Piret Tönurist

Innovation Lead


Dr. Piret Tõnurist leads the work on systems thinking, innovation measurement and anticipatory governance at the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation. She coordinates OPSI’s work on transformative innovations, innovation theory development and works directly with OECD member countries on their complex problems. Piret holds a research fellowship at the Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance, TalTech and she conducts research on a variety of topics such as innovation labs, co-production, digitalisation, machine-to-machine coordination and innovation policy management. She has previously advised the Parliament of Estonia and worked as a performance auditor for the State Audit Office in the field of innovation and entrepreneurial policy. She is an active proponent of purpose-driven change in the public sector and has collaborated with different governments, state-owned enterprises and innovation labs across the world. Piret holds a PhD and MA from TalTech in technology governance and MSc from KU Leuven in policy evaluation. She can be found on Twitter at @PiretTonurist.


Act before you’re ready

June 1, 2021

Anticipatory innovation for the future in realtime Our knowledge about the future will always be incomplete. Waiting for the full facts means waiting until it’s too late to act, and the costs can be dramatic. The only way to act in time is to ACT BEFORE YOU’RE READY. In this interactive session, Piret Tõnurist and Josh Polchar of the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation will demonstrate how governments are using anticipatory innovation to be better prepared. They will then guide participants through techniques to take away and use themselves to sharpen their anticipation skills and get the edge in in this world which won’t wait. Conventional wisdom holds that anticipation means thinking beyond the current time, as if the future was separate from the present. But the reality is that the future is already beginning right now, at this very moment. Anticipation is therefore not about looking ahead of time, and it’s definitely NOT only about the “long-term”. Anticipation is the ability to perceive, make sense of, and act upon the future in REALTIME.