Organised by

Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation

About the Edge of Government

What does it feel like to be at the edge of government innovation, navigate unchartered territories and experiment with new solutions to society’s complex problems?

The Edge of Government innovation experience will challenge visitors to think in new and often counter-intuitive ways about how to solve the most pressing public challenges of our time. The main purpose of the exhibits is to inform, trigger new thinking through an interactive experience, and most importantly inspire visitors to connect with the innovators behind the case studies showcased. To this aim, this year’s Edge of Government experience is centered around open questions that policymakers need to be able to successfully navigate to break new grounds. Throughout the immersive journey, visitors will be presented with new approaches that provide governments with answers but at the same time open up new questions. Exhibits will cover a landscape of solutions that are rapidly emerging and continuously evolving, raising the question of how governments can effectively explore and keep abreast of an increasingly wide array of tools and options. The Edge is a place of intellectual curiosity and willingness to experiment. Visitors will walk out of this immersive journey with a desire to move to action and turn the “edge” into mainstream.


Visitors will experience leading government innovations from across the globe


The global exhibits were evaluated across three key criteria and will only be showcasing innovation practices that go beyond "the usual suspects" typically "below the radar".


Degree of newness and uniqueness associated with each innovation


Magnitude and scope of improvement to government attributable to each innovation


Potential for replication in other countries and regions


The Research

The OECD’s Observatory of Public Sector innovation (OPSI) has worked in partnership with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation (MBRCGI) to conduct a global review of the ways in which governments are transforming their operations and improving the lives of their people through innovation. This process has included extensive research into innovation trends in OECD member countries and non-members alike, as well as an open Call for Innovations to surface examples of innovative practices in governments worldwide. 161 innovations were submitted from 46 countries.

The Edge of Government builds on this research project and integrates it with additional experiences from the private sector and civil society that are challenging innovative governments to reframe their purpose and the way they deliver their services. The tensions emerging from this dynamic interplay are translated into interactive exhibits for the World Government Summit.

Being at the edge means successfully navigating ambiguity, having a higher level of tolerance for uncertainty and being open to exploring non-obvious solutions. Rather than presenting the case studies as recipes to be followed, therefore, the research frames them as open questions that are meant to engage visitors in a dialogue and encourage them to question well established practices.


The Report

The digital version of "Embracing Innovation in Government" report in partnership with OECD along with the Edge of Government brochure highlighting the experiences displayed at the pavilion can be downloaded here. Both reports are developed in conjuction with the World Government Summit 2017 and are based on the research thinking.

Download the Brochure diamond-arrow

Human, machine or animal?

Understand. Act. Predict. The increasing speed of change means that governments need to be ever faster in moving from analysis to action. The default is often to rely on algorithms for better prediction. But is there more you can add to your toolkit? Governments at the edge employ creative strategies and enlist new helpers (yes, that includes animals!) to be able to pick up early signals and move to effective action.

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Magnifying glass

Zooming in or zooming out?

New tools are opening up, quite literally, new ways of seeing for governments: we can now see what was invisible just a few years back. These opportunities, however, create also new challenges: can you manage the extra small? And can you harness new tools to tackle what has often been government’s Achilles heel – scale? Governments at the edge are able to “go small” and “go big” with equal ease. Here’s a few examples to get you thinking.

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Back office or front?

Can you change the default on deeply ingrained habits– “the way we do things around here”? Lots of what keeps the machine of government going occurs backstage: where contracts are signed, where budgets are approved, where incentives and human resources are allocated. Changing the default in these operations “behind the scenes” is often daunting. And yet… could this unglamourous side be where the edge really is? Let’s take a look under the hood….

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Are you experimenting fast enough?

What will it be today? Implementing the blockchain, regulating the sharing economy, preparing for industry 4.0? New concepts, new technologies, new challenges. All the time. How do you keep up and minimize your risks? What if you could make lots of small bets before committing to the big thing? And what if these experiments were happening outside of government first? Governments at the edge are embracing a culture of experimentation, and taking a close look at outside experimenters.

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Citizens: part of the problem or the solution?

Do you really know your experts? Dealing with increasingly complex challenges means redefining expertise as we knew it. You cannot expect to have all necessary knowledge within the walls of your office. You need to be able to tap into a diverse, broad pool of expertise and quickly mobilise it, regardless of where it sits. Governments at the edge don’t view citizens as a problem (as has often been the case in the past), but as part of the solution. Citizens have unique skills and expertise to bring to the table. This distributed knowledge can be effectively leveraged by the public sector - to mutual benefit.

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Mass services or customised?

Can government services be personal? As business services become more and more personalized, the bar for governments is set higher and higher. Citizen expect more than “one size fits all”. Empathy, design, technology are opening up new opportunities to innovate and customize government services based on a deep understanding of individual needs. Catering for specific needs is often opening up opportunities to innovate for the majority. Are you ready to go personal?

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The Centre

About The Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre For Government Innovation

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation was established to stimulate and enrich the culture of innovation within the government sector through the development of an integrated innovation framework. The goal is for innovation to become one of the key pillars of the UAE government in line with the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohamtmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, which aims to develop government operations and enhance the UAE’s competitiveness, making the UAE one of the most innovative governments around the world.

Our Business Model

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation aims to make innovation an everyday practice by experimenting with new approaches, enabling people with the right capabilities, networks and resources, thereby enriching the culture of innovation.


Innovative ideas make a real difference in government work, and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation provides a world-class, multifunctional space for testing, creating and spurring innovation locally, regionally, and internationally.


The Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation works on building the innovative capabilities of government employees, through the development of an integrated framework of innovation tools to develop a highly skilled government innovators.


The Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation aspires to promote an innovation culture in the UAE Government Sector through building international partnerships and becoming a global hub for innovation and best practices. In order to deploy innovation concepts within the government sector.