Citizen Today: December 2015

Sir Angus Houston, Australia’s former defense chief, is interviewed in Citizen Today

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Welcome to the latest edition of Citizen Today, EY’s magazine for government and the public sector.

According to the great American inventor and engineer, Charles F. Kettering, “The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.”

Change is one of the few constants in today’s world, and it is speeding up.

Product design life cycles are shorter. New technologies are developed and adopted quicker. Mass communication means that ideas can be understood by more people in less time.

The pace of change offers great opportunity for progress. The challenge for government is to harness advances in technology and communications to produce better services for citizens.

In this issue of Citizen Today, we sketch out some big challenges that need to be met and explore how governments can change the way they operate in order to meet these challenges.

Hosting a major event, such as the Olympic Games or FIFA World Cup, can transform a city or country. We examine the steps that governments and organizers can take to make the most of the opportunity. 

The way we work has been remodeled over recent decades. But the way we save for retirement has remained stuck in the past. We show how governments can encourage retirement saving and reduce the shortfall in funding for later life.

Sir Angus Houston has served as Australia’s most senior military official. In an exclusive interview, he explores how operational and technological developments are affecting armed forces around the world.  
Hiring and retaining the right people is key to developing capabilities. We discuss the talent strategies that public sector leaders can put in place.

When the success of a policy depends on outcomes, rather than outputs, how should government change the way it commissions service providers? We investigate Payments by Results arrangements.

The global economy must create 280 million jobs over the next four years if it is to provide enough opportunities for all new entrants to the labor market. This challenge can only be met if more entrepreneurs set up and grow their own businesses. We explore the steps that governments can take to foster a stronger entrepreneurial culture.

Citizen Today itself is also changing. It now incorporates material from EY’s other public sector magazine, Dynamics.

We have decided to merge Dynamics — which focused on international development issues — with Citizen Today because this change enables us to bring inspirational stories from the developing world to a wider global audience.

In our first international development feature, we find out how an American social entrepreneur is fusing purpose and profit to help solve the seemingly intractable drinking water crisis in East Africa. 
If the world does hate change, as Kettering says, then resistance to it can be strong.

Governments that harness change effectively, and by doing so improve the lives of their citizens, may not be loved. But they will bring progress. And that is likely to be rewarded.

If you have feedback or ideas for future features, please contact us at

EY - George Atalla

George Atalla
Editor, Citizen Today
Global Government & Public Sector Leader

EY - Rohan Malik

Rohan Malik
Deputy Editor, Citizen Today
Global Emerging Markets Leader and Deputy Global Government & Public Sector Leader