and small will be able to embrace an agile approach to problem solving. Governments will be able to experiment with multiple trials of innovative solutions derived from a wide variety of sources. Governments will also be able to frequently alter plans in response to evolving data and feedback. Lastly and assuming our automation-driven societal changes are humanistic, all governmental operations and management will focus on treating both the public and employees with dignity and respect. Together these interconnected concepts will lead to a wiser and more inclusive government in 2040.


Proposal 48:

Local Government as Guide to Market Equilibrium


Local governments have, too often, relegated their role in the housing development process to one of zoning administration, regulating the height bulk and use of the properties added to the stock.


The housing bubble, its crash, and the uneven recovery created an environment that challenged the housing development industry.


The industry read the bubble’s rapid price increases as signals to build more housing and did so with a vengeance. For every 100 households formed, the industry increased the stock by 174 homes, hastening disinvestment and the out-migration from older neighborhoods.


The common narrative is that housing markets are self-correcting. Periods of overbuilding are followed by periods of underbuilding, leading to long-term market equilibrium. The evidence is that the housing industry is not good at achieving this equilibrium. The industry continued to overbuild after the bubble popped and through most of the years of the recovery.


A new role for local government could be that of guiding the pace of development. With this guidance, the housing market could achieve a better quantitative match between household formation and the expansion of the supply. Communities could achieve a better allocation of development between new subdivisions and older neighborhoods. Cities could better direct investments between new construction, infill and renovation of existing dwellings.


Local governments are the only stakeholders in the development process with an interest in achieving long-term equilibrium. Developers make money developing, even at an unsustainable pace. Existing property owners have an interest in choking off development to enhance property values. Local governments have an interest in accommodating population growth, preserving existing neighborhoods, and resolving housing affordability problems. This equilibrium can be achieved by local government adopting a new role as a market regulator with enhanced zoning administration that allocates development permits to achieve balanced growth.


Proposal 49:

From institutionalization to cooperation in local governments


The government of the future will require a change of perspective in the relationship between government and citizens. Municipalities must be the protagonists, since that relationship is more direct at this level.
Such change should bring to total deinstitutionalization and debureaucratization of local governments. All the structure we know today should disappear.


Municipal government will be formed by some project groups. If municipalities are very small, these groups are common and centralized for more of them. As the component of such groups need different and specific skills, in particular managerial skills, they will be not elective, rather they will be chosen from a school of government. Every country will have a school which will train all the public servants.


Citizens will be strongly involved in proposing and decision making. Today, co-design and co-production involve citizens in public services and policies, but this involvement is subordinated to the central role of government. This relation will be subvertedand the contribution of citizens will become central. Citizens will be the principal actors in the government of municipalities. Citizens will interact each other and with the project groups through collaborative platforms (taking advantages of new technologies), creating a collaborative and incremental system of work that enable them to express their needs, propose solutions, make decisions about public policies and services, set and measure outcomes. In this way, the governments of municipalities will originate from the bottom. The project groups will have the role to moderate, control, coordinate and implement proposals and decisions discussed in the platform. For this reason, project groups will be totally empowered and will operate with collaborative spirit, also each other, free from any bureaucratic tie.


At the same way, citizens will be empowered, trained and responsibilized. Responsibility of municipalities government, in fact, will be totally shared."


Proposal 50:

Local Government Management and Service Delivery in a Smarter More Connected World


In Smart Solutions: Technology Serving Communities, a 2017 publication by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), and IBTS, the authors describe a variety of ways in which local governments are exploring technologies, applications, and data to provide higher quality and more effective services for their residents and businesses. While there are interesting case examples, it is clear the smart cities movement is just getting started, and one can envision disruptions to long-held assumptions and practices in local public administration through the promise of ongoing advances in sensors, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and equipment, drones, distributed access to services, information, data, and other technologies not yet developed.


To realize the promise of “smart cities and counties,"" local governments will need to make changes in management, staffing, and workforce development; policy design and program implementation; public-private, and other kinds of partnerships; indicators and performance measures; financing and budgeting strategies; and other administrative activities overseen by elected and appointed executives and their staffs. The essay will explore future visions of currently accepted responsibilities of local government (land use regulation and zoning; transportation planning; building codes and permitting; public works; facilities management; police, fire and EMS; parks and recreation; social and human services; community/economic development) and how traditional local government obligations and management approaches may be dramatically altered by technology changes between now and 2040.


Our proposed authors, past ICMA President Lee Feldman (city manager, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) and ICMA Executive Director Marc Ott (former city manager, Austin, Texas) will look beyond the horizon and explore a vision of the future for local government leadership and management. Their essay will look ahead to 2040, when a new generation of elected and appointed leaders, managers, staff, and their partnering stakeholders will be working in a smarter, more connected world to continuously improve their communities.


Proposal 51:

Enhancement of National Security and Counter-Terrorism: A Vision and Strategy


The Intelligence Community (IC) consists of 17 separate government agencies that conduct intelligence activities to support national security. The IC’s primary mission is to collect and convey essential information that policymakers, military, and law enforcement require to execute their duties. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) was created in 2005 to coordinate the efforts of the other 16 IC agencies toward integrated intelligence by synchronizing data collection, analysis, and counterintelligence activities.


