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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 - March 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. SAVE THE DATE - LabWorks 2015: Nesta is convening the biggest ever gathering of public innovation labs in London on 9-10 July. The programme will consist of a major international conference followed by a day of practical workshops designed for and delivered by lab practitioners. This year’s theme will be how labs can make and measure impact. To register contact [email protected]

#2. Founded on the belief that 'science, technology, innovation and partnership can accelerate development impact faster, cheaper, and more sustainably,' USAID established the U.S. Global Development Lab (The Lab) in April 2014, and the number of projects have grown fast since. You can check out the Interactive Map of Global Development Lab Projects here.

#3. In this month’s edition of #Tech4Labs, Digital tools for participatory democracy, Arnaud Sahuguet, CTO of GovLab, presents some of the best participatory platforms for civic innovators, particularly government innovation teams and labs, looking for more decentralised, open ways of working.

#4. Jen Morgan, co-founder of The Finance Innovation Lab, (named in 2012 as one of Nesta's 50 New Radicals), describes why The Lab was set up and how it’s working towards financial reform in the Lab Notes guest blog, Why the financial system needs an innovation lab

#5. Find out how the Madagascan government is partnering with a non-profit innovation hub to build a more vibrant ICT sector in the Disrupt Africa article Habaka incubator working with Malagasy government to boost tech

#6. What will Jakarta’s new Open Data Lab actually do? Read this FutureGov article to get an insight into how the lab will work to support open government initiatives in the Asia Pacific region.

#7. City and state governments are hiring Chief Innovation Officers to inject innovation into government operations – but do they actually deliver? Read this Government Executives piece to find out: Do Chief Innovation Officers Deliver for Cities and States?

#8. Save the Children and GSK awarded four initiatives from across Africa a share of a global US$1 million Healthcare Innovation Award. You can learn about the initiatives here.

#9. Following the 2015 Government Summit conference last month in Dubai, this special booklet has been produced in collaboration with Harvard Business Review. It includes a collection of government innovation articles on topics such as service design, lessons from DARPA, and the responsibilities of big data.

#10. Nesta’s Jo Casebourne speaks about Public sector innovation teams around the world in Andy Feldman’s GovInnovator podcast.

#11. Read the summarised version of Marlieke Kieboom’s Lab Matters: Challenging the practice of social innovation laboratories (a summary) – a topic that reflects LabWorks’ theme – making and measuring the impact of public and social innovation labs.

#12. Sign up to The Governance Lab Academy’s Coaching Programme – a free, online coaching programme to promote civic engagement and innovation for those inside and outside government. For a complete list of upcoming coaching programmes visit: http://thegovlabacademy.org.


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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