Being a Part of the Problem: Innovation Within Government

There is much focus on innovation currently, both in industry and within government. There exist buzzwords, bean bags, and open spaces in which to innovate. Yet innovation is not necessarily a creative process those words conjure. Our organization argues innovation must be disciplined, evidence-based, and rigorous. Organizations must understand what data to collect and questions to ask as an idea moves from concept to transition; a process that when followed builds an “Innovation Pipeline.” Innovation is when a solution is delivered into the hands of an end-user, it is not the process of building that solution. This process is crucial in enabling innovation to occur, yet little examined. This talk will focus on government innovation and why and how it differs to innovation in industry, and why being a part of the problem is the key to innovation in these mission-driven organizations. The progamme Hacking for Defence (H4D) will be used as a case study to demonstrate how academia, government and industry can help support the process within the Innovation Pipeline and why it is fundamentally changing how the government solves its problems.

About the speaker

Alison Hawks is the Executive Director of H4D UK. She was previously the Director of Research at the Section 809 Panel, a US congressionally mandated commission tasked with streamlining and codifying defense acquisition. She has been an Assistant Professor at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University and is a Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Security Studies, King’s College London. Previously, she was a Lecturer at the Defence Studies Department, King’s College London, and has lectured in American politics at Brunel University, as well as numerous undergraduate courses in the Department of War Studies. Her doctorate thesis was in military sociology. She has published her research and given numerous presentations on her work in the U.K., U.S., and Sweden. Alison was involved in the development of the PSC.1 Standard for the private security service provider industry as a member of both the Working Group and Technical Committee, and a contributing author of the UNODC Handbook for the Rules of Force for Private Security Companies. She received her PhD from the Department of War Studies, King’s College London and her MA in Strategic Studies from the University of Leeds. She holds a BA in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego.


All are welcome. Lunch will be provided at 12.15pm.

Places are limited. To book a seat, please register on Eventbrite.