As part of the lead-up to Government After Shock, the Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) is conducting a range of interviews with leaders and practitioners. These interviews are intended to provide a window into different experiences of the crisis and diverse reflections upon what it might mean for government, now and into the future. Additional interviews will be added on an ongoing basis.

How to listen?

You can listen to the interview series through the SoundCloud links on this page below, or on our SoundCloud page here.

You can also listen via podcasting apps. For now, you can listen via Spotify, with the Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts coming soon!
Spotify — Listen via Spotify here
Google Podcasts 
— Subscribe to listen via Google Podcasts here.

Episode 32 – Chad Hartnell
This episode, Alex Roberts is joined by Chad Hartnell, Director of Operations for Impact and Innovation at the Privy Council Office in Canada to talk about the best laid plans of mice and men, the role of public health experts in communicating with citizens, and becoming more agile in government.
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Episode 31 – Peter Thomas
This episode, Matt Finch is joined by Peter Thomas, an operations manager at Ngāpuhi Iwi Social Services in New Zealand, to speak about designing key social services during lockdown, the importance of selfless and brave leadership, preserving the birthrights of indigenous peoples.


Episode 30 – Siim Sikkut
This episode, Alex Roberts is joined by Siim Sikkut, the Government CIO for the Government of Estonia, and Chair of the OECD’s E-Leaders Working Party, to talk about the importance of building digital capabilities, proactively developing digital infrastructures and resilience, and managing acceleration.
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Episode 29 – Elsa Pilichowski
Alex Roberts is joined by Elsa Pilichowski, the Director of Public Governance in the OECD, to talk about the essential role of government, the difficulty of balancing resilience and the need to change, and nurturing social solidarity and collective engagement processes.


Episode 28 – Jean-Eric Paquet
This episode, Alex Roberts is joined by Jean-Eric Paquet, the Director General of DG RTD, the Research and Innovation Department, in the European Commission, about taking a whole of government approach to the crisis of 2020, the importance of scientific research and innovation to emerging from the crisis, and how citizens can help with innovation policy challenges.
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Episode 27 – Maria de Fatima Fonseca
Alex Roberts speaks with  Maria de Fatima Fonseca, the Portuguese Secretary of State for Innovation and Administrative Modernisation about sustaining a human-centred digital transformation of public services during and beyond the crisis.


Episode 26 – Misha Kaur
This episode, Alex Roberts is joined by Misha Kaur, Assistant Commissioner of Design in the Australian Tax Office, about being stewards of systems thinking, designing for the new normal, and vulnerability.
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Episode 25 – Simon Claydon
Alex Roberts speaks to Simon Claydon, HR Director for Policy Inclusion and Reward at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the UK’s tax authority, and Chair of the OECD’s Public Employment and Management working party, to discuss short memories, the changes to work culture brought about by COVID, and building on small-scale innovation.


Episode 24 – Patricia Scotland Alex Roberts is joined by Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, about the challenges facing small and big countries and multilateral cooperation.
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Episode 23 – Jason Pearman
Alex Roberts speaks to Jason Pearman, Head of R&D, Youth Employment and Skills Strategy at Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) about systemic policy challenges, maintaining a sense of urgency, and user-centred policy and service designs, and building infrastructures to facilitate future innovation.
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Episode 22 – Katju Hokeri
This episode, Alex Roberts is joined by Katju Holkeri, Head of Governance Policy Unit in the Finnish Ministry of Finance and Chair of the OECD’s Working Party on Open Government about working with civil society and the Finnish dialogues, the urgency for action, and the need for global cooperation.
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Episode 21 – Clémence Pène

Alex Roberts is joined by Clémence Pène, Head of Open Innovation and open government in the French Department of Public Transformation Thompson, as well as Co-Chair of the OPSI network of National Contact Points, about government collaboration with civil society during the pandemic, crisis management, anticipatory innovation and bike lines.

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Episode 20 – Rosemary Thompson
Matt Finch speaks with Rosemary Thompson, Vice President of Corporate and Public Affairs and Marketing for the National Gallery of Canada, to discuss restarting public services during a pandemic, the role of art in alleviating isolation, and the importance of culture and community.

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Episode 19 – Lisa Witter
This episode, Alex Roberts speaks with Lisa Witter, the Co-Founder and Executive Chair of the public sector learning platform Apolotical, about learning from foreign experiences, and what building back better should really means, and her appreciation for the difficulties of policy-makers during a crisis.
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Episode 18 – Clare Pillman
This episode, Matt Finch speaks with Clare Pillman, the Chief Executive of Natural Resource Wales, about inequities, leadership in both climate and environmental crises, and serendipitous connections.

