Bloomberg and Johns Hopkins University establish innovation centre for cities

Bloomberg and Johns Hopkins University establish innovation centre for cities


Bloomberg Philanthropies and Johns Hopkins University have launched the Bloomberg Centre for Public Innovation to help advance public sector innovation as well as engage with the future talent pipeline for local government.

 

The new facility, based at Johns Hopkins University, is intended to act as a hub and resource centre for city leaders and their staff to receive specialised training in creative problem solving in local government. It will also conduct research on the impact of these practices.

 

$43m dollar investment

 

With a $43m dollar investment, the centre will develop fellowships for city hall staff to build a stronger evidence base for their work, create peer-learning initiatives for public innovation practitioners to share their knowledge, and strengthen networks among national and international organisations focused on public innovation.

 

“City leaders have unique powers to save and improve lives, and this new centre will help them do more of both, by advancing the art and science of innovative local government,” said Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

 

“The centre will be the first of its kind in the world, and it will help meet the enormous demand we have heard from mayors and their staffs for bold and creative new ways to tackle their most pressing challenges.”

To support the emerging field of public sector innovation, the new centre will focus its efforts in three areas:

  • Train city leaders and other government officials. This support will help local government develop, test, and scale new solutions to major local and global challenges, such as housing, climate and economic development, drawing on the proven methods, including the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Teams (i-teams) initiative, which has helped nearly 50 cities around the world creatively tackle big challenges
  • Research how local governments become more creative, and document effective approaches and help good ideas spread. This research will bolster the evidence base around what works and help uncover and spread the local innovations that have the most impact.
  • Engage the next generation of public sector innovators. The centre will connect interested JHU students with city hall internships to tap into fresh, new ideas and contribute to the talent pipeline for local government.

The new centre will be led by executive director Amanda Daflos, previously the City of Los Angeles’ first chief innovation officer who also established and directed the Los Angeles i-team.

“City leaders have unique powers to save and improve lives, and this new centre will help them do more of both, by advancing the art and science of innovative local government”

Daflos was a winner of Fast Company magazine’s World Changing Ideas Award in 2018 for her work around using backyard housing units as an avenue to dramatically increase housing supply.

 

“The Bloomberg Centre for Public Innovation embodies our shared belief in the power of philanthropy to improve lives and demonstrates the critical role universities can play in providing today’s most innovative civic leaders with the tools they need to marshal data, shape policy, and transform practice for the benefit of cities and citizens around the world,” added Ron Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins University.

 

The Bloomberg Centre for Public Innovation will also become the permanent home for several key Bloomberg Philanthropies programmes, including the Cities Network, Innovation Teams and innovation training efforts, and the Cities of Service initiative, focused on expanding the ways city leaders engage residents.



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