Powering Collaborative Policy Innovation: Can Innovation Labs Help?
There is nothing inherently new in the idea of cross-cutting collaboration, “joined-up government” and “networked governance” (Pollitt, 2003; Hartley, 2005; Mulgan, 2009). However, in the last decade, new forms of internal units have been set up within public sector organizations with the explicit purpose of supporting innovation efforts. And in at least one case, such a unit has evolved into a permanent governance network – designed to foster cross- governmental innovation. We start by discussing the underlying change logic of innovation labs. The article then examines the history, role and functioning of Denmark’s MindLab, an innovation lab that today is part of the Ministries of Business & Growth, Taxation, and Employment. We emphasize how the development of MindLab over time reflects a typology of different generations of innovation labs. Finally, we reflect on potential future directions for platforms for collaborative innovation in the public sector.