Since its inception the ODNI has received extensive criticism regarding its organizational structure. Several major terrorism plots were missed based on lack of comprehensive intelligence integration. Critics assert that issues including too much bureaucracy and too little authority diminish the effectiveness of the DNI.


Envisioning the future of government can be informed by the past 20 years. A study of the most impactful initiatives found that technology, data, performance management, and social media-related initiatives had the highest impact on government operations during the previous 20 years. Additionally, collaborative initiatives have been key in creating positive changes in government.


Based on synthesis of the existing issues within the IC, the need for technological improvements, and the study of effective initiatives during the past 20 years, four pillars are proposed to support a more effective and efficient IC:


1. Organizational re-structure to improve intelligence, decision-making, global collaboration, and budgetary efficiencies;

2. Innovative integrated space-based data collection and defense technologies;

3. Collaborative ground-based data collection sources and technologies, and;

4. Integrated data processing using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advanced distribution technologies.


Efficient integration of the IC agencies and improvement of its technological capabilities can improve the intelligence used by policymakers, military, and law enforcement and mitigate future acts of domestic and foreign terrorism. This paper will discuss the operational changes needed to strategically achieve these four pillars by 2040.


Proposal 52:

Public Administration in the future: a resilient and conscientious father of the common good.


In 2040 the public administration will be resilient and conscientious. As a good father of a family he has optimized his availability by exploiting and re-launching the economy, adopting a new strategy that has enhanced the potential of the internal market and the new needs of citizens.


As a farsighted father, in fact, the Public Administration realized that it possessed so many State Property in a state of neglect that constituted only a cost ... hence the idea we valorize them!


Driven by the European Directives (Europe 2020) and the Agenda 2030, the policy of valorisation of historic-monumental property owned by the State in close partnership with private subjects was an excellent strategy to launch the economy towards sustainable growth.


The awareness of the local population was fundamental, as was the ability of the Public Administration to involve and enhance the stakeholders who insist on the territory by activating multistakeholder management logics.


The enhancement and redevelopment of the territory has been based on economic integration and tourism, which has always been one of the main sectors capable of determining the economic development of the different territories, provided that it is implemented in a sustainable manner, able to reconcile the needs for the use of attractors, with the indispensable ones of safeguarding and protecting heritage as a precious entity to preserve, transmit and pass on to future generations.


The public administration looking at the past and thinking about the future (and not at present as traditionally happens using short-run policies) has realized that cultural heritage, material and immaterial, is a common wealth, a source of inspiration for thinkers and artists and driving force for our cultural and creative industries. Cultural heritage is a shared resource and a common good.


Proposal 53:

Building a culture of multilevel governance in the provision of public goods and services


In the last decades there have been major changes in the implementation of public policies: the authority is pooled and shared between the different levels of government, creating multilevel governance structures. The responsibility for the provision of public goods and services is split across different levels and actors, allowing to know problems and possible solutions closely, better than a centralist, distant state, often indifferent to the problems of a specific community, would do. However, the challenge of building a territorial fabric that is closer to the network paradigms requires an active role for the central authorities, which are called to identify the triggers that could support the adoption of multilevel governance settings on the territory.


Territorial policies will have to be rethought to be able to develop integrated - and adapted to the contexts - intervention strategies through data sharing actions, the definition and dissemination of manuals, guidelines and methodological documents, the launch of pilot projects involving the activation and coordination of networks of public administrations for the testing of innovative models of public service management.


Consider, for example, the problem of safety of cities: it is possible to assume the involvement of the different levels of government aimed at creating a unitary and integrated system of urban safety, including the signing of pats between authorities, the exchange of information between state and local law enforcement agencies and the joint use of control systems in the territory. The application of an increasingly participated model makes it possible to respond to the actual needs of the territory and to appropriately and effectively address the implementation process of the interventions, with the aim of stimulating synergies and avoiding possible overlays.


Proposal 54:

From institutionalization to cooperation in local governments


The government of the future will require a change of perspective in the relationship between government and citizens. Municipalities must be the protagonists, since that relationship is more direct at this level.
Such change should bring to total deinstitutionalization and debureaucratization of local governments. All the structure we know today should disappear.


Municipal government will be formed by some project groups. If municipalities are very small, these groups should be common and centralized for more of them. As the component of such groups need different and specific skills, in particular managerial skills, they will be not elective, rather they will be chosen from a school of government. Every country will have a school which will train all the public servants.


Citizens will be strongly involved in proposing and decision making. Today, co-design and co-production involve citizens in public services and policies, but this involvement is subordinated to the central role of government. This relation will be subverted and the contribution of citizens will become central. Citizens will be the principal actors in the government of municipalities. Citizens will interact each other and with the project groups through collaborative platforms (taking advantages of new technologies), creating a collaborative and incremental system of work that enable them to express their needs, propose solutions, make decisions about public policies and services, set and measure outcomes. In this way, the governments of municipalities will originate from the bottom. The project groups will have the role to moderate, control, coordinate and implement proposals and decisions discussed in the platform. For this reason, project groups will be totally empowered and will operate with collaborative spirit, also each other, free from any bureaucratic tie.


At the same way, citizens will be empowered, trained and responsibilized. Responsibility of municipalities government, in fact, will be totally shared."


Proposal 55:

Laboratories of Democracy in the 21st Century


“Laboratories of Democracy” will be the governing principle for the 21st Century just as it was for the last century. In a time of austerity, citizens will be forced to engage in the difficult process of sorting American rights from privileges -- is health care a right? Is clean water a right ? Or only rights for those that can afford them. In this soon to be ubiquitous sorting process, citizens will reward governments that are able to answer these questions by fostering inclusiveness and the efficient delivery of services during a time when resources are scarce. This will be the challenge of the government of our rapidly arriving future.


The 21st century adaptation of Justice Brandeis’ definitive American phrase will be that the best governments will use technology, data, and its own citizens’ experience as the laboratory of the effectiveness of public policy. Indeed, with virtually every American walking around with a data collector and analyzer in his/her pocket, governments will harness that data to test ideas and effectiveness. The citizens will become the front line of policy implementation. Successful governments will be crowd-sourcing public policy solutions, instead of spending scant resources of employees determining the success of a policy. Does congestion pricing help or harm a dense area? Measure people’s transportation decisions. Can real time data effectively manage police and fire services? Examine whether crime and or fires decreases in areas where citizens are asked to share data directly with the public safety information technology system. Can we effectively minimize the deterioration of infrastructure by sharing information directly with citizens? Test and measure automatically.


The challenge will be to do this in a way that balances an individual citizen’s sense of privacy and creates a vibrant and heterogeneous community.


Proposal 56:

Crowdsourcing and Big Data for Civic Engagement


Big data and advances in infrastructure stand to fundamentally change the way state and local governments will engage citizens over the next two decades. The challenge is ensuring that all members of society have sufficient access to services and mechanisms to reach out.


In a world where everyone and everything is increasingly connected, cities are investing in sensing and learning technologies to improve efficiency and decision making. This essay extrapolates into the future and envisions two concepts targeted at increasing civic engagement.


1) Automating Citizen Feedback: The best cities to live in will likely be the “smartest” with involved citizens. Imagine that your self-driving car hits a pothole. Each car that hits the pothole sends a report to a central system which then prioritizes public works jobs based on AI. Citizens access this database and see where their reported issues stand. Increased accountability will enable individuals to follow-up issues that directly impact them and see how similar issues impact others. Other applications can include improving the quality of life with latent indicators of depression, racism, and trust in public services.


2) Smart Energy Decisions: The “smartest” cities may also have the most efficient energy systems. Electric Vehicles (EVs) are expected to be 12% of all vehicles in twenty years. The batteries of EVs can be leveraged to power homes and feed into the power grid. Imagine being able to make complex tradeoffs such as when to store and when to sell. AI could help estimate energy use and enable citizens to better understand these trade-offs both for personal use and investing in energy at the community level.


IBM Watson and similar efforts will be integral for providing equitable access to certain key services. If successful, these approaches stand to have transformative impacts on the lives of people living in cities.


Proposal 57:

The Evolution of Democracy: Data and Dialogues


Over the next twenty years, the evolution of citizen participation in all levels of government will fundamentally change how policies are made and services are delivered. Advancements in information and communication technologies [ICT] will enable citizens to “engage” their governments through data that is collected in real-time from a multitude of sources such as social media, the internet of things, and public cameras/sensors. Artificial intelligence programs or data scientists will then analyze these various data streams using machine and deep learning techniques resulting in computer generated public service and policy recommendations. Advancements in ICT and data analytics are enabling a future where there is 100% passive citizen participation in government activities—a data-driven democracy.
However, a data-driven democracy is inherently limited because citizens are not actively participating in the governance process. Citizens are not articulating what services or policies they prefer. Instead, their data will be collected and analyzed to infer preferences. Data-driven democracy will result in remarkably attentive policies and public services but will suffer from a lack of active participation.


Innovations in public forums—techniques for engaging citizens in shared decision-making—can overcome the limitations of a data-driven democracy. Public forums (i.e., public meetings, citizen juries, referendums, etc.) increase the legitimacy of decisions, encourage citizens to think beyond their own self-interest, and result in shared community values. By actively engaging citizens in meaningful community dialogue, policies will be designed and implemented with the precision of a super-computer but the soul of a community.


Though the foundation for a data-driven democracy balanced by innovative public forums exists today, the necessary skillsets and infrastructure do not. Still, a future with 100% public participation through passively collected data that is humanized by well-designed and facilitated public forums is not only possible, but a crucial step for the evolution of democracy.


Proposal 58:

Citizen needs - what will not change and how technology can help us


As Jeff Bezos said: the strategy should not be built on what will change in the future but what will not change.


The proposed report will investigate the 'citizen process management' in an attempt to identify the core processes of the individual and how the government can help in supporting or improving these processes in a seamless way. It will upgrade my previous work on customer process management to give governments actionable recommendations on how to identify not only the 'needs' of the citizens but the way in which they can support them either with existing or novel technologies. While the technology will change, the core human processes will remain the same. The report will draw on analogies with the past changes (history doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme) to develop the scenarios of the future. While any attempt to predict the future is futile, the core truths will remain the same.


