Dr. Ernest Surrur : shaping future governments of Sierra Leone

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The Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service, Dr. Ernest  Sahid  Alie  Surrur,  and  other leading  government  figures, alongside thought  leaders from the private sector, showcased  the latest developments and identified  future trends in government. The Summit offers an exclusive opportunity for high profile delegations to gain insights on strategies that are shaping future of government, driven by technological advances and the evolving expectations of citizens.

The World Government Summit is an opportunity for attendees to preview the latest technological advances and future trends in government services, leadership and innovation. The Summit brought together over 4000 leaders from over 90 countries, including policy makers, academics and key representatives from international organizations creating an exciting opportunity to exchange innovations and experiences, and build strong collaborative networks.

” This international conference brought together delegates from around the globe to share ideas on the role of future governments in a technologically fast advancing and innovative world, as well as the evolving expectations of citizens. The Edge of Government experience will challenge participants to think in a new and often counter-intuitive ways about how the most pressing public challenges of our time can be solved. The main purpose of the exhibits is to inform, trigger new thinking through experience, and most importantly inspire participants to connect with the innovations behind the best practices and case studies showcased and ideally adapt / adopt the approach in their own context. Participants will thus walk out of their immersive journey with the desire to move to action and turn this “Edge” into mainstream”, Dr. Surrur said.

“Quite so often, countries have been taken unawares by social or technological upheavals, which have both been sudden and surprising. Not having tried to foresee surprising events, governments are at a loss for ways to respond when such upheavals take place. Another factor worth considering is that in the coming decade, several factors, such as an ageing population, the increase in Artificial Intelligence, budget shortfalls and ballooning entitlement spending, could reshape the way governments deliver services to its citizens. Recent developments show that in the near future, the social and economic environment will be dramatically changed and governments would be required to respond adequately to face these challenges. The Summit was therefore a wakeup call for governments to be aware of inadvertent external changes, take a long view of decisions and lift the “blinders” that limit creativity and resourcefulness”, he adds.

Some thought provoking questions that prompt transformation are: What if our primary work becomes obsolete? What if our most desired future came to pass? What unexpected challenges would it present to us? What if a completely unexpected series of events changed the structure of our institutions? Would we be overwhelmed or would we see the opportunities?

In the early 1980s, oil companies ought to have asked themselves, “What if the price of oil collapses”? Consider further the crisis overtaking the advertising industry, with new forms of computer-based media such as electronic mail boards

and the Internet. It could be recalled that KODAK Company, which failed to bring innovation in the industry sank into oblivion and bankruptcy as a result.

One way of planning for the turbulent and disruptive economies is by preparing future anticipations and decision making through scenario planning. Scenario planning helps us make choices today with an understanding of how they might turn out. Scenario in this context is defined as “a tool for ordering one’s perceptions about alternative future environments in which one’s decisions might be played out.” Alternatively, it is regarded as, ‘”a set of organized ways for us to dream effectively about our own future”. Governments today are inevitably and dramatically moving towards digital leaders. This move requires change in processes or building cultures that foster change. This of course requires a clear and coherent diligent strategy that incorporates proper portfolio management, funding and handling cyber security. Every domain of government should be encouraged to deploy and use digital technologies in a manner that can increase the service-level standards, improve interactions with citizens and raise efficiency.

No doubt, digital technologies play a role in helping organizations achieve strategic goals and drive transformation of the organization’s entire business processes. As we approach the end of the MDGs to kick-start the SDGs, it is clear that Governments must adapt themselves to constant change, engage in quality governance, encourage PPPs, incorporate laws that allow innovation, and enable technology to be accessible.

 Meanwhile, Dr. Surrur is well equipped with the education / experience that will help shape future Governments of Sierra Leone. He poised to display real prototypes of innovations that can be adopted by the future Government of Sierra Leone in the fields of transportation, healthcare, education and smart services. Furthermore, he is well armed with ideas for developing these services in the coming years through the collaboration of the talented designers, technicians and thinkers from around the country / world.

 The Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service, Dr. Surrur, in attendance at the World Government Summit explored future trends and showcases of the latest innovations in government services. Some of the lessons learnt were : Mindful Leadership, Science of Today – Technology of Tomorrow, The Financial and Economic Dialogue – Towards More Financial Inclusion and Pension Sustainability, SDGs in Action, Play to Learn, The Future of our Economy is Shared, How is Social Media Transforming the Future of Education?, Are We Safe in a Digital World?, Inclusive Governance – The Foundation for Building Human Opportunity and Prosperity, Towards Better Public Governance to Promote Prosperity for all, Future Government + Social Good, How Governments get ready for the Unthinkable, Governance of the Future, How Clean-Tech is Shaping the Future of Energy, The Future of Internet of Things, Disruptive Economies- Are Governments ready for this?, Future of the Future, Improving Human Resources Productivity and Service Quality in the Public Sector, The impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on Governments, The future of Renewable Energy, How will Cloud Based Schools Change our Education?, The future of Transport – Transiting near the speed of sound, Designing a University for Exponential Times, The Future of Money – Is Crypto-currency the answer?, Building the next Silicon Valley, Agenda 2030 – Transformation in a Changing World, Why do Governments Fail?, Brain Re-Gain, The Challenge of Governments in achieving development, Innovation in development, Innovation in Aviation and Future Trends, The Power of Youth – Girls & Boys – To Achieve the Global Goals, The Future of Smart Trade, Cities of the Future, Climate Change – Overcoming the Greatest Challenge of Mankind, The UN Sustainable Development Goals in action – Transforming our Global Vision into reality, Prospects for Healthcare Investment towards excellent health outcomes, Could Robots rule the world?, Are Robots really the Answer? Bionics for Humanity – Disability is not an option, Retiring retirement – 100 is the new 40, etc.

 However, Dubai aims at improving quality of life and raising the levels of public “happiness”. This vision is not just to be the “smartest” city in the world by 2017 but to be the “happiest” place on earth to live and work. This stride involves addressing numerous organizational, technological, cultural and policy challenges to ensure quality of life, well being and happiness of Dubai’s population. In other words, the primary objective is to raise the quality of living and governance. To foster this vision, a Ministry of Happiness Affairs has been created to work out the modalities and policies that will enhance happiness among its citizens.