12 - 14 FEBRUARY 2024

Madinat Jumeirah | Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The world needs reimagining.
We must question our assumptions.
We need to cast our gaze beyond the obvious.
Is there more than meets the eye?
The alternatives may be unexpected.
The implications may be ambiguous.
The question remains:
Are you ready to reimagine government?

Thought Provocations by Jonathon Keats

Edge of Government 2024

The Edge of Government innovation experience challenges visitors to think in new and often counter-intuitive ways about how to solve the most pressing challenges of our time. The main purpose of the exhibit is to inform, inspire and trigger new thinking through interactive experiences.

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Alternative Intelligence

Could governmental policies be formulated by different species?

Humans have lived on Earth for several thousand years. Microbial life has been here much longer, surviving extreme climates and catastrophes that may anticipate future perils. Microbes are resilient, and free of human biases.

Could we extract policy advice from microorganisms? The plasmodial slime mold is an ideal candidate, expertly managing risk to optimise opportunities. Could slime mold resolve dilemmas that governments struggle to address? Could we engage other unconventional forms of intelligence when human brainpower is insufficient?

This thought experiment proposes a new approach to solving wicked problems by modelling human conditions in a Petri dish and observing how slime molds behave.

What other intelligences could you tap into from unconventional sources?

Case Studies

Slime Subway Intelligence
Slime Mold Re-Greening
Of Guatemala City
Leeches with Jobs
Writing Policy with
Multispecies Strategy
Slime Subway Intelligence
Slime Mold Re-Greening Of Guatemala City
Leeches with Jobs
Writing Policy with Elephants
Multispecies Strategy

River Time

Could the flow of rivers control clocks and calendars?

In July of 2022, the flow rate of the Danube slowed to one third its summertime average. For life living on the river, the perspective might have been different; relative to the flow rate, everything else in the world sped up.

Our clocks are precise but nature may be more accurate. Could rivers calibrate behavioral patterns? Could they provide the missing feedback mechanism needed for humans to synchronize their lives with the environment?

This thought experiment inverts the normal power structure in which humankind tries to dominate nature. The direction of control is reversed. What would happen if your watershed were in charge? What else could nature regulate?"

What else could nature regulate?

Case Studies

The World’s First National Time Use Law
Travel to the Future
Synthetic Memories

The Bureau of Standards

Could the metric system be customised for each and every person?

The standard metre is defined as the distance travelled by light in 1/299,792,458 of a second. This length is the mathematical basis for other metric units, from litres to watts.

What would happen if we recalibrated the metre to correspond to your heartbeat? This measurement system would be tailored to the individual instead of the masses. From the size of A4 stationery to the brightness of a 10-watt light bulb, the whole world would be individualised. Would this enhance or diminish people’s lives?

This thought experiment confronts the growing tension between individualism and the common good. While fulfilling personal preferences can weaken community ties, focusing on community needs may blur individual identity. Balancing between the two exposes the dilemma.

What else can be better understood by posing a paradox?

Case Studies

Missions, Not Majors
Decentralised Arbitration for
Missions, Not Majors
Decentralised Arbitration for Online Disputes

Edge of Government
award 2024

The Edge of Government Award will be given away at the World Government Summit in Dubai. It will recognise government innovations from around the world according to specific evaluation criteria: novelty, replicability, and impact. The winner of the Award will be chosen from the exhibits that make up the Edge of Government experience at the Summit.

Evaluation process

Applications for the award will be accepted through an online submission process and will be open to local and federal governments from around the world. The filtering process will be done by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation and a leading research partner. The final evaluation will be done by a distinguished judging panel comprising members of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation International Advisory Board as well as well-known innovation experts from leading international organizations and the private sector.

Three criteria are used to evaluate each case study of government innovation:

1. Novelty: considers how significant a departure from current approaches a new solution is, and the extent to which a government innovation relies on new models, new processes, new technology, and new participants to provide its impact

2. Replicability: involves two distinct dimensions: replicability of the problem being addressed (how wide spread is the problem globally), and replicability of the solution (how practical is it to adapt the solution to other countries and geographies)

3. Impact: considers the scope and severity of the pubic problem being addressed by each government innovation, and the extent to which the created solution has improved the circumstances surrounding the problem in question.

Join us at the Edge of Government Award ceremony and celebrate this year's best innovations form around the world!