The Foundations of Innovation Practice

2020 was a wake up call to everyone. 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 mindsets needed to navigate complex public problems.

The program will introduce you to a range of innovation 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 facilitators

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 logistics

Delivery: Online. We will use Miro and Zoom for our online sessions. We’ll spend time getting comfortable using both these platforms at the beginning of the course.

Structure: This course covers six modules over three weeks. Each module includes a three-hour online session and one extra hour of preparation and reflection.

Class size: Capped at 25 people to keep it intimate. Individuals and small teams are warmly welcomed to join.

Dates: Starts Monday June 16th, 2021 and finishes Wednesday 30th June, 2021.

Schedule: Online sessions are held each Monday and Wednesday at 830am - 1130am (UK) and 930am - 1230pm (Europe). Preparation and reflection are undertaken in your own time, at your own speed.

Facilitators: Brenton Caffin

Cost: €2,250 (+ booking) per person or a discounted rate for teams of three or more.

“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. Monday 14 June
  • Module 2: Introduction to the six principles - People and systems. Wednesday 16 June.
  • Module 3: Introduction to the six principles - Facts and futures. Monday 21 June.
  • Module 4: Introduction to the six principles - Problems and solutions. Wednesday 23 June.
  • Module 5: Experimental practice and what it means for policy. Monday 28 June
  • Module 6: Leadership and the conditions for change. Wednesday 30 June.

Contact hours and tasks

The time commitment of this course is around 8 hours a week. Each module includes a three-hour online session, one preparation task that should take 30 minutes, and one reflection task that should take 30 minutes. That's two afternoons plus a bit of homework.


If you are interested in attending the course but the timezones don't work for your part of the world, please drop us a line as we will be re-running the course for different time zones over the course of the year.

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

Victoria State Government official

Get in touch

Ask your questions to Brenton, and because spaces are limited to keep it intimate, feel free to get in touch to hold a place.

Let's work together