Lab Notes - February Edition

Brought to you by Nesta, GovLab, MaRS, MindLab and SIX; Lab Notes is a loose network of labs, units and teams working to support public sector innovation. Through a combination of useful content and links, our monthly digest will bring together interesting tools and news from public sector innovators around the world.

Crowdsourced content: To capture the most relevant information and resources for you, Lab Notes will serve as a platform for all those already working at public labs, units and teams. We are particularly keen to capture what's happening in non-Anglophone countries. If you have something to say about an approach you're using to tackle a particular challenge or if you'd simply like to get the word out on an event you're planning, please continue the discussion on Twitter #psilabs or reach out to us directly at [email protected]

This month’s key lab picks:

#1. If you’re looking to better understand what innovation teams and labs do, and for some practical tips on establishing and running a new team or lab, check out Nesta’s Innovation teams and labs: a practice guide.

#2. Attend Lab4CITY (Lab for Civic Innovation & Technology) Istanbul, Feb 26th 2015: Connecting and engaging innovators, thinkers and peers alike, this event aims to explore how open data, civic technology and the power of the crowd can create better, smarter cities

#3. The Indian Government has announced that it will set up innovation labs in every district, as it launches the Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan programme to attract students towards science and maths early this year.

#4. To find out more about how Mexico City’s Laboratorio para la Ciudad (Laboratory for the City) is tackling some of Mexico City's key urban challenges, read The Long + Short's Gabriella Gómez-Mont tackles the problems of a sprawling city.

#5. In an effort to reinvigorate the Ontario tender fruit economy, MaRS has created the Ontario Tender Fruit Lab. Check out the Design Brief which distils the research and design approach undertaken to create the lab.

#6. To find out more about how Philadelphia's city government is working to institutionalise innovation, read GovTech’s article, Philadelphia Works to Embed Innovation in the City's People, Places, Processes.

#7. For a useful platform for some of the best examples and shared experiences of public sector innovation, and for advice on how to make innovations work, check out the OECD’s Observatory of Public Sector Innovation, OECD.

#8. Read more about how Global Knowledge Initiative, a Rockefeller Foundation-selected Global Engagement Network Innovation Lab, carried out a global scan of post-harvest food loss innovations to find effective solutions to reduce food loss in Africa.

#9. What happens when 300+ of the world's top mayors, urban experts and designers come together over 3 days with the aim of fostering constructive dialogue and creating scalable solutions for city leaders worldwide? You can find out by checking out CityLab's conference videos here.

#10. Ahead of the Service design for public services event, some experts give their favourite examples of how service design can be used in What is the best example of using service design in the public sector?

#11. Injecting innovation into government - Google reveals its Innovation Lab for Government.

#12. Innovating Government’s IT procurement: BT and TechHub have paired together to launch an SME government innovation competition, Digital Innovation in the Public Sector. Deadline is 22nd of February.

#13. Upcoming White House event at new Policy Innovation Lab (University of Utah) invites government, business, nonprofit organisations and academics to discover Pay for Success initiatives - social programmes that deliver proven results to those in need.


Sophie Reynolds

Sophie Reynolds

Sophie Reynolds

Former Senior Researcher - Public and Social Innovation

Sophie was a Senior Researcher in Nesta’s Policy and Research unit. She is now Director of Sophie Reynolds Research & Consultancy.

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