First Belgian Creative Bureaucracy Festival - Brussels

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On Friday the 13th of September 2019 the very first edition of the Creative Bureaucracy Festival in Belgium will be organised. This Festival is part of the International Movement of Creative Bureaucracy that started at the initiative of international expert on creativity and imagination, Charles Landry.

Charles Landry

In 2017 Charles and Australian urban expert Margie Caust released the book “The Creative Bureaucracy & its Radical Common Sense”. In this book the authors demand attention for the hidden potential and the talent in government administrations. In their opinion civil servants could achieve much more when given the opportunity and mental space to do so. The rigid iron cage within and between administrative systems, organisations and individuals often limits what could be done.

In September 2018 the very first Creative Bureaucracy Festival was organised in Berlin. About 1300 people from 21 different countries met and were inspired by good practices on creativity and the government. The central message of the Festival was the necessary movement from a 'no, because' to a 'yes, if' culture in public administration, and the characteristics that government should possess to attract and retain young and talented people in public service. Following the Berlin Festival other events in Europe and beyond are planned and have been organised: Valencia (placemaking), Amsterdam (WeMakethe.City), Bergen (cultuur), Lissabon (systems), Wenen (social) and Adelaide.

Changing role of the Government

Our society is confronted with 21stCentury challenges to which traditional recipes offer no adequate solutions. Climate change, migration, demographic changes, mobility problems, social problems, digital transformation, ...: those are all wicked problems that ask for creative modes of cooperation and human initiative and interaction. The governance and organisational models of our public administrations today are still very much based on classic 19th and 20th Century bureaucratic conceptsstor on New Public Management thinking that often focuses too much on efficiency and control and too little on finding solutions for societal challenges.

The role of public administrations in searching for and finding solutions to those challenges is crucial. The government is no longer the sole actor that offers those solutions and that steers our society by policy making and policy execution. Our network society demands for collaboration between all the societal stakeholders from the civic, private, public and academic sectors. Bureaucracies need to be more flexible in their organisation and need to be flexible in moving in the network society. And this asks for flexible and people centered structures and procedures that allow for and stimulate individual leadership, initiative and creativity in every civil servant.

The Festival

The Creative Bureaucracy Festival in Brussels is first and foremost a festival: a day to celebrate creativity in bureaucracy and a day to meet for inspiring presentations, interactive workshops and do-sessions, and space to exchange ideas and good examples.

Listen to speakers from Belgium and beyond: Charles Landry, Secretary General of the Flemish government Department of Administration Martin Ruebens, Anna Lisa Boni of EUROCITIES, dr. Bert George of the Rotterdam Erasmus University, Deputy Mayor Arianna Viscogliosi of Genua, General Director of the City of Bruges Colin Beheyt and General Director of the Flemish Association of Cities and Municipalities Mieck Vos are some of the speakers that you will encounter.

Five thematic sessions are organised with many partners from the public and private sector. In the sessions you will be able to get familiar with some of the many aspects that stimulate the systemic change that our government needs: open governance, open knowledge, the role of technology, creativity in methods and innovative government labs.


  • When? Friday the 13th of September 2019, 9:00 - 17:00
  • Where? Flemish government, Herman Teirlinckbuilding, Havenlaan 88, 1000 Brussels
  • More info and registration?

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