Characteristics of a 21st Century Government

The current COVID-19 crisis has exposed public governance gaps around the world. Unfortunately, the pandemic is only a harbinger of many foreseeable disruptions and risks that loom ahead – the climate crisis comes first and foremost to mind. It is necessary to move above and beyond the prevailing characteristics and prerogatives of current governments. We should be ambitious in thinking of the possibilities – in imagining, to be precise – new kinds of institutions that will transform how societies operate, interact and collaborate.

This publication contributes to the necessary discussion and decisions on the contours of the ideal characteristics of a 21st century government.  Based on our recent work in the field of public governance, we have identified four characteristics that describe a desirable future government. These characteristics are not a picture of a future government. Rather, they are traits that, among others, we believe will be beneficial for future governments.

This discussion paper, written together with Marcos Bonturi, former director of Public Governance at the OECD, Demos Helsinki shares the recent learnings in the field of public governance and presents inspirational governance innovation -cases from Finland, Brazil, Colombia and Serbia. 

For further inquiries:

Senior consultant, Johannes Mikkonen

Head of Governance Innovation, Mikko Annala