Ministry of Possibilities

The Ministry of Possibilities is a virtual ministry created to incubate and solve the systemic impossibilities of government.

It works by creating time-bound departments experimenting together to ask impossible questions and disrupt the conventional systems with leapfrog solutions that are yet to be explored

Its focus areas & mandate are:

  • To IDENTIFY impossibilities
  • To INCUBATE virtual, timebound departments/teams to solve and explore the impossibilities
  • To EDUCATE and train on the mindset of design and experimentation in government
  • To INSPIRE the globe with the UAE’s methodology of possibilities

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

The Ministry of Possibilities was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the world’s first virtual Ministry to incubate and develop radical solutions for the government’s most critical challenges and represents the next generation of government operations which oversees key functions that require quick, bold and effective decisions.

Its roles include applying design and experimentation approaches to develop proactive and disruptive leapfrog solutions that tackle critical governmental issues, bringing together federal and local government teams and the private sector on seconded full time or temporary basis under the championship of an existing minister in the cabinet. With a cabinet decree and permissions granted, The Ministry relooks at the fundamentals of government and instill a culture in which impossible challenges can be tackled effectively resulting in replacement of current existing systems with solutions that were explored, co-designed, prototyped, and piloted with end users. Practicing agility and constant feedback cycles have been a day to day essential process in the ministry.

The Ministry of Possibilities’ have 4 main criteria for choosing the projects which qualify to become time-bound departments. The first criterion is to tangibly improve lives and have a direct impact on an end user/s. The second criterion that it has to relate to government. The third criterion that it has to disrupt an existing system; in addition to the last criteria in which the topic needs to be globally relevant.

There are 4 basic values in which daily routines and rituals are designed and followed in the ministry; give back & amplify, protect those who try, stay close to the ground, and dare to keep moving. All values which are based on protecting team members and encouraging share back and feedback moments in addition to always ensuring end users are part of every phase.

Based on an agile & human-centered-design methodology, The Ministry of Possibilities was launched through 4 time-bound departments in its first phase which are: The Department of Behavioral Rewards, The Department of Proactive Services, The Department of Government Procurement and The Department of UAT Talent.

The Department of Behavioural Rewards aims to shift punitive associations around certain areas to an approach that encourages and incentivises positive behavior. This could possibly be in the form of a point-based rewards system that can be used to pay for government services. The team is exploring several areas to test their ideas, guided by the themes of individual empowerment, family support, community interaction, economic growth and love of country.

The Department of Proactive Services aims to redefine customers’ experiences of public services by anticipating needs and initiating service offerings before they are demanded. The team is exploring various types of customers and their service needs through every phase of life, and working with them to redesign a customer experience that eases and enriches the lives of every individual in our society.

The Department of Government Procurement aims to improve the government procurement experience for both product and service providers, as well as government entities. The team is focused on making the process faster and more accessible through the development of a user-friendly, digitally advanced procurement platform. This will increase ease of transacting and engagement of SMEs, thereby increasing competitiveness and maximising cost efficiencies.

The Department of UAE Talent aims to empower all Emiratis to be part of the country’s development and future design. The team is focused on creating mechanisms to identify, nurture and appropriately channel every individuals’ talents to ensure all citizens can determine their purpose and contribute to the advancement of the country in their own way.

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Year: 2019
Level of government: National/Federal government


  • Evaluation - understanding whether the innovative initiative has delivered what was needed
  • Diffusing Lessons - using what was learnt to inform other projects and understanding how the innovation can be applied in other ways

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