In April this year, the Mowat Centre interviewed more than 20 experts for KPMG International’s recently launched “Future State 2030: The global megatrends shaping government.” Alex Himelfarb, former Clerk of the Privy Council of Canada, and Sanjay Khanna, Resident Futurist at Massey College, University of Toronto, were among the Canadians interviewed.
The interview with Sanjay, which was synthesized within the report’s concluding chapter “Analysis of megatrend impacts,” focused on building public servants’ systems-thinking skills:
Systems thinking: While horizontal and vertically integrated structures and cross-functional teams are one piece of the puzzle, the other is an ability for public servants to understand the systemic interactions of policies and trends. In many instances this will require cultivating partnerships between specialists and those skilled in integrated thinking.
One of Sanjay’s quotes that didn’t end up in the report that nonetheless remains relevant:
It takes a special mindset to think about non-linear change. It’s a skill, a way of seeing the world.
Contributing to the Mowat Centre’s research on behalf of KPMG International was a seamless process, thanks to the Mowat team’s considerable efforts. It’s hoped the excellent KPMG/Mowat Centre report is widely read and debated, in part because governments worldwide will face increasingly challenging operating environments from now to 2030 and beyond.