Proposal 59:

An Amorphous Government


By 2040 the traditional borders between governments, between government and nonprofit service providers, and between government and citizens will erode. In its place will be a chaotic network of organizations providing services under distinct funding, regulatory, and management models. The formal control mechanisms of bureaucracy, including public sector unions, step and lane pay schedules, civil service protections, rigid contracts, and clear if not always effective accountability methods, will no longer exist.


The birth of this amorphous government model is an outgrowth of the decreased fiscal position of local and state governments, the corresponding demands for creative solutions that enable governments to do more with less, and the personalization of government service created by the growth of both social media and the societal value of personal choice. The potential of an amorphous government is vast. Agencies can cooperate with one another to achieve economies of scale that enhance service delivery. Nonprofit organizations supported by public funds can bring expertise and flexibility to society’s most wicked problems. Citizens can access and pay for services in a manner consistent with their needs and values. Managers will be free to manage without the weight of bureaucracy.


The potential of amorphous government, however, comes with great risk. The very meaning of “public” will be challenged. Accountability will be dependent on the ability to create meta-governance structures capable of coordinating complex service efforts across fragmented organizations. Successful meta-governance structures will be populated by leaders that embrace ambiguity, reject traditional barriers between sectors, and are capable of translating citizen opinion at its most micro-level into tangible measurable performance results. Most will fail in creating effective governance structures, falling victim to an intolerance for the ambiguity and uncertainty in a government without clear borders, and a citizenry with hyper-personalized demands.


Proposal 60:

Crowdsourcing the Core of Government in 2040 - Algorithmic Management and the Power of Judgment


Distributed online intelligence has provided new ways for government to process complex tasks. Our essay will show how by 2040 these technologies will have ripened into ubiquitous tools based on a received wisdom: that large groups of citizens can be engaged to collect information and process micro-tasks in a fast, cost effective and accurate way. That is, government could use crowd intelligence not only to gather information and to engage citizens in quick ways as it is already happening, but delegate output and service provision, i.e. planning, strategy and regulatory decision making, administrative evaluation and approval, to thousands of micro-workers. Making use of the "wisdom of the crowds" is currently held up however by significant challenges due to the organizational costs involving the mapping of tasks, entry point human judgment and concerns about neutrality, bias and handling confidential information. We will illustrate how government in 2040 is using algorithmic processes based on distributed ledger technology (blockchain) to overcome these challenges. Government will distribute basic operations to human computation workflow markets on the internet and synthetically recompose the workflows into actionable results for citizens, stakeholders and business fast, reliable and efficient with unprecedented performance and capacity. We will show credible scenarios from 2040 on energy planning and on social security case approvals. The key element in our assessment is the way both the public manager and the crowd worker make their judgments. In 2040, we envision a central role for artificial intelligence decision making aids that uses innovative blockchain reminders - devices to collect and access the memory of a government process in an intuitive way. We will specifically envision scenarios where managers might ignore such well-meaning decision aids and explore the consequences, good and bad, of algorithmic ignorance in 2040 for the efficiency and legitimacy of government actions.


Proposal 61:

THE PASSION TO THE GOVERNMENT


In the future we could have a form of government in which the Prime Minister, elected by the people, have to pick the relative ministers among the best students of a national school of government. The school must be free to give the same possibility to everyone, but shall be admitted just people who have reached a MSc as First Class Honours: this can lead to have politicians with the needed and specific skills for the role. In order to avoid any kind of political interference, any department must be managed from three of those ministers (a sort of triumvirate). With the aim to improve the collaboration among the departments there will be an integrated “Joint Venture” made up by one member of each “triumvirate”. The prime minister has the duty to coordinate departments and to promote their work and their collaboration; moreover, he has to submit to the relative ministry proposals that arise from the people that have reached an adequate number (ex 10 % of the population).


Eventually with the aim to valorize any situation and city, the headquarter of each minister must switch every 10 years: there will be tenders in which, the various locations, that want to host the minister, have to present a project and the relative plan and implementation for the specific period.


The presence of a Minister and all that surrounded it can improve the situation of many city and area.


Proposal 62:

2040 – The Golden Age of the U.S. Federal Government


It was a combination of three factors that created the highly effective and efficient federal government of 2040. The first factor was the establishment of the national universal basic income in 2024 in response to the increasing use of specialized-intelligence AI and robotics in the U.S. economy, government, and society. The AI agents performed many of the menial and even some skilled jobs which freed people to pursue interest and occupations better fit for human imagination and creativity.


The second factor was free and universal lifelong learning for all U.S. after the 2028 “Second Sputnik Event” when China established a Moon base and successfully landed on a Martian moon. Every U.S. citizen received a personalized cloud-based AI virtual tutor from the age of one. The federal government supplies and manages virtual tutors that create personalized, adaptive learning experiences for the citizens. The government has benefited from the increased number of highly-educated citizens as many people pursue government careers to serve their country better.


