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Empowering Local Communities to Innovate

Empowering Local Communities to Innovate

Empowering Local Communities to Innovate

The Innovation 'Effect' in a Community

Innovations in communities create a self-sustaining cycle that benefits the cities/towns and the businesses within.

Think about it; the Wright Brothers didn’t only change transportation forever when they invented the world’s first flying machine—they put Dayton on the map. The brothers' innovation allowed the city to create tourist attractions. With an influx of interest in a previously overlooked location, there were suddenly infinitely more revenue opportunities to bolster Dayton’s economy.

Conversely, when cities innovate, it allows for even the most vulnerable people living in that community to lead a superior quality of life.

However, innovation doesn’t just happen on its own. There’s a process behind it, with the right people put in positions to assess and analyze a problem, then put forth a creative solution.

Multi-Government Harmony and Collaboration

Of course, for local governments and communities to innovate, they need a certain level of empowerment granted from higher levels of government.

To that point, federal governments from all over the world–like in England and Australia–are finally seeing how regional councils apply new and practical approaches in tackling big-picture issues.

England’s local governments made their mark on Local Enterprise Partnerships. In working with the central government, local counsels are establishing ‘sub-regional’ authoritative bodies to provide more expert levels of service and strategic planning across multiple local government areas.

Also, Australia’s New South Wales government is currently funding several pilot regional joint organizations with the intent to build on collaborative government efforts between local, state,and federal bodies. These initiatives involve elements of collaboration and resource sharing between state agencies and councils that will strengthen strategic planning, execution, delivery,and major projects.

Australia’s joint government organizations present the chance for a platform that promotes collaborative harmony between all levels of government.

How Local Governments Can Fend (and Innovate for Themselves)

Governments at the municipal level will always experience setbacks when seeking funds for innovations. Their issues are sometimes (mistakenly) considered small scale, localized, regional,and not representative of a grander scale.

Despite these obstacles, many of the above examples show that cities and communities still find a way to innovate with disruptive technologies and ideas. Part of the reason this happens is due to communities empowering themselves to innovate.

Many cities are following in the footsteps of Startups to bolster their innovation efforts. There are local communities in the world that form incubators and host hackathons to foster bold, brave,and wholly original ideas—but that's not enough in today's climate. A plan or structure should be in place, and when decision-makers in a community embrace the process of Startup founders,they'll execute those game-changing innovations.

Therefore, city leaders must do the research and understand the models of thriving Startup ecosystems.

Through applying those Startup principles, decision-makers on a city council might give those higher-level government officials no other option other than to collaborate and work with those innovative ideas.

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Shay Namdarian

Shay is the General Manager of Customer Strategy at Collective Campus. He has over 8 years of experience working across a wide range of projects focusing on customer experience, design thinking, innovation and digital transformation. He has gained his experience across several consulting firms including Ernst & Young, Capgemini and Accenture.

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