Seeking collaborators: Join us for workshops on innovation through collaboration across borders and jurisdictions

Written by , Innovation Specialist on 10 May 2021

In previous years, OPSI and our project partners at the UAE Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation (MBRCGI) developed reports on global trends in public sector innovation. A focus on trends inherently focuses on what governments are already doing. This year, we’re doing things a bit differently and looking at what governments need to be doing more.  Namely, we’re focusing on innovation through cross-border and cross-jurisdictional collaboration. As the COVID-19 crisis has shown over the last year, major challenges do not remain within jurisdictional borders and silos, and neither should the approaches to address them. Yet, much of the public sector innovation we see involves inward-focused approaches. How can we break this paradigm? Why is collaborating across borders and jurisdictions not happening more often? Why is it so challenging?

To better understanding this, we at OPSI and the MBRCGI are exploring the topic in a few ways.

First, we are currently holding an open Call for Innovations on innovation through cross-border collaboration. Through this call, we are trying understand existing projects that involve governments from different jurisdictions working together in new ways to solve common challenges, or collaborating to achieve new types of policies and services. This, along with research, will help us to understand a baseline of what is already taking place. Have you been involved in projects like this? We encourage you to submit a case by 21 May. As a note, The call is not limited to only international collaboration – we also welcome cases on multiple cities and regions coming together to innovate, even from within the same country.

Second, we will be holding a series of virtual global workshops to bring together experts and practitioners to better understand what needs to be done to better promote and facilitate this type of innovation. Through these workshops, participants will work together to:

  • Identify pain points and what makes this type of collaboration challenging.
  • Generate visions for optimal futures enabled by cross-border collaboration.
  • Develop recommendations and action steps on what is needed to achieve these visions.

We will be holding the workshops on the following dates:

  • Thursday, 3 June, 15h30-18h00 CET.
  • Monday, 7 June, 9h00-11h30 CET.
  • Thursday, 10 June, 10h00-12h30 CET.

Based on our research, the Call for Innovations, and workshops, we will launch a series of reports, digital stories and global dialogue sessions on innovating through cross-border collaboration in order to achieve global challenges. We aim to provide actionable advice and recommendations based on the real-world experiences and insights.

Interested in joining us for a workshop? Please indicate your interest using the form below by 25 May. All participants and their organisations will be recognised as contributors to the work on the forthcoming project website.


Express your interest in participating


    It went smoothly and was an overall positive experience.It was challenging or difficult, but we had positive outcomes.We struggled and were not able to achieve our goals.Not applicable (if previous response is No)

    Thursday, 10 June, 10h00-12h30 CET.

    SustainabilityMobilitySocial opportunity and equityData sharing and interoperable systemsResponding to cross-border threats and risksCo-creation of ground-up ideas and solutionsArchitecture and governance for collaborationCollaborative policy making

    1. Excellent initiative. There is so much work in this field to be done, ideas to prototype in practice, lessons to be learned, and shared. We must work together to reparadigm the conversation about ‘what is (im)possible’ when addressing shared challenges, enrich opportunities for cross-border collaboration, and encourage more long-term thinking in government, business and innovation ecosystems. I look forward to being involved, and wish everyone working in this field the courage and commitment to explore together what can be done

      • Excellent point Hank – re-considering ‘what is (im)possible’ is a key challenge for all forms of innovation, but we are hoping that through our research as well as learnings from the workshop that we can better understand exactly how to do this in the context of cross-border collaboration. We look forward to you joining us at the workshops (and don’t hesitate to submit a Case Study if you have worked on a relevant project doing just this!

    2. If you are interested in a city-region perspective then Greater Manchester would be happy to contribute. Greater Manchester is made up of 10 local authority districts (circa 2.8m population) that come together to collaborate in an 11th space – the combined authority. We have a wide range of examples and insights of collaborating across borders, sectors and jurisdictions and would be happy to conduct a workshop.

      • Hi Dave,
        We are certainly interested in collaboration at different levels of governance, such as the city-region perspective in Greater Manchester. One thing that we are hoping to explore in our research is how collaboration methods can be scaled or adapted for different levels of jurisdiction, so we want to learn from all relevant examples! We would be delighted if you wanted to share any particular iniatives that you have done in this regard with our Call for Innovations itself, as well as participate in our workshop!

    3. One of the Main challenge of the process of collaboration between two or more regiones or countries for transfering technological Knowledge is to identify funding sources in the financial ecosystem and other scenarios for implementing the technological Development.

    4. Magnificent and I am looking forward to share my Project, experience and learn from you all.

    5. We are a small innovation firm making a difference to Small Islands Developing States and want collaboration with OECD developing partners to innovate the public sector in our region in the Pacific.

    6. Hi We are a tech start up out of Brisbane Australia. I worked in the public sector (ATO) for 15 years and was a senior designer and Head of Research. During that time I completed my PhD and I have recently developed our platform and ideation process – SparkTank. This is a platformed designed for collaboration across borders and time zones specifically for community collaboration and for public sector organisations. I have re-engineered the ideation (or brainstorming process) to remove bias and increase inclusion and diversity. I would like to demonstrate our platform and show how it will change the way you think about virtual collaboration. reply to [email protected].

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