Put down your digital hammer

Joy Bonaguro
Statewide Chief Data OfficerState of California
03-11-2021 10.45 - 11.05

Keynote TrackChannel 1Keynote

It’s been said that when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The digital hammer of government modernization makes a core assumption: that we should digitize the status quo. Instead of dragging our processes, regulations, and laws into the online age, maybe we should take a step back. Should the things we digitize even exist?

In 2004, the British Design Council introduced a “double diamond” model of design thinking. It divides design into two distinct steps: Design the right thing; and then design the thing right. Yet we too often rush headlong into the second step—good digital practices—without deciding whether we’re transforming the right thing. Unfortunately, reams of data and evidence tell us that our current policies are often misguided, ineffective, or inequitable.

In this talk, Joy Bonaguro frames public sector modernization as an opportunity to look at our goals and see if we’re really innovating—or just perpetuating bad policies and outdated thinking. Borrowing from examples across government, she’ll show us how to think critically about digitization and how to expand our toolkit for modernizing government.