Istanbul Innovation Days: #NextGenGov

October 15, 2018

27-29 November 2018

The 4th industrial revolution is unfolding before our eyes. New technologies and artificial intelligence are transforming the way we live, work, and interact with each other. The world is now so complex and fast-changing that any attempt to grasp and analyze the dynamics at play is a foray into uncharted territory.

At the same time, successive ‘industrial revolutions’ have eroded our natural environment. Catastrophic climate change now poses a significant threat to humankind. The world is experiencing an upsurge of armed violence associated with sharpening geopolitical tensions, rising inequality and the exclusion of groups and citizens. Compounded by unprecedented population growth, these factors contributed to the largest mass displacement since World War II.

Like national governments, global institutions and cooperation mechanisms are struggling to address these trends. This has triggered a process of soul searching and reform within organizations like the UN, and among countries that seek new ways to work with each other.


The 2018 Istanbul Innovation Days: #NextGenGov, led by UNDP’s Istanbul Regional Hub in collaboration with Dark Matter Laboratories, was structured around a series of events, discussions, reflections and writings. It focused on emerging global trends impacting governance and peacebuilding, drawing lessons from around the world through joint experimentation. Because governance and peacebuilding challenges urgently require us to adapt and create new solutions, the event brought together partners who are already engaging in this arena – from strategic funders and governments to start-ups.

The intention was to jointly build an understanding of why we need #NextGenGov. The event focused on enabling the broader community of practitioners and policymakers to think through three critical questions:

1)    What are the emerging dynamics and trends underpinning the call for #NextGenGov?

2)    What are we learning from recent innovations in governance and peacebuilding and what are their implications for policy-making?

3)    How can innovations in the area of #NextGenGov help adapt current programmes and formulate new ones?

Partners showcased methodologies and practical examples of innovative governance and peacebuilding practices in different countries and settings. Our aim was to facilitate wider discussions and create spaces for experimentation complementary to our existing practices with a greater focus on innovation in governance and peacebuildingng.

What is IID?

The Istanbul Innovation Days (IID) are an established annual gathering of partners, enabling organizations to learn about emerging trends and innovative approaches to development and policy-making. IID has emerged as a central R&D mechanism to help rethink our work and build new generations of services.

For more information on the frame of IID, see the UNDP/Dark Matter blog “#NextGenGov (the Big Boring Bureaucratic Revolution)

Visit the IID2018 website