Five minutes with… AccelerateGov speaker Cristina Shimoda of Brazil

By on 07/09/2022 | Updated on 07/09/2022

In this sister series to our ‘Five minutes with’ interviews, we share insights from the civil and public service leaders that will be speaking at our free AccelerateGov conference on all things digital transformation, taking place in Ottawa, Canada, in October.

In this interview, Cristina Shimoda, advisor to Brazil’s general coordinator of digital transformation, tells Global Government Forum about enhancing public servants’ experience through the country’s laboratory for innovation in people management, her hope that technology will encourage governments to work globally by design, and her former life as a ballroom dancing teacher.

Register now: Canadian government CIO to address AccelerateGov digital transformation conference in Ottawa

What are you most excited about sharing at the AccelerateGov conference?

I would like to share the digital challenges facing our national reality. Today, Brazil is a country full of technological capabilities and it is important to disseminate how we can contribute globally.

What drew you to a career in the civil service?

As an engineer, when working on a project, I was always thinking about how it could benefit a greater number of people. That’s how my interest in entering the public service arose.

What do you like most about working in the civil service?

What I most like is networking with highly qualified people, which gives us the opportunity to keep learning. There are always new challenges to address!

And what do you dislike about it?

One point I don’t like is that, as a huge institution, changes happen slower than we would like. However, I understand that, as a huge country, it’s very challenging to listen to all sectors of society to reach consensus or make decisions. 

How might the civil service be different in 25 years’ time?

I think not only will the civil service be different but that society as a whole will be transformed by new technologies. Today we talk about digital transformation, tomorrow we’ll be talking about quantum transformation and technologies that are unimaginable now. Our work will follow disruptions in the way populations live. I hope that, in 25 years, we can work globally by design.

Can you name one lesson or idea from abroad that’s helped you and your colleagues?

Each international mission inspires us in some way. During one mission, a Brazil-EU cooperation, we learned about the governance of Industry 4.0 policies and could replicate much of them in the country.

Are there any projects or innovations in Brazil that might be valuable to your peers overseas?

In Brazil there is a laboratory for innovation in people management, called LA-BORA! Gov. Its purpose is to support the development of solutions in order to enhance public servants’ experience and, thus, generate public value.

Is there something about you that people find surprising? 

I’m an introvert but I had many different jobs when I was younger – as a translator, in sales, and even as a ballroom dancing teacher.

What is your favourite thing to do at the weekends?

I have three little kids, so my weekends nowadays are totally dedicated to my family. No work! We like to play games together and watch movies with popcorn.

What was your first car?

A curious fact is that my first car was also the only one I had! My Ford Ka was sold about 10 years ago. I don’t like to drive and prefer public transportation – it’s a good way to get to know cities and how people live.   

Find out more about the AccelerateGov conference organised by Global Government Forum and hosted by the Government of Canada – including the agenda and list of speakers – here. The event is free to attend.

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About Mia Hunt

Mia is a journalist and editor with a background in covering commercial property, having been market reports and supplements editor at trade title Property Week and deputy editor of Shopping Centre magazine, now known as Retail Destination. She has also undertaken freelance work for several publications including the preview magazine of international trade show, MAPIC, and TES Global (formerly the Times Educational Supplement) and has produced a white paper on energy efficiency in business for E.ON. Between 2014 and 2016, she was a member of the Revo Customer Experience Committee and an ACE Awards judge. Mia graduated from Kingston University with a first-class degree in journalism and was part of the team that produced The River newspaper, which won Publication of the Year at the Guardian Student Media Awards in 2010.

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