About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Lab Notes - June 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 brings 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. Ulan Bator, Mongolia is one of the world’s most polluted cities. The World Bank’s Code4Green initiative recently gathered highly connected youths, coders and government to devise tools to counter the Mongolian city’s rising pollution. Learn more about the green growth civic entrepreneurship challenge.

2. In Nairobi, tech-for-transport start-ups are emerging as a solution to the city’s growing transportation challenges. But can private innovation create public benefit? The Mastercard Foundation’s recent report addresses the need for state and tech actors to come together to purposefully deliver citizen-centred services.

3. In this month’s Tech4Labs column, Inverting the logic of government through user insights, Nesta’s Skills team points to a number of tools that can help your public innovation lab better understand and incorporate user experiences into service design.

4. Governments across the world are creating innovation teams and labs to help them find new ways of tackling the complex challenges of the 21st century. To capture the scale of this growing trend ahead of LabWorks 2015 – Global Lab Gathering London, Nesta has created a searchable map of government innovation labs from around the world.

5. Jesper Christiansen of MindLab considers the role of public servants as ‘change agents’ and how design labs can help in the delivering of citizen-centered public services in the Design for Europe feature, Redesigning the culture and function of government.

6. In what ways can city governments be more open and responsive? In Delhi, the government launched participatory budgeting sessions to have citizen input in deciding priorities for the 2015 budget.

7. Measuring the long-term social impact of open governance initiatives often proves difficult, partly due to the relative novelty of the field. In its latest report, The Sunlight Foundation collected 100 examples of open data successes and built an evidence database to unpack future theories of change.

8. Data-driven innovation will present a sea change for how governments do business. Socrata’s Bob Ruge discusses the future of government innovation on Open data TV.

9. This Civil Service World article, Closing the gap - a look at government as a platform, looks to some of the best global examples and considers the benefits of having national and local government agencies using common IT systems.

10. Can better information improve government’s effectiveness to address the things that matter most to people? Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge, Santa Monica’s Well-Being Project uses the power of data to improve local services and collective well-being. Read more about the initiative.

11. Does the concept of economic growth need some re-designing? The European Growth By Design summit in Brussels on May 7th discussed how design can boost innovation in Europe. Read through the key points that emerged during the panel.

12. Innovation labs aren’t just being used to catalyse change in government. Read this UNDP article to find out how social Innovation labs might just be game-changers in developing countries too.

13. Are policy innovation labs experimental laboratories trialling new methods for administering and governing the future of the state itself? In this open access article, Ben Williamson looks at Policy innovation labs in the digital governance of education.

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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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Lucile Stengel

Lucile Stengel

Lucile Stengel

Intern in Public and Social Innovation

Lucile was an intern, working on projects related to public and social innovation.

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