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Interactive map shows cities' commitment to innovation

Report found that cities’ ability to drive innovation depends most on bold leadership, dedicated staff with the right skills, and a strong focus on data to set targets and measure outcomes.

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The interactive map highlights the level of innovation going on in cities
The interactive map highlights the level of innovation going on in cities

Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), has released a report and interactive map that charts innovation investments in cities worldwide.

 

According to the partners, the report, based on a survey of more than 80 cities worldwide, demonstrates the ‘surge’ of cities’ commitment to local innovation and how these investments are set to improve outcomes for residents and strengthen communities.

 

Bold leadership

 

It found that cities’ ability to drive innovation depends most on bold leadership, dedicated staff with the right skills, and a strong focus on data to set targets and measure outcomes.

 

The factors driving innovation in cities include global megatrends such as climate change and workforce automation, a desire to reduce costs and drive efficiency while also improving services, social inclusion and economic growth goals to bring in new businesses and attract qualified professionals.

 

“It’s encouraging to see more cities not just commit to innovation, but deliver results that make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

 

“Bloomberg Philanthropies is glad to help city leaders find new, more effective ways to govern – and to help spread those innovations around the world.”

 

The interactive map and report identify five key areas that influence a city’s ability to innovate:

  • Strategy and approaches: more than half of cities (55 per cent) have formal innovation goals, and just under half (49 per cent) have a formal innovation strategy;
  • Staffing and structure: Nearly 80 per cent of cities reported leadership, both political and managerial was an important component in their ability to innovate;
  • Data use and management: Greater access and better use of data enables the creation of new solutions. Cities showed they had sufficient data in areas such as transport (64 per cent), policing and law enforcement (57 per cent), and land use/zoning (51 per cent), but have less sufficient data in social welfare and inclusion (32 per cent), blight and tourism (29 per cent) respectively, and culture (20 per cent) to support their innovation work;
  • Evaluation: monitoring and evaluating innovation work is an area for development across local governments, only 16 per cent of cities with formal innovation goals conduct a comprehensive and systematic evaluation.

“City administrations have to break from tradition, and find new ways to address the challenges raised by megatrends,” added Ángel Gurría, secretary-general of the OECD.

 

“Innovation is necessary if we are to seize the opportunities and mitigate the risks emerging from major transformations in our economies and societies.”

 

In a separate announcement, Bloomberg Philanthropies is, for the first-time, inviting cities to apply for a nine-month innovation intensive programme, in which they will learn how to adopt cutting-edge innovation techniques that engage residents in testing, adapting, and scaling creative ideas that can have lasting impact.

“Innovation is necessary if we are to seize the opportunities and mitigate the risks emerging from major transformations in our economies and societies”

This new training opportunity is now open to all cities with a chief innovation officer (CIO) on staff. The selected cities will choose up to a dozen staff members from across their government to work alongside the CIO and be trained in this new way of problem solving by applying it to a current and critical problem facing residents.

 

Each selected city will receive:

  • A dedicated design coach: each city will have a design coach who will lead in-person site visits where they help city staff apply the innovation approach to a problem through detailed instruction and project-based learning. Design coaches will augment in-person site visits with structured remote check-ins to help the city consistently advance the work;
  • Virtual classes: remote sessions designed to build skills, internalise lessons learned, and identify how to overcome barriers to building innovation in the city;
  • Network of support: targeted opportunities to learn from and build relationships with a global network of cities that have used innovation techniques to tackle challenges.

Cities will be able to apply for the nine-month programme, beginning November 2019.

 

To learn more about the report, visit: www.cities-innovation-oecd.com

 

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