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Experimenta: building the next generation of Chile’s public innovators

Innovation Public service Public sector Public sector innovation Chile

Three years ago, the Chilean government launched Laboratorio de Gobiernowith a strategic priority to build innovation capacity and enable innovation in Chile’s public sector. As part of this, the lab developed a practice-based capacity building programme called Experimenta.

In this report, we review the outcomes of the programme to identify its unique value, reflect on its design to capture and codify the principles, core elements and structures, and recommend how the programme can be improved and taken to the next level.

Key findings:

Our research has shown that the outcomes of the Experimenta programme are both real and profound.

- The programme has equipped a sizeable cohort of civil servants (30 teams, 277 participants) with innovation skills in a cost efficient way.

- It has also demonstrated that learning these skills can go hand-in-hand with solving public challenges while also developing an enabling environment for innovation to happen.

- The programme has created a renewed sense of belonging and community in participants, and a sustained commitment to new ways of working that will endure beyond their participation.

These outcomes have been driven by the programme’s high quality learning design. This helped to establish a rigorous and well thought through (explicit) curriculum, and a mix of ingredients that constitute the so called ‘hidden curriculum’.

We believe that Laboratorio de Gobierno has set an example of what a high quality innovation learning programme should look like, and consider Experimenta to be an archetype of what one should look like.

With the details contained in this report, we hope that Experimenta can be studied, imitated, replicated and even plagiarised – with due acknowledgement of course! – as we collectively move forward to integrate these approaches and mindsets into the everyday practice of governments around the world.

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