21 June 2023

The 6th PUBSIC (Innovation in Public Services and Public Policy) Conference will take place on 1–2 February 2024, hosted by the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.
Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Call for Papers: The 6th PUBSIC Conference

Innovation is often articulated as a panacea for addressing social and economic problems in the modern world. The concept of innovation in any field is seen as capable of driving and catalysing significant changes and transformations. However, the models of innovation in public services that are posed both have often drawn from private sector experience in an undifferentiated way and have not taken into account the distinctive characteristics of public rather than private services.

In public services, innovation has long since taken on multiple meanings with an emphasis on the transformations and innovation required in the management, delivery, and governance of public services. Governments need to innovate their institutions, systems, and processes to balance the dimensions of sustainable development and to manage change. They need to rethink how they support coherent policy frameworks and institutional arrangements and how they make decisions by engaging all stakeholders.

Further, in innovation and change in public services, particular attention is increasingly being paid to sustainability, which has become a value and guide for public institutions, especially during the pandemic and post-pandemic years. This includes both the need for sustainable public services and for sustainable communities and a sustainable environment.

The PUBSIC conference series is committed to supporting and profiling research on public service innovation (PSI) that addresses this need. Previous PUBSIC Conferences have now taken place in Shanghai, Budapest, Lillehammer, Milan, and Stavanger. The 2023 conference in Venice will respond to the tectonic changes that public services have experienced over the last three years as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. It will explore:

  • What innovative approaches to public service delivery have evolved in responding to this pandemic?
  • What new forms of public services are evolving as we move out of the pandemic?
  • What has changed in the approach to innovation in both the governance and management of public services?
  • How we can ensure that such public services are sustainable for the future?


The 6th PUBSIC Conference will take place at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice on 1–2 February 2024.

There will be a Welcome Reception on the evening of 31 January 2024.

Call for Papers

We invite you to participate in the 6 th PUBSIC Conference to be held at the Ca‘ Foscari University of Venice. The university, city, and region are an outstanding venue for this conference.

Initial paper submission should take the form of a 500 word abstract that emphasises the contribution of the paper to understanding and developing PSI (see below for panel proposals). The structure should contain: Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion. We would welcome in particular paper submissions on the following themes, though other papers relevant to the conference theme are welcome:

  • PSI for sustainable and resilient public services
  • Lessons for PSI and for public service delivery from the CoVid-19 pandemic
  • The impact of digital technology and AI on PSI and on public services
  • Value creation, co-production and PSI
  • Designing and co-designing innovative PSIs
  • The governance, management, and contingencies of public service innovation
  • The contribution of the non-profit and third sector to PSI
  • Collaboration and open innovation
  • Social enterprise, social entrepreneurship, and PSI
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and public services
  • Evaluating Models of PSI
  • Human resources issues and perspectives on PSI
  • Political dimensions of PSI, and innovation in public policy/public policy processes
  • The ‘dark side’ of PSI
  • Public – private partnerships and PSI
  • The governance of risk in PSI.

Papers can be empirical or conceptual/theoretical in nature. Systematic literature reviews are welcome – if they advance theory and/or knowledge rather than simply describe it. Submissions are welcome from both experienced and new/doctoral.

Panel submissions are also welcome. These should include 3 or 4 papers plus a Panel Chair. The proposal should specify the focus and contribution of the Panel, as well as a short outline of the papers to be presented (with author and chair details). Panel proposals may be a maximum of 1,000 words in length.


Paper abstracts should be submitted by email to pubsic2024@unive.it by 22 September 2023. They will be reviewed by the International Scientific Committee and decisions notified to authors by 20 October 2023.

If you wish to circulate the full paper and/or presentation before the Conference, it should be submitted to the PUBSIC 2024 website by 11 January 2024.

Submission guidelines

The submission should contain a cover page and an abstract/body of the proposal (in one single document).

The cover page must include: The title of the proposal - Authors’ names, affiliations, address, telephone and email.

The paper should contain an abstract (cover page and references not included). Proposals must be single-spaced, font size 12. The abstract should clearly highlight the following issues: research gap, theories used, research method, and contribution of the research.

International Scientific Committee

  • Salvatore Russo [Co-Chair] (Ca ‘Foscari University)
  • Stephen P Osborne [Co-Chair] (University of Edinburgh)
  • Frances Berry (Florida State University)
  • Kerry Brown (Curtin University)
  • Maria Cucciniello (Bocconi University)
  • Lars Fulsgang (Roskilde University)
  • Ricardo Gomes (FGV, Sao Paolo)
  • Ian Hodgkinson (Loughborough University)
  • Yijia Jing (Fudan University)
  • Jill Merethe Loga (Western Norway University of Applied Sciences)
  • Gyorgy Hajnal (Corvinus University, Budapest)
  • Wendy Hardyman (Cardiff University)
  • Toshihiko Ishihara (Kwansei Gakuin University)
  • Chiara Mio (Ca’ Foscari University Venice)
  • Rui Mu (Dalian University of Technology)
  • Jari Stenvall (University of Tampere)
  • Piet Tonurist (OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation)
  • Jacob Trischler (Karlstad University)


  • Deadline for abstract submission: 22 September 2023
  • Notification of acceptation: 20 October 2023
  • Authors and panellists registration deadline: 20 November 2023
  • Deadline for late registration: 20 December 2023
  • Deadline for final paper submission: 11 January 2024

For further information on PUBSIC, contact either Salvatore Russo (salvus@unive.it) or Stephen P Osborne (stephen.osborne@ed.ac.uk).