Government Innovation

APPLYING THE BLOOMBERG PHILANTHROPIES APPROACH TO DRIVE INNOVATION IN CITIES

FOSTERING INNOVATION TO HELP MAYORS SOLVE PROBLEMS AND IMPROVE CITY LIFE

Solutions to many of the greatest challenges we face can be found in cities. Local governments are uniquely positioned to overcome obstacles and get things done, but they face an environment of unprecedented challenges. The constraints and demands under which they operate are continually changing, as financial resources tighten, citizen expectations increase, and national governments grapple with gridlock. Overcoming these challenges will not be easy – it will take more agility and creativity than ever.

The Government Innovation team’s mission is to give cities the support they need to get there. We promote public sector innovation capacity and spread proven and promising solutions among cities worldwide. We test and refine urban innovations and equip mayors and local leaders with practical tools and approaches to tackle tough issues and enable civic innovation to flourish.

What Works Cities: Using Data and Evidence to Improve Decision Making

The What Works Cities program is the nation’s most comprehensive effort to enhance cities’ use of data and evidence to make better policy decisions, improve services, evaluate progress and find “what works.” Starting in 100 mid-sized cities from 39 states and growing from there, the program continues to help cities improve the way they use data to identify and respond effectively to their residents' needs.

What Works Cities

Mayors Challenge: SURFACING AND SPREADING BOLD IDEAS

The demand for innovation in cities is greater than ever, as city leaders are reimagining the ways they serve their citizens and make their cities great. The Mayors Challenge is a competition for city leaders that identifies and elevates next-generation solutions that have the potential to transform the way city halls work and improve the lives of citizens.

Mayors Challenge

Autonomous Vehicles in Cities:

Launched in 2017 as a yearlong collaboration between Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Aspen Institute, the Bloomberg Aspen Initiative on Cities and Autonomous Vehicles helped elevate the voice of mayors and empowered innovative cities with the information needed to ensure that the needs of people, including low-income, elderly, and disabled communities, are prioritized as we enter what many are calling a “second automobile revolution.”

Autonomous Vehicles in Cities

Innovation Teams: TRANSFORMING CITIES THROUGH INNOVATION

Cities are uniquely able to innovate and transform citizens’ lives, but face many barriers to developing and implementing solutions to tough challenges. Demand for tools and capacity to innovate has led to the emergence of innovation teams (i-teams) around the world. Innovation teams are helping mayors generate bigger, bolder ideas—and successfully bringing them to life.

Innovation Teams

Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative: Equipping Mayors with Cutting-Edge Training and Support

Managing a city is an incredibly complex job that requires mayors to have strong leadership and management skills. Yet mayors have few opportunities for professional development. The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative is the most ambitious executive education program ever designed for mayors and city leaders. Each year, mayors and their senior staff enroll, free of charge, in a program that blends the best of Harvard Kennedy School’s public administration expertise with Harvard Business School’s management expertise. With our support, the program is also producing cutting-edge curriculum and practitioner-oriented research, and offering ongoing opportunities for Harvard graduate students to lend a helping hand in City Halls.

Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative

CityLab: Bringing Mayors and City Innovators Together to Network and Tackle Challenges

CityLab is an annual global conference hosted in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic where more than 500 participants including mayors, city innovators, artists, funders, academics and urbanists gather to explore how to improve cities and spread urban strategies that work.

CityLab

Cities of Service: USING CITIZEN SERVICE TO DRIVE INNOVATION AND DELIVER IMPACT

The Cities of Service coalition is a vibrant and growing network of municipal governments that leverage citizen service as a tool to drive public sector innovation and achieve measurable impact on pressing local challenges. Member cities harness the power of volunteers to solve problems and make real change for their communities. Nearly 200 mayors, representing more than 50 million citizens, have joined the coalition, working together to engage citizens in addressing critical city needs through impact volunteering.

Cities of Service

Financial Empowerment Centers: SPREADING A PROVEN MODEL TO HELP HOUSEHOLDS GET OUT OF DEBT

Tens of millions of households in cities across the nation struggle with debt and financial insecurity, yet the services available to help are inconsistent and often fail to have an impact. The Financial Empowerment Center model offers a new way for mayors and local governments to increase the quality and consistency of local financial services to help residents increase assets and free themselves from consumer debt.

Financial Empowerment Centers