The third factor was the establishment of the Department of Technology Strategy (DTS). DTS’ mission is two-fold: mitigate or prevent potential or realized damage from technology while increasing the safety and sophistication of the nation’s physical and cyber infrastructure. Thanks to the DTS’ backing of national railroad electrification, renewable energy and increased rail traffic has created an economic boom for rural America while supporting the development of smart-city hubs across the U.S. Both 3D and 4D manufacturing has created an economy of abundance which has helped alleviate poverty in almost every part of America.


Citizens are now healthier, happier, and better engaged with their government. People's basic daily needs are met in the economy of abundance which leaves citizens free to pursue businesses and causes that best uses the talents and interests of the U.S. citizenry."


Proposal 63:

Government in 2040: tackling complexity and challenges of the future


How will the public administration be organized in 2040?


In 20 years from now, we can expect a highly complex and interconnected world.


Information technology will reach new boundaries with the development of artificial intelligence and exploitation of big data. From the social perspective, megatrends indicate that people will continue to move from rural areas, aggregating in cities.


Governments' future challenges will require a complex approach to problem-solving in order to obtain successful outcomes. To achieve that, I foresee a public administration able to provide solutions for two complementary sets of problems: business specialization and general governance.


Public services will need to become more and more specialized in order to provide effective outputs, exploiting new technologies for the benefit of the overall community.


On the other hand, the complexity of the environment will require a coordinated governance, able to span across different services, interconnecting them with timely information to maintain an overall coherence of public action.
For example: an effective public health system should collect and organize citizens’ medical data to better deliver its services; the same data should be shared with other specialized services, such as tax revenue or public welfare, to allow flawless operations.


Also, new societies based on smart cities will need to rely on big data management and artificial intelligence to survive and grow. It is not a matter of central control, but of sharing and using the correct information for a central coordination.


In sum, I consider governments of 2040 as living organisms with several specialized organs which contribute to the overall correct functioning. While organs carry on specific duties, at the same time are part of a complex, organized system, which requires a coordinated and distributed leadership and an effective knowledge management to tackle the complexity of future environments.


Proposal 64:

A More Perfect Government: Envisioning Government 2040


To serve America 2040, Government 2040 holds onto the best aspects of today’s and replaces its shortcomings with entirely new structures, personnel practices, and tools. Today’s quintessential American memes, such as individualism, exceptionalism, and entrepreneurship, will exist in America 2040 among a population in which racial and ethnic “minorities” exceed “non-minorities,” economic transformation weakens ties between employment and geography, and urbanization enriches coastal megaregions and diminishes the interior.


Government 2040 respects the timeless Constitutional goals of justice, domestic tranquility, defense, general welfare, and liberty, while being the innovative enabler, facilitator, and arbiter, rather than today’s ponderous officiant. Government 2040 begins and ends with citizens, residents, and visitors (human and commercial). Government 2040 replaces the decades of one program and agency patched onto its precursors, manual processes automated step for sequential step, and knowledge workers shoehorned into World War II-era jobs. As a paradigm-shattering company supplants the taxicabs that replaced horse-drawn hansom cabs, Government 2040 supersedes today’s alphabet soup of departments, processes, technology, and people with entrepreneurial task teams that deliver services to the citizen’s doorstep. An expert panel curates a crowd-sourced minimum safety standard within days, rather taking years to write one in “regulatory-ese” with today’s iterative Federal Register notices. Internet of things networks and platforms enable high school students to advise scientists around the world in real time how to tailor their research projects to fulfill America 2040 needs and policy goals.


Thinking more than 20 years into the future about achieving the enduring national goals requires us to leap-frog the political and institutional realities that usually sabotage our imagination and vision. Monumental obstacles will undoubtedly obscure the pathway our institutions, programs, and employees must traverse. This clear vision of Government 2040 is the navigation system for the journey."


Proposal 65:

The Primacy of Good Policy over Good Politics


Because we live in an era of unprecedented change, the need to anticipate and prepare for what lies ahead has become central to the work and the mission of government. Increasingly, knowledge and information are the tools that enable policymakers in every arena to glimpse the shape of things to come, seize opportunities as they arise and avoid costly mistakes.


Regrettably, there are many examples where carefully crafted long-term public policy is sacrificed on behalf of short-term political considerations, ranging from acting on climate change to modernizing revenue systems to restructuring educational systems.


To bring a future-oriented perspective to policymaking in government, a “long-term policy group” can serve as a catalyst to change the way decisions are made by providing policymakers a broader context in which to make decisions, taking into consideration the long-term implications of policy and critical trends, and emerging issues which are likely to have a significant impact on society.


This group can enrich the understanding of trends and forces influencing our collective future and lend a long-term perspective to policymaking. Their work will entail research, policy analysis, strategic planning, communications with all branches of government, and public outreach.


To ensure that the long-term policy group has relevance—to help elevate the primacy of good policy over good politics—the long-term policy group will be funded and governed in ways to insulate it from outside political forces. And, to ensure its work exercises meaningful impact on policy, governmental agencies will be incentivized and compelled to address the findings and conclusions of its reports and studies.


Ultimately, in this vision of governmental management in 2040, government decisions will be guided more by the ideology of empiricism that maximizes the benefit of the collective good, and less by political frameworks that cater to narrow interests.


