NEW YORK, April 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Living Cities today announced a new partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies for its Innovation Teams (i-teams) program. Living Cities will lead efforts to connect the growing network of cities with i-teams (currently 17 U.S. cities and two cities in Israel) and to share emerging learnings from this work with the field. As one of Bloomberg Philanthropies' Government Innovation portfolio initiatives, the Innovation Teams program was created in 2011 to address barriers to innovation in city government and deliver change more effectively to citizens. Through the use of data and other proven idea generation and project management techniques, these i-teams greatly reduce the risks associated with innovation, providing mayors and city leaders with a more reliable way to address their highest-priority problems. Living Cities will employ multiple tactics, from dynamic in-person forums, to webinars, a digital platform for conversation, blogging events, and a social media strategy to create opportunities for i-teams to learn from each other and for other cities and urban practitioners to learn from the i-teams' efforts.
"Living Cities has long believed that cities are the units of change to focus on. To bring that change to life however, we must be willing to catalyze fresh thinking and test new approaches," said Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities. "The i-teams are allowing cities to do just that. We're thrilled to partner with Bloomberg Philanthropies and support the growing network of local leaders transforming City Halls."
"Given all the challenges cities face, local leaders need reliable dedicated capacity to generate new ideas and bring them to life – that's what our innovation teams program is all about," said James Anderson, head of Bloomberg Philanthropies' Government Innovation programs. "We are excited to again partner with Living Cities, which excels in helping cities learn together and then sharing those lessons more broadly."
Innovation teams function as in-house innovation consultants, moving from one mayoral priority to the next. Using Bloomberg Philanthropies' tested Innovation Delivery approach, the i-teams help agency leaders and staff go through a data-driven process to assess problems, generate responsive new interventions