The heart of NYU Wagner's programs is our faculty. An amalgam of full-time, clinical/research/visiting, and adjunct professors, they are outstanding teachers, expert researchers and committed practitioners.
Five early career professionals selected to participate in the prestigious new Bloomberg Innovation Delivery Fellowship gathered in New York for an Orientation on February 2-3, 2012. The fellowship is part of a three-year Bloomberg Philanthropies-funded initiative to support Innovation Delivery Teams in five cities - Atlanta, Chicago, Louisville, Memphis, and New Orleans - to help mayors develop and deliver high-impact solutions to major urban challenges.
The program, managed by NYU Wagner's Research Center for Leadership in Action (RCLA), offers fellows an opportunity to learn from senior leaders in municipal government and engage in hands-on research and documentation supported by first-tier academic expertise.
The orientation included a comprehensive look at the cutting-edge work fellows will engage in as well as the Innovation Delivery Team model and its ability to spearhead large-scale change initiatives. While in town the fellows met with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and other senior administration officials who have expertise in innovation and delivery, the design firm IDEO, and Dean Ellen Schall for a discussion on leadership and reflective practice in government.
Importantly, a team from NYU Wagner, including Neil Kleiman, PhD, special advisor to the Dean; Shankar Prasad, PhD, adjunct assistant professor of public administration at NYU Wagner; and Daniel Smith, PhD, assistant professor of Public Budgeting and Financial Management, provided an overview and training on the research agenda and data collection for the project, including a look at best practices in grounded research.
Bloomberg Philanthropies announced July 14 the establishment of a $24 million, three-year initiative to fund "Innovation Delivery Teams" that will help mayors effectively design and implement solutions to pressing city challenges, focusing on five major U.S. cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Louisville, Memphis, and New Orleans.
In an integral part of the initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies also announced a partnership with NYU Wagner to document and share best practices across these cities, and translate those learnings into resources that other cities can use.
"NYU Wagner is proud of its work on innovation and leadership and we are excited to partner with Bloomberg Philanthropies in its new effort," said Ellen Schall, dean of Wagner. "We look forward to helping capture and synthesize key lessons across these initiatives in order to both build the knowledge base and support municipal innovation nationwide."
To meet each city's impact goals in priority areas, the new Innovation Delivery Teams, each one composed of high-performing staff, will generate innovative solutions, develop implementation plans, and manage progress towards defined targets. Bloomberg Philanthropies will fund the salaries of these staff members and provide a range of support for the project's duration.
In each city, the team will focus on top-priority issues identified by City Hall, achieving results and producing value. In Atlanta, the team will implement a comprehensive 311 system to improve customer service. In Memphis and Louisville, the teams will implement new job-growth strategies. In Chicago and New Orleans, the teams will cut waiting and processing times for key city services.
The "Innovation Delivery Team" grants are the first made through the Mayors Project, the new government innovation program at Bloomberg Philanthropies.
The Mayors Project has two goals: increase innovation capacity within municipal government and disseminate effective programs and policies across cities. Additional investments will be made through the Mayors Project over the coming year.
"Mayors are uniquely positioned to tackle some of our most pressing challenges - from growing jobs to fighting climate change to keeping quality of life high," said Michael R. Bloomberg. "The Mayors Project will fuel
these efforts by spreading effective programs and strategies between cities and helping mayors work together in new ways around solutions. We are excited to kick off this new initiative in partnership with these five great American cities."
The "Innovation Delivery Team" model draws from successful approaches that have been utilized worldwide. In New York City, for example, Mayor Bloomberg established teams to develop and implement bold anti-poverty, sustainability, and efficiency agendas. Similarly, Former Prime Minister Tony Blair formed the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit to achieve impact in transportation, education, health, and criminal justice. In Malaysia, Prime Minister Najib Razak's Performance Management and Delivery Unit has documented critical gains in advancing that nation's government and economic transformation plans.
The five cities selected are all large American cities with strong executive forms of municipal government. Most of the mayors are in the first 18 months of their first terms in office, giving the "Innovation Delivery Teams" sufficient time to achieve impact under the current administration. Team leaders shall report directly to the mayor and oversee a team of five to ten members, depending on city size and scope. Given this variation, the size of the grants awarded to each city will vary from $1.4 million to $2 million per year.
