The Roskilde University Sunrise Conference aims to explore the link between governance and innovation by bringing together academic scholars, experienced practitioners and interested students. The three groups will work in parallel streams to craft innovative solutions to public policy problems, ponder the need for administrative reform and explore how transformations of governance can enhance public innovation. However, the three groups will also engage in fruitful dialogue with each other, culminating in the formulation of the Roskilde Public Innovation Manifesto that will hopefully set the agenda for innovation-enhancing governance reforms in the years to come.
The researcher stream runs through all three conference days (29.-31. October, 2012). It combines keynote speeches delivered by distinguished scholars in the field of public governance, administration and entrepreneurship with round table discussions and parallel panel sessions with paper presentations. More than 100 researchers from all over the world will participate in the scholarly debates that aim to clarify how the current system of public governance can be transformed in order to spur innovation. The researcher stream is organized as a regional conference of the International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM).
The decision-maker stream runs parallel to the researcher stream on the second day of the conference (30. October, 2012). Close to 100 personally invited decision-makers from different sectors and from all levels of government will together explore the need for developing innovative solutions to wicked problems and discuss how the barriers to public innovation, which they are experiencing in their daily work, can be overcome. The decision-maker stream is facilitated by top-level facilitators and academic researchers, high-level consultants and other resource persons will provide substantive input and inspirational comments. The end product will be a wish list with ideas to how we can make the public sector more innovative. This wish list will be presented to the researchers and the students in a plenary session on the third day of the conference (31. October, 2012) and it forms the backbone of the Manifesto that will be adopted at the very end of the conference.
The student stream will run parallel to the researcher- and the decision-maker stream on the second day of the conference (30. October, 2012). About 70 students from different Danish BA and Master Programs will work hard to find innovative solutions to three pre-selected wicked problems. The stream will be facilitated by experienced PhD-students who are experts in public innovation. Throughout the day, researchers and professionals will be invited to help guiding the students through different innovation phases in terms of problem framing, idea generation, idea implementation and dissemination. The three most innovative, and yet feasible, solutions - one for each of the wicked problems they have addressed - will be awarded the Sunrise Innovation Award on the third day of the conference (31. October, 2012).
In sum, the Sunrise Conference provides a unique opportunity for leading academic researchers, public decision makers with hands-on innovation experience and talented students with a strong interest in solving mounting societal problems to come together and engage in fruitful dialogue. The overarching goal is to set the future agenda for innovation-enhancing governance reforms and thus to take the first step in building a public sector that can solving the growing number of wicked problems, break the many regulatory policy deadlocks and provide high quality service in times with dire fiscal constraints.