Governments in the 21st Century face an array of complex challenges, from the simple to the complex. Through discussions with senior public-sector leaders and politicians, a need was identified for the public service to develop its capability and culture to tackle complex problems, including through the wider use of innovation techniques.

To address this, Australian Futures Project co-designed the 21st Century Service course with six federal government departments: Attorney-General’s, Education and Training, Employment, Foreign Affairs and Trade, Health, and Industry, Innovation and Science.

One of the best-facilitated training sessions I’ve attended; focused, relevant sessions, clear engaging exercises, focused engagement with new people.
— Participant, Australian Attorney-General’s Department

The 21st Century Service course provides the latest tools and approaches to developing responses to complex challenges. Participants learn how to deploy this new “toolkit” by working on real challenges confronting participating departments. Challenges range from service design and delivery to policy development and implementation to the way government itself operates.

Participants pitch their solutions to senior public servants, with some solutions being adopted and developed further by the APS outside the course. 

2018 Course dates

Level 2 six-day Practitioner Course

Round 1: March-April
Round 2: May-June
Round 3: August-September

To register your interest, or receive more information on 21st Century Service courses please email our Program Manager Chloë Spackman.

Screenshot 2018-01-23 12.50.01.png
I learnt about a wide range of techniques appropriate for different stages of the policy design process. I developed networks across the APS. We developed a proposal that we believe is worthy of implementation.
— Participant, Australian Department of Employment

21st Century Service is offered as a one-day foundational course, a six-day practitioner course and a 90-minute SES Session. Departments can also choose to undertake a train-the trainer program to deliver the one-day course themselves. 

Australian Futures Project also works on a bespoke basis to support and coach departmental teams applying the new “toolkit” to live challenges within the department. One example is the six-week coaching module we co-designed with the Australian Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development to support three teams in their live work challenges. 

2018 Course Calendar

Level 2 six-day Practitioner Course

Round 1: March-April
Days 1 and 2: Wednesday 7 March and Thursday 8 March  
Days 3 and 4: Wednesday 21 March and Thursday 22 March
Days 5 and 6: Wednesday 4 April and Thursday 5 April

Round 2: May-June
Days 1 and 2: Thursday 17 May and Friday 18 May
Days 3 and 4: Thursday 31 May and Friday 1 June
Days 5 and 6: Thursday 14 June and Friday 15 June

Round 3: August-September
Days 1 and 2: Thursday 30 August and Friday 31 August
Days 3 and 4: Thursday 6 September and Friday 7 September
Days 5 and 6: Thursday 20 September and Friday 21 September