Can Reforms Change a Country? - Reflection Seminar with Tom Bentley

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 08:30 to 10:00

Can Reforms Change a Country?

- Reflection Seminar with Tom Bentley


Pressing challenges for many public sector institutions are how to change and improve public welfare through grand reforms. Continually the question is raised as to how reforms can create sustainable change and renewal? What are the possibilities and limitations of grand reforms? How can reforms connect themselves to local change processes and initiatives?

Tom Bentley will discuss these matters with a point of departure in his experience from being Deputy Chief of Staff and senior policy adviser to Julia Gillard from 2007-2013, Director of Demos, the independent think tank based in London, from 1999-2006 and his current work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to improve the US education system. Tom’s current work is focused on spreading knowledge between teachers and large scale innovation systems.

The goal of BMGF is to get most high school students ‘college and career ready’ by 2025. Over the last 5 years, the thrust of the work has been on teacher effectiveness, building a series of tools and interventions that aim to support and spread more effective teacher practice. These new standards have been adopted by over 40 US states, which are now all working towards new student assessments, curricula, teacher assessments and improvement programs aligned with the ‘common core’. This move has gone faster and further than initially expected, and creates lots of new opportunities and challenges for both innovation and implementation.

The seminar aims to produce a conversation between researchers and public servants on the theme of reforming. Tom Bentley will give a thorough presentation of his experiences with reforming public sectors in the UK and Australia —especially with focus on the large scale changes within the US education system.

Klaus Majgaard (CBS) and Justine Grønbæk Pors (CBS) will give shorter presentations of the challenges related to transforming the public sector through reforms and Danish past and present experiences with major reforms.


08.30-08.35: Welcome
08.35-09.05: Talk by Tom Bentley
09.05-09.15: Presentation by Klaus Majgaard
09.15-09.25: Presentation by Justine Grønbæk Pors
09.25-10.00: Open debate

The seminar is free of charge, but please sign up via

The page was last edited by: Public-Private Platform // 12/17/2017