Strategic foresight of the future – the key to better prepare countries for future challenges

The two-day conference was opened with an introductory speech by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Janez Janša. “When discussing the COVID-19 pandemic, two things are important: preparation for the situation and level of adaptability. After a year and a half of fighting the pandemic, we now know what our strengths are in this situation and what were our shortcomings at the start of this fight, ”Prime Minister Janša underlined. “In the first weeks of the pandemic. , Europe looked like it was in the Middle Ages, when chaos reigned. However, immediately after the first weeks of the outbreak, the EU realized that it needed to improve its regional and continental approach and implement a common response. to the epidemic that followed was a success. Financial support for European science has been very well coordinated so that vaccines, and now drugs, can be developed as soon as possible, and the response regarding the recovery has also been harmonized, with some countries already drawing funds from. financial aid ”, declared the Prime Minister.

He then asked himself how to make our democracies become more resilient in the face of such challenges and found the answer in the digital transition. “If all the data from the first wave had been available online, our response could have been much better, much faster, much more focused, underlined the Prime Minister.

Boštjan Koritnik, Minister of Public Administration, participated in the panel on strengthening country governance capacities, and in his speech he highlighted Inovativen.si. project of the Ministry of Public Administration. “In order to increase the effectiveness of future government governance, we urgently need to improve their ability to anticipate future changes in society. Slovenia has already taken the first step here. As part of the Inovativen.si project, we have started to set up a process to anticipate innovation. We have taken up the challenge of an aging workforce and of attracting and retaining talent, a concern common to all European countries. I am happy that today, together with the OECD, we were able to present the results of the survey on this issue, which concerns all EU Member States ”, underlined the Minister.

The results of the survey show that a uniform and comprehensive application of practices for the treatment of older employees or talents in European public administrations is the exception rather than the rule. In order to develop measures in the field of talent management, it is necessary to take into account the specificities, strengths and challenges of all age groups. Staff experts and managers, who must be properly trained for this task and cooperate with each other, play a key role in this regard.

As part of the two-day conference, attendees will discuss the recovery of the public and private sectors from the COVID-19 crisis and the lessons learned that governments must learn if they are to achieve higher levels of citizen trust. and better resilience in the future. They will also showcase different practices on how governments respond to the growing expectations of citizens, as systems and the environment become more and more complex.

During the first day of the program, participants agreed that the introduction of strategic anticipation of future events and developments is essential in policymaking, as this will allow governments to be better prepared for future challenges and will provide them with a basis for proactive action. The importance of cross-border cooperation between governments in applying forward-looking approaches to strengthen social cohesion and democracy globally and in creating investments to help EU Member States acquire the skills necessary to addressing current and future challenges was highlighted.

The conference, organized by the Ministry of Public Administration in collaboration with the Observatory for Innovation in the Public Sector (OPSI OCDE) and the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), brings together more than 1,700 participants from whole world. The event also includes world-renowned experts from the public, private and academic spheres, such as: Petra majdic, the most successful Slovenian ski racer of all time and Olympic medalist, Mathias Cormann, Secretary-General of the OECD and Marco Ongaro, Director General of EIPA.

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