What is the future of Local Government?
This past weekend fifty-one delegates from across the country came together in Omaha to shape that future. The event was the Local Government 2030 National Convening. With a purpose to discern the lessons from the future, the group worked over two days to find ways to break down silos and create the groundwork for change. I was honored to serve as a Super Delegate to help guide the work and keep everyone thinking big and bold.
A starting point for the Convening was provided by the National Academy of Public Administration. As a way to set out the problems facing government and inspire answers, they devised the Twelve Grand Challenges in Public Administration. These challenges are part of an agenda for change. As the Academy states on its website:
As the world moves quickly from the industrial age into the information age, new challenges have arisen and demands on government have increased. But the public sector has often been in a reactive mode—struggling to adapt to a rapidly evolving international, economic, social, technological, and cultural environment. Over the next decade, all sectors of society must work together to address the critical issues of protecting and advancing democracy, strengthening social and economic development, ensuring environmental sustainability, and managing technological changes. And governments at all levels must improve their operations so that they can tackle problems in new ways and earn the public’s trust.
Each of the twelve challenges focuses on a specific goal. For example, one of challenges is to “Modernize and Reinvigorate the Public Service.”
Federal, state, and local governments deliver vitally important services to the American people each and every day. If it is an important need, public agencies at one or more levels of government are likely to have an important role in meeting it.