The Foundations of Innovation Practice

The pandemic has been a wake up call. We all experienced, in some form, a rapidly-changing external environment. This isn’t going to settle down anytime soon.

Innovation went from being a nice-to-have to being a necessity in how we respond to an ever changing environment. Our online Foundations in Innovative Practice course is designed to introduce you to the skills and way of thinking needed to navigate complex public problems.

The program will introduce you to a range of approaches and disciplines. We'll explore an integrated approach to applying new ways of working in different challenge spaces. You’ll leave the course with more tools in your belt and more options to respond with when facing uncertainty. After all, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

What you'll learn

We have developed this course to create an on-ramp for anyone who wants to think and work differently. Over three weeks we will:

  • Introduce you to multidisciplinary practices that allow you to understand your problem space more effectively
  • Introduce you to tactics to manage uncertainty
  • Offer you methods to implement more collaborative approaches with your team
  • Encourage reflective practice that connects your practice with your purpose and role

Who can take this course

This course will benefit anyone working in and around policy and government. You don’t need to work in innovation to benefit from innovation principles — everyone can reframe their work and work differently. You should take this course if:

  • You want to see how innovation applies to your work
  • You’re curious about how different innovation practices fit together
  • You’re looking to introduce new ways of working into your team
  • You're looking to refresh your approaches

Your facilitator

Brenton Caffin has taught, coached and advised executives and their teams from over twenty countries in governments, multilateral and development agencies such as the UN, and international NGOs. Brenton was Executive Director of Global Innovation Partnerships at the UK's innovation foundation, Nesta, from 2013-2020 and is a Nesta Fellow. Brenton was the founding CEO of The Australian Centre for Social Innovation, and held executive positions with the South Australian Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Government Reform Commission and WorkCover.

“We used to play on the edges but States of Change has enabled us to have real discussions about the challenges that we all face.”

New Zealand government public servant

“The hands-on training, guided by some of the best global public innovation experts and design thinkers, has been a powerful experience. My old ways of thinking have been shaken up, making room for a curious mindset and new skills to tackle complex government issues.”

Louise Dobel. Queensland State Government

Course structure

Three weeks, six modules

  • Module 1: Introduction to the key mindsets and capabilities.
  • Module 2: Introduction to the six principles - People and systems.
  • Module 3: Introduction to the six principles - Facts and futures.
  • Module 4: Introduction to the six principles - Problems and solutions.
  • Module 5: Experimental practice and what it means for policy.
  • Module 6: Leadership and the conditions for change.

“I’m asking better questions now. I always come back to ‘What are we missing?’ ‘What are we missing?”

Victoria State Government official


Ask your questions to Brenton if you are interested in a course like this, we can always customise it to better suit your situation.

Let's work together