TOKVIL meetup 3 - public innovation with a twist

TOKVIL public sector innovation meetup was hosted this 13/9 at the building of the Flemish administration in Brussels.  It was embedded into the first festival of ‘creative bureaucracy’.




What were the highlights of this TOKVIL meetup?






Aline Muylaert, Citizenlab co-founder, provided us with an interesting back-office ‘view’ of the online citizen participation tool used by Youth for climate’ during the spring.

Main findings: - it is important to clearly think about the process of participation and than stick to it ; this creates transparency and also makes that the outcome of the participation gets more credibility - the question remains who happens next when main findings are assembles of a participatory project, what will the initiators do with all this info - in terms of data metrics, an online platform can provide amazing insights and very precise measurements and actionable feedback




Tanguy De Lestré, founder of TOKVIL.BE, talked about "La BASE," a public innovation lab based in Bordeaux. 

The French government launched a project call in 2017 entitled“ Lab for territorial innovation” and this project was selected.

La Base three founders of this innovation lab: - Bordeaux métropole - Region nouvelle aquitaine - Gironde

The innovation lab aims to break the silos to increase the collaboration between administration and this through a “lab modus”: collaborative steps working together:


- provide a risk-free environment to test new solutions and new methods of work + diffusion of new public innovation culture - show that one is able to simplify the procedures - facilitate the live of the people - get out of the image of procedures

It is open to who? Connecting citizens - territorial entities - state services . - so not a closed entry!

Tag line : demonstrate how administration becomes more reactive, more agile and will place the citizen/user… in the center of the public policy tissue The lab is situated in a building in the city-center of Bordeaux and has a dedicated team in order to - consolidate the insights of the agents through open learning workshops - participate in the animation of the lab + incubation of projects - disseminate and communicate + collective intelligence Projects are mostly aimed at transversal challenges, and also relate to health, solidarity, sustainable development, transport, eduction, culture and work




What did  I learn/see during this creative bureaucracy festival?

- creativity and structure:  it seems that taking away hierarchical management structures creates an important change in the decision processes.  With very few managers coordinating a large horizontal organisation, it becomes physically impossible to have all decisions managed, agreed by this top managers.

Therefore teams have to start working with more autonomy within their area of expertise, as they cannot wait for decisions coming from the top. Teams than find a way to organise themselves and make decisions among peers;  this means that creativity can be unleashed, and that this process is than facilitated by a team of facilities that help unleash this creativity and help make participatory decisions for the common interest.




- it seems that the ’new normal’ of projects includes sustainability from the start;  the SDGs can be a basis to work with as indicated by the VVSG (Flemish community and communes)

- It seems that ‘playfulness’ and willingness to progress are well anchored

within the participants;




- of course I heard about bureaucratic structures and silos; but I heard a lot of different elements and seeds of ideas that provide a positive experience so that public sector can be again more in line with the societal challenges and contribute to it.




And would you like to host the next TOKVIL meetup?  Do let us know at infotokvil.be

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