Proposal 66:

The Future of Government: Agility, Automation, Coproduction, Dignity, Trust & Volunteers


Changes in government operations and management before 2040 will be driven by advancements in six areas. First, automation increases the amount and sources of data collected and decreases drudge work. This frees employees to focus on data quality and using data to make better decisions. Employees will also have time to invest in coproduction, the second area of advancement. These coproduction efforts will cross all silos including departmental, organizational and practice fields. They will also require superior communication, collaboration, negotiation, interview, storytelling and project management skills and competence with the technologies supporting coproduction efforts.


Third, community members will be frequent and active volunteer participants in these coproduction efforts by providing both labor and input in the form of ideas, feedback and opinions. Their nonemployee status will require management and operational adaptations, but their involvement will yield many benefits. Fourth, trust in government will increase through volunteer involvement in operations and decision making. Trust will also increase as transparency and openness in government operations become the default for government, with rare exceptions for justified reasons.


Fifth, aided by the quality and quantity of data available from automation and the support of a trusting public, government organizations large and small will be able to embrace an agile approach to problem solving. Governments will be able to experiment with multiple trials of innovative solutions derived from a wide variety of sources. Governments will also be able to frequently alter plans in response to evolving data and feedback. Lastly and assuming our automation-driven societal changes are humanistic, all governmental operations and management will focus on treating both the public and employees with dignity and respect. Together these interconnected concepts will lead to a wiser and more inclusive government in 2040.


Proposal 67:

Rethinking the Delivery of Essential Government Services: Preparing for the Challenges of the Year 2040


In recent years, governments and their leaders have faced unprecedented challenges that have compromised their ability to successfully deliver mission-critical services consistent with the expectations of the recipients of these essential services. The provision of public safety/emergency services – including law enforcement, emergency medical services, and fire protection – represents a primary responsibility of government.


As the demand for these services has significantly increased in recent years with the aging of the “baby boomer” generation, many governmental entities have found it increasingly difficult to keep up with a spiraling demand for emergency services. Resource constraints, including budgetary and staffing realities, have emerged as significant problems in many communities. A variety of potential solutions have resulted from rethinking traditional service delivery systems and pursuing efficiencies and synergies through the implementation of changes in organizational structures and operational practices including regionalization, consolidation, redistricting, resource sharing, and other nontraditional strategies.


The challenges of delivering mission-critical emergency services include the fact that these services are labor-intensive, customized, and involve varying transaction volumes and unscheduled service delivery. While the specific future challenges of 2040 are difficult to forecast, the success of government entities in responding to these challenges will necessitate the adoption of a visionary, “strategic mindset” and an enlightened process for anticipating and preparing for the many challenges of the future. A willingness to rethink traditional governmental jurisdictions, structures, and operations will be the key to ensuring the successful delivery of these essential services. Data analytics will provide essential information that governmental leaders will utilize in designing the innovative, public/private collaborative, technology-enhanced systems that will be required to ensure effective, efficient, and safe service delivery.


The proposed essay will consider a process of anticipating and preparing for future success in the delivery of the essential services that stakeholders both expect and deserve.


Proposal 68:

Climate change will happen quickly and slowly


Climate change will happen slowly enough that most people in effected geographies will likely survive. Many effects are visible and somewhat predictable. For example, accelerated glacial melt and increased coastal flooding are visible and can be modeled. People in the path of severe weather events can be warned about timing, strength and expected paths. Climate change will cause loss of life. But most effected people will have some degree of warning and will seek to relocate. Population displacement will become a global phenomenon.


Climate change will happen quickly enough that remaining land masses and the societies occupying them will be unprepared to absorb, feed, employ, and house the surviving populations. The global population is growing, life expectancies are increasing. The world’s arable land will face pressures to increase food yields and house displaced populations in the face of changing temperatures that potential decrease usability. Drink water supplies are already under pressure.


In 2040, governments will be in the throes of these challenges. This paper will address the a broad range of actions this crisis will require from governments globally. Several examples include committing to prioritize and resource human survival, establishing a formal status (such as climate refugee) to facilitate re-placement opportunities, managing the acceptance of displaced populations into their countries and cultures, incentivizing land efficient agriculture and diets, developing land efficient or land alternative housing schemes. Global security will require that governments act cooperatively to address displacements. It will also require that nations work together to support and maintain global order or be confronted by the consequences of global disorder.


Proposal 69:

Aligning Labor for Economic Prosperity


Economic prosperity requires that countries seek comparative advantage, focusing on the most efficient activities possible given their workforce and conditions. This means that the activities required and the opportunities available to the workforce continually shift in nations with dynamic economies. The Government in 2040 will have a critical role in shaping the workforce to meet changing employment conditions and shaping the economic conditions that drive incomes. Conditions driving changing requirements include:


- Robots have replaced jobs in operations functions of manufacturing plants, un-employing thousands of workers. Corporations have shed blue-collar functions into the service sector, causing reductions in compensation (and resulting tax revenues). Both potentially increase dependence on entitlements.


- The combination of a historically low US birth rate and increasing life expectancies will potentially yield continued increases in draws on entitlements with fewer workers to contribute.


