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Run Business Like a Government?

house-chamber“If asked to identify the hotbed of social innovation right now, many people would likely point to the new philanthropy of Silicon Valley or the social entrepreneurship efforts supported by Ashoka, Echoing Green, and Skoll Foundation. Very few people, if any, would mention their state capital or Capitol Hill. While local and national governments may have promulgated some of the greatest advances in human history — from public education to putting a man on the moon — public bureaucracies are more commonly known to stifle innovation,” the Harvard Business Review notes.

“Yet, around the world, there are local, regional, and national government innovators who are challenging this paradigm. They are pioneering a new form of experimental government — bringing new knowledge and practices to the craft of governing and policy making; drawing on human-centered design, user engagement, open innovation, and cross-sector collaboration; and using data, evidence, and insights in new ways.”

A new joint study from Nesta and Bloomberg Philanthropies has compiled 20 case studies of public innovation teams set up by national and city governments.