Learn more about Natural Resources Wales: 


Episode 17 – Aída Ponce del Castillo
Episode 17 – This episode, Matt Finch speaks with Aida Ponce del Castillo, a Senior Researcher for Foresight at the European Trade Union Institute.

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Episode 16 – Dominic Campbell
This episode, Alex Roberts is joined by Dominic Campbell, CEO of FutureGov, to discuss leadership in the public sector in crises, the difficulties and future of remote working, and how we should frame the covid crisis in a broad sense for deliberate action.

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Find out more about FutureGov: 


Episode 15 – Jesús Viejo
This episode, Matt Finch speaks with Dr. Jesús Viejo, economist, activist, and businessman, Chair of Trefilia Capital.
Follow Jesús on Twitter here:


Episode 14 – Gabriela Horga
Alex Roberts speaks to Gabriela Horga, Secretary of State in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Romania, about rebuilding Romania after the crisis, how governments value and listen to people, and central government bureaucracy, agility and digitisation. Ms. Horga is also a speaker at Government After Shock on November 18.


Episode 13 – Håkon Haugli
Matt Finch is joined by a Håkon Haugli, the CEO of Innovation Norway, to discuss moving to a digital workplace and what the future workplace might and should look like, developing sustainable solutions for the climate crisis, and holding on to a multilateral world.
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Episode 12 – Sandford Borins
Alex Roberts is joined by Sandford Borins, Professor Emeritus of Public Management at the University of Toronto, to talk about the importance of international collaboration between governments during Covid.
Visit Sandford’s website here:


Episode 11 – Warren Logan 
Matt Finch is joined by Warren Logan, the policy director for mobility and intra-agency relations in the Mayor of Oakland, and during covid he has served as the Mayor’s Community Resilience Director in Oakland’s Emergency Operations Center. Matt and Warren discuss compassion, creativity and common humanity, with a hopeful view to the future of government.
Follow Warren on twitter here:


Episode 10 – Anthony Zacharzewski
This episode, Alex Roberts is joined by Anthony Zacharzewski , President and Director of the Democratic Society, from Brussels, to discuss the importance of physical spaces, working on democracy and participation in digital settings, and the importance of involving citizens in the Covid recovery.
Follow Anthony on Twitter here:


Episode 9 – Marie-Louse Ayres
Matt Finch is joined by Marie-Louise Ayres, the Director General of the Australian National Archive.
Visit the National Library of Australia website here:


Interview 8 – Jemma Greene
This episode, Alex Roberts speaks with Jemma Greene, the Executive Director for Transformation at the South Metropolitan Health Service in Perth, Australia, about the disruption of government, creating structures to connect people from inside and outside of government, and “becoming fearless” in the public sector. 
Follow Jemma on Twitter at:  


Interview 7 – Dr. Juhani Damski
In this interview, Alex Roberts is joined by Dr Juhani Damski, Permanent Secretary of the Finnish Ministry of Environment, as well as Juho Korpi, Development Director also at the Ministry of Environment.Follow Juhani Damski on Twitter: 
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Interview 6 – Saskia Van Uffelen
Matt Finch is joined by Saskia Van Uffelen, the Belgian Digital Champion ( as well as a Vice-President of the digital services company GFI.
Follow Saskia on Twitter at:


Interview 5 – Petra Nilsson Andersen
In this interview, Matt Finch is joined by Petra Nilsson Andersen, Senior Advisor and Business Developer at the Norwegian Digitalisation Agency, to talk about the importance of trust, finding the balance between digital and physical, and how to keep the experimental mindset in the public sector.
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Interview 4 – Marco Daglio
In this interview, Deputy Head of the OECD’s Observatory of Public Sector Innovation, Alex Roberts, speaks with Marco Daglio, Head of the Observatory of Public Sector Innovation about the crisis and Government After Shock.
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Interview 3 – Robert Hoge
In this interview, Matt Finch speaks with Robert Hoge about the crisis and Government After Shock. Robert is the Executive Director of Strategic Communications, Queensland Health, Australia.
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Interview 2 – Caroline Paulick-Thiel
In this interview, John Wells speaks with Caroline Paulick-Thiel. Caroline is the Director of Politics for Tomorrow.
Find out more about Politics for Tomorrow here:
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Interview 1 – Julia Stamm
In this interview, John Wells speaks with Julia Stamm. Julia is the Founder and CEO of the Futures Project.
Find out more about the Futures Project here: