2020 sounds futuristic and far away, but it’s actually only five years from now. And in government, where things happen fairly slowly, it’s high time we start making our predictions on the status quo of the government just a bit down the road.
William Eggers, Director for Public Sector Research at Deloitte, spoke with Christopher Dorobek on the podcast DorobekINSIDER on the changes ahead for government, and how that will impact life on the outside of the federal world. Eggers has authored many books on government, but most recently The Solution Revolution: How Business, Government, and Social Enterprises Are Teaming Up To Solve Society’s Toughest Problems.
At the crux of oncoming changes for the citizen is the concept of crowdsourcing. Rather than producing information, ideas, content, etc., from within the federal workforce, the government increasingly is looking to utilize the force of the citizens to improve and evolve. According to Eggers, in 2015, the government as of now has yet to fully embrace the practice of crowdsourcing, but by 2020, they will be implementing it to a much more exhaustive level.
What does this actually mean, though? How will the citizen be a tool for government crowdsourcing? “I think at a very fundamental level, it’s about a distributed model of governance,” Eggers said. “When you look to the role of citizens, they become not only recipients of services, but the co-creators of services and their policy. Micro-volunteerism, micro-tasking, crowdsourcing, peer to peer model, prize challenges – those are several of these new tools.”
So, if Eggers’ predictions are right, citizens will be contributing more to their government. At the same time, they can expect more in return. There will be more of an emphasis on the citizens’ experience of the government – or, “a billion to one kind of experience,” according to Eggers, meaning a focus on the making whatever process as easy as possible for the individual user.
To achieve this, the government needs to implement technology and to think creatively. An example of this would be the transportation experience. “Rather than just building a road, what you want to do is create a mobility experience to get people from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible with the least use of environmental resources,” he explained.
To do transformative things like that, the government will have to be more attentive to citizen wants and needs. “It requires an absolute focus on the end customer,” said Eggers. “And that’s what’s going to be key, that laser-like focus on the user.”
Eggers predicts that the government will take more data and self-assess more regularly, which will also help deliver to the citizen. It will evolve towards a model of “a cognitive government where you’re sensing and responding, sending and responding, getting input in real time,” Eggers explained. Because speed is key for that to work, having seamless digital services will be more important than ever.
So, those trends are what Eggers forecasts for government in 2020, and how it will appear from the outside looking in. However, those changes will need some significant development and change within the government, and Eggers shared on the podcast what is coming internally – we’ll be back tomorrow!