Honouring 50 People Leading for 21st Century Governance

A joint Apolitical and World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Agile Governance Initiative


Technologies are disrupting markets all over the world. The ways people use transportation, leisure and entertainment have changed with Uber, Airbnb and Netflix, and more is to come with the wider adoption of autonomous vehicles, the internet of things, artificial intelligence and biotechnology. The question now is how governments can respond to protect the public interest while stimulating innovation to drive economic prosperity.

Public sector leaders are pioneering more agile approaches to governance to enable them to seize the opportunities and mitigate the risks of this Fourth Industrial Revolution. Taking inspiration from areas such as agile software development, they are proactive in outlook and ruthlessly focused on outcomes, using collaboration and experimentation as tools to support continuous learning and adaptation – with exciting results. These awards seek to recognise their contribution.


Agile governance” is‬ human-centered, fair, responsive, open, collaborative, evidence-based and effective. It acknowledges that policy development is no longer limited to governments but rather is an increasingly multi-stakeholder effort.‬ It exists under many forms and names, all building on those same principles mentioned above.

The Call

We’re looking to name and honour 50 public sector leaders who have brought agile governance to life in their administrations. We want to find leaders who: 

    • Embrace the future, leaning into the latest technology trends and proactively shaping them.
    • Focus on outcomes, supporting businesses that find new ways of achieving the same public policy goals.
    • Experiment and learn – and create space for businesses to do the same while continuing to protect citizens.
    • Are responsive, harnessing data and technology to monitor and fine-tune their performance.
    • Lean on business, ensuring that industries step up to help govern the impact of innovation on society.
    • Connect with their peers, recognising that innovation cuts across existing institutional boundaries and providing a joined-up government response.
    • Engage locally and nationally, promoting coherence across government policies across the regions.
    • Have a global outlook, connecting with counterparts in other administrations to drive global action and reduce trade barriers.
    • Focus on innovators, recognising that systems and requirements are frequently designed for incumbents of today rather than innovators of tomorrow.
    • Put citizens at the centre, ensuring that their views inform every step of the design and delivery of governance.

Deadline and Announcement 

The deadline for submission is March 15, 2020.

The Agile 50 List will be announced at the World Economic Forum Global Technology Governance Summit in San Francisco April 20th – 21st, 2020. A select number of nominees of the Agile 50 will receive an invitation to the Summit and will be asked to speak at the event. 

For questions contact: eve.powell@apolitical.co