- Technology disrupters will replace more workers. AI and quantum computing will replace low skilled and skilled workers in fields yet untouched by robotics. 3D printing will disrupt manufacturing globally, displacing workers by moving product fabrication into homes and offices. These technologies will also require skills that potentially differ significantly from the skills than those who are displaced.


- American culture makes it unlikely that workers will accept a guaranteed basic income as a state of existence – middle and working-class people want the pride that comes from contribution and the fulfillment of purposeful lives.


Some of the challenges governments will face in addressing these shifts including refocusing educational systems on future skill requirements, addressing barriers to career shifts and geographic relocation, and leveraging all three sources of personal income – wages, entitlements, and ownership income – to construct compensation approaches that create income stability across the economic spectrum.


Proposal 70:

The New American Centrism and Government-Business Synergy


By 2040, government will be increasingly lean, operating at the national and state levels like a superstructure that coexists with private sector leadership and resources to solve social issues with the energy and from the perspective of the business sector. The result will be a technically smaller government that is able to respond with more agility and accountability to public priorities.


This government-business synergy will be both the result and the foundation of the New American Centrism that will replace our current politics of extreme polarization and divisiveness. There will still be discontent from the right and the left, but the bulk of Americans will be generally supportive of a less expensive and less authoritative government that manages to tackle problems prioritized by most of the public while ensuring consistent and lasting economic growth.


Partisan attachment will decrease as the dominant two-party system is replaced by multiple parties, allowing for easier and more frequent coalition building across a polity where a more diverse chorus of voices is heard. An emphasis on pragmatism and stewardship will yield not only solutions to chronic public problems that have bedeviled the two-party system for decades, but also a reduction in deficit and debt. Americans themselves will increasingly embody the defining values of what is today the millennial generation, with an emphasis on tolerance and social responsibility blended with an emphasis on individualism and moderation.


Proposal 71:

Envisioning the Intelligent Government for 2040


The year 2040 will witness the eventual maturity of digital governance and governments around the world will transition to the highest levels of pervasive artificial intelligence, cognitive and smart governance. Public leadership and management of governments, in general, will be propelled primarily by the generation-C thinking and culture ingrained with the values of creation, curation, connection and community. The future will be focused on connectivity, co-creation, de-urbanization and transformation of smart cities to smart communities based on a self-sufficient, intelligent digital community fabric. Public infrastructure will be comprised of matured intelligent digital cyber physical systems with omni-science and omni-present capabilities empowering the truly omni-potent citizen. The years leading to 2040 will be driven by the digital citizen and social community networks. Utmost citizen centricity will be the key theme for governance and it will result in personalized citizen services such as personalized healthcare, personalized taxation and personalized social security. With the evolution of digital technologies like that of the blockchain, it will result in digital technology enabled participative governance and policy-making, digital citizen-driven initiatives and referendum frameworks. Algorithmic intelligent regulation, data-driven policy and cognitive legislation will become the norm and will unleash the true potential of government as a platform creating powerful ecosystems of innovation and collaborative economy. Innovation, value creation, well-being and sustainability will become the key priorities for governance and pressures for re-defining the traditional metrics of the economy, from gross domestic product to productivity, due to the digital spillover would have successfully surpassed. With increased automation and artificial intelligence in play, segregations such as blue-collar and white-collar work would ultimately disappear and transition to an intermediate gold-collar workforce. Governments across the world will then lead and shift the focus on the notion of workforce to the emancipation of true human potential as problem solvers with genuine intellect.


Proposal 72:

Designing Government “Citizen Back”


"Successful businesses build products and processes “market back”. They start with customer needs and drive from there to develop products and services, processes, organizational alignment, and strategy. When organizations are not aligned in this way, customer needs are not met, processes are fragmented and inefficient, organizational structures hinder productivity, and strategy is unfocused.


In the Federal Government, products and services are mandated by legislation and regulation. Once codified, they are often not revisited or reconsidered. It is not atypical that legislation assigns one part of a macro process to one part of the government and other parts of the process to other parts of the government, with the customer (citizens and businesses) required to act as the integrator. The basic organizational structure of Departments and Major Agencies has not been revisited at a macro level in decades – the assumption being that this structure, with minor occasional tweaks, perpetually serves. Agency reform and improvement efforts often seek to bubble good ideas up from within organizations. That approach ignores the potential that the existing structure and scope of the organization itself may be the fundamental flaw. The cost of government continues to grow at a significant rate. While most of that cost growth does not occur in the provision of citizen services, inefficiencies in services create the pain points in which dissatisfaction with cost, distrust, and decreasing confidence become invested.


It is time to build a government “citizen back”, redefining the products and services government provides and relinking and re-designing processes for efficiently delivery. This will require a fundamental organizational restructure across the Administration and a re-alignment of legislation. This will not be easy. It will take years, cause disruption, and require resources and political capital. Retaining relevance, increasing impact, and regaining public confidence will likely eventually require this radical shift."


Proposal 73:

Who Will Deliver Social Services to Us in 2040? Implications from Social Demographics


The social environment where government is embedded has wide implications for government operations. According to U.S. Census predictions, we could expect two notable demographic changes towards 2040: (1) the population size will continue to increase, with significant expansion of young and aging groups, and (2) the nation will become more diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, occupation, etc.


