From city halls to public agency front lines, governments are thinking more and more about how to create innovative solutions to their most pressing problems. This makes sense given the challenges governments face – dwindling budgets, increased citizen expectations, and morphing societal needs. But there’s something beyond that happening, too. City leaders are increasingly seeing innovation as a mindset and process to help solve challenging problems and improve the lives of the people they serve. And, increasingly, they realize it is an essential capability they wouldn’t want to govern without, reflected in the emergence of dedicated innovation officers, teams, and labs around the world.
Bloomberg Philanthropies is funding innovation teams (i-teams) who help city leaders drive bold innovation, change culture, and create an ongoing ability to tackle big problems and deliver better results for residents. Mayors have effectively used i-teams on issues as diverse as murder reduction, economic development, and customer service. These teams cross the globe from the U.S. to Canada, Israel, and now, France. Through a recent partnership with La 27e Region, a French not-for profit public innovation organization, Bloomberg Philanthropies will bring its i-teams program to 10 local French governments to help them improve citizens’ lives.
APPLYING THE BLOOMBERG PHILANTHROPIES APPROACH TO DRIVE INNOVATION IN CITIES
- LOCAL ACTIONS
Mayors and cities are uniquely positioned to drive bold solutions to complex challenges.
Bloomberg Philanthropies initially tested the i-teams approach through a multi-year investment in five cities with great results. The mayors of all five pioneer cities saw the value of the i-team and invested public dollars to sustain them when the grants ended. Nearly 20 cities are now participating in the program, using dedicated i-teams to bring creative new approaches to their cities’ most pressing problems.
Innovation-teams conduct deep qualitative and quantitative research and analyses to assess local conditions, develop innovative, responsive solutions, and relentlessly measure progress against clear goals.