Selected Cities, Mayors and Priority Areas :
Atlanta - Mayor Kasim Reed
Introduce 311 and other initiatives to improve customer service. Dramatically reduce street homelessness
Chicago - Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Reduce waiting and processing times for key city services.
Dramatically scale energy efficiency efforts.
Louisville - Mayor Greg Fischer
Partner with Lexington to implement a new regional export strategy. Improve agency performance and public accountability.
Memphis - Mayor A C Wharton, Jr.
Increase small business growth in target neighborhoods.
Reduce handgun violence.
New Orleans - Mayor Mitch Landrieu
Reduce waiting and processing times for key city services.
Over the past nine months, Bloomberg Philanthropies surveyed government officials and a range of philanthropic, academic, and private and nonprofit organizations, to inform its approach to government innovation. This included convening 14 mayors of major American cities for a day of strategizing and idea generation in March.
Throughout these conversations, mayors and other stakeholders have identified both a heightened need for municipal innovation - demand for services is up and pressure on municipal budgets is severe - and a set of common barriers local leaders consistently face.
These barriers include siloed bureaucracies, a lack of risk capital, inflexible regulations, and challenges associated with successfully implementing programs that have been proven elsewhere. The Mayors Project's dual focus on increasing innovation capacity within municipal government and disseminating effective programs and policies across cities aims to address these challenges.
Throughout these efforts, Bloomberg Philanthropies will identify groups of cities interested in working on particular issues. Peer-to-peer learning networks that accelerate progress and elevate best practices will be established, and lessons learned will be shared broadly with other cities, academics, and grant makers.
Just published: the first in a series of policy reports from NYU Wagner Innovation Labs concerning a three-year Bloomberg Philanthropies effort under way to help mayors in five cities design and implement innovative solutions to pressing challenges.
The report, titled “Getting to Innovation: How Cities are Rethinking Municipal Governance,” offers insight into work in the grantee cities, as well as concrete tools for policymakers seeking to foster municipal innovation in their own cities.
The U.S. Department of Housing Preservation and Development has announced that a consortium including NYU Wagner will serve as the first National Resource Network Administrator under the White House Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) initiative. The SC2 Network, funded with HUD technical assistance resources, will provide cities with targeted technical assistance to help support locally identified priorities for economic growth and job creation.
In addition to Wagner, the consortium includes Public Financial Management, Enterprise Community Partners, HR & A Advisors, and the International City/County Management Association. Wagner’s lead professional for this endeavor is Neil Kleiman, who heads the NYU Wagner Innovation Labs.
Click here to read the HUD announcement.
NYU Wagner's Research Center for Leadership in Action (RCLA) and Bloomberg Philanthropies are pleased to announce the selection of five outstanding early career professionals to participate in the new Bloomberg Innovation Delivery Fellowship. The fellowship is part of a three-year Bloomberg Philanthropies-funded initiative to support Innovation Delivery Teams in five cities - Atlanta, Chicago, Louisville, Memphis, and New Orleans - to help mayors develop and deliver high-impact solutions to major urban challenges.
The Innovation Delivery Team, made up of high-performing staff in each city, will generate innovative solutions, develop implementation plans and manage progress to achieve results on top-priority issues identified by City Hall.
Through a leadership and research program managed by NYU Wagner and RCLA, Fellows will support the development and execution of city-specific strategies, documenting progress in all phases of the innovation and delivery process and implementing data collection systems and analysis that elevate best practices in government innovation, as relates to the Innovation Delivery Team model. Fellows will have a unique opportunity to learn from senior leaders in municipal government and engage in hands-on research supported by first-tier academic expertise.
The teams will address a wide range of complex infrastructure, operational and social problems in the selected cities. They include:
The application and selection process for the Fellowship was rigorous and competitive. There were 163 applications submitted, which were reviewed by a selection committee that nominated 30 candidates for a first-round interview. Sixteen of those candidates were chosen to advance to the final round of interviews with the cities. The top five candidates were selected as Bloomberg Innovation Delivery Fellows by the Innovation Delivery Team Directors.
The Bloomberg Innovation Delivery Fellows are:
James Anderson, who leads government innovation work at Bloomberg Philanthropies, noted, "These five fellows will play an integral role in documenting and sharing best practices in innovation and delivery across the five cities. They will also help translate these learnings into resources that many more cities can use. This is a chance to bring real change to American cities through a groundbreaking team model that we look forward to sharing across the country, while training the next generation of urban leaders."