These changes will bring at least two challenges to social programs. First, the expanding population will push social welfare expenditures to a significant level, causing a growing fiscal burden for state and local governments. Particularly, the increasing young and elderly population will present an ever-increasing demand for entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, while the retirement of the baby boomers will reduce the contributions to these programs. Second, the growing social diversity will ask for more diverse services in terms of quality, style, etc. Citizens would expect governments to be more responsive to their needs and tailor service provision to these diverse demands. This creates a dilemma for public administrators who in most cases have to provide services with a certain degree of uniformity across jurisdictions.


One managerial response to changing demands for social services is to further “hollow out” government operations and fund nonprofit organizations to deliver most services. On one hand, contracting out has the potential to lower service provision costs and reduce government size, which sounds attractive to governments facing fiscal pressures. On the other hand, collaborating with nonprofit organizations can help expand service coverage to remote communities and tailor service provision to diverse client needs, because these community-based organizations are more flexible and better understand local needs. In sum, we expect governments in 2040 will find themselves predominantly involved in managing networks across sectoral boundaries instead of managing programs intra-governmentally.


Proposal 74:

Executive Governance


Currently, many SES are acting in political positions. Some are taking the reins to drive policy and programs. Others are waiting for Godot. If the current Administration’s limited use of political appointments sets a precedent, the future role of the federal executive will become more critical. This article proposes an examination for four key areas of federal executive governance that will be required for effective government in 2040: Authority, Accountability, Engagement, and Stewardship.


Authority includes decision making, leadership structures, fairness and justice. This is where decision making lives, but also defines the context in which decisions are made. Authorities are defined and constrained by legislation, regulation, court precedence, and policy. Decisions are constrained by hierarchy, interdependence in program delivery, and the expectation for fairness and justice.


Accountability includes performance management, risk management, evaluation and the use of evidence. These are the foundation for holding individuals and organizations to account for the results of their decisions, actions, program delivery, and impact as well as positive, negative, and unintended consequences.


Engagement includes transparency, inclusiveness, and responsiveness. To be effective, governments will need to be increasingly responsive to the diverse needs and interests of stakeholders such as the public, industry, academia, NGOs, and other governments. We are likely headed to an era of great involvement, requiring engagement approaches enhanced by technology tools to create broad and intimate encounters. Executives will be called on to balance the interests of disparate groups, deliver on stakeholder needs, and manage transparency.


Stewardship includes fiscal responsibility, ethics, integrity, efficiency, and fiduciary responsibility. Executives will be increasingly responsible for the well-being of their organizations, manage fiscal constraints, maintain ethics and integrity, ensure operational efficiency, and sustain programs and systems beyond any given action, program, or administration.


Proposal 75:

The Future of Personal Privacy


Protecting personal privacy will be a critical role and significant challenge for governments in 2040. In the US, the social security number, which was never designed to be a universal personal identifier, will likely be obsolete. The use of biometrics will increase, but will also have vulnerabilities. The internet of things, AI enhanced personal assistants, custom personal robotics, technology enhanced social networks, increased surveillance capabilities, and integration of data captured for every transaction could reveal personal behaviors, tendencies, patterns, quirks, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities. AI will provide the ability to create market segments of 1 – coalescing vast amounts a data to formulate the story of every individual. Quantum computing portends the ability to break all known levels of encryption. Anonymity may become the exclusive privilege of the rich and powerful. This essay will explore the implications of the three privacy related choices that governments will likely make in 2040: 1. Proactively protect the privacy of their citizens in the face of increasing risks and threats; 2. Relegate privacy to the individual leaving their citizens vulnerable to exploitation; or, 3. Proactively leverage increasingly detailed personal data to control and exploit their citizens.


Proposal 76:

Adaptive Government


Adaptive Government – how technology is forcing and enabling government to shift
The technologies of the ongoing 4th industrial revolution presents us with more ethical dilemmas than previous technology revolutions, because for the first time technologies e.g. genetic engineering and artificial intelligence are entering our physical and cognitive internal worlds. In light of this profound impact of technology on society, governments are forced to rethink their relationship with markets and citizens. Companies are becoming powerful in shaping our lives and life itself. Society cannot leave it up to companies to make moral choices for us on their own. That is why governments need to step up to the plate. Companies’ long term interests are best served if they meet countervailing power from a competent, informed and trusted government. As citizens are becoming more empowered to exercise their democratic rights and are better informed, this too presents an opportunity for government to improve and also demand better citizen participation.


We call a government that aptly responds to these challenges an Adaptive Government. Adaptive government has three characteristics. First of all it is a countervailing power to private sector big (gen)-technology companies. But also a co-creator for companies that understand that their corporate responsibility have moved beyond a flashy CSR report. Secondly it is ambidextrous, i.e. it is efficient in executing the delivery of services as well as innovative in ways of “engineering society”. With the latter we mean that government uses technologies e.g. Big Data and AI to become smarter in how to listen to society and shape policies accordingly. Finally, an Adaptive Government uses Platforms for co-creation with citizens and companies and engages in both top-down and bottom-up policy making and policy execution. The government acts as the platform orchestrator and aims for the network and scale effects of platforms.