This book was born out of caffeine-fuelled conversations where we discovered a shared interest for using digital technology and culture to make public services better, and an equally shared frustration that the speed of digital transformation in Australia seemed to be slower than we were seeing and hearing about in other countries. Indeed, as we have researched and written this book, the level of debate has all but disappeared.
So, rather than admire the problem and complain, we decided we’d write down how to get there. We want to spark a debate and discussion.
We drew on Martin’s more than 30 years in and around policy and government at the national and state levels in Australia, as well as his time at Cisco and helping to shape the emerging field of social innovation, and on Simon’s recent experiences in Sydney, Canberra, and London working with governments both as a public servant and as a consultant. Martin was also keen to write a follow-up to his book Changing Shape: Institutions for a Digital Age, co-authored with former Australian Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner in 2014.[i]
After discussing our concept for a book with government, digital leaders, and start-up owners, we recognised a demand from public-sector leaders, workers, and advisers for some guidance to inform their thinking and actions in Australia and beyond.
Both authors bring both long-term and contemporary experience that walks the line between theoretical policy considerations and practical delivery. The book is packed with insights, quotes and thinking from the author’s network of leading and prominent government and digital thinkers. This is a book written by two people who make a living from digital transformation in government so it is accessible and is written in a way that will instantly resonate and connect with audiences in Australia and around the world.
[i] Martin Stewart-Weeks and Lindsay Tanner, Changing Shape: Institutions for a digital age, 2014.
Martin Stewart-Weeks is an independent advisor, writer, and facilitator who works at the intersection of public sector policy and management, technology, and innovation. He has held roles as a Ministerial chief of staff and policy advisor, worked in the Commonwealth and NSW public service, led the Asia-Pacific team in the global public sector practice of Cisco’s strategy and innovation group, and helped to design and implement public sector strategy and social impact programs for Deloitte and PwC.
UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES
Masters, Social Policy
Activities & Affiliations
Regular writer, speaker and blogger www.publicpurpose.com.au on digital government, policy reform and public sector management
Chair of the NSW Digital Government Advisory Panel
Chair of the Expert Advisory Group for the federal government’s Welfare Payments Infrastructure Transformation Program (WPIT) which is being implemented by the former Department of Human Services (now Services Australia)
Former Board Member for The Australian Centre for Social Innovation and the Centre for Policy Development.
• Changing Shape: institutions for a digital era (2014) co-authored with former Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner
Simon Cooper is a Director who specialises in the digital transformation government and customer service strategy for a Big Four consultancy. Since immigrating to Australia, he has advised and delivered digital transformation with over 25 government agencies and departments across the country. He has also worked with a number of Australian companies.
Previously he spent a decade as a public servant, including as a Head of Digital and Data in the Home Office, in a Ministerial Strategy Unit, and as a Regional Operational Assistant Director covering 60 countries.
Follow him on Twitter @simoncooper74 and see his profile on LinkedIn.
CASS BUSINESS SCHOOL, LONDON
Executive MBA (Distinction)
B.A. (Hons) History & Politics
NATIONAL SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT
Civil Service Fast Stream graduate
• Delivering on Digital Government report (2018)
Deans Scholarship for Executive MBA
Civil Service Cabinet Secretary Innovation prize winner
Global Association of MBA’s Student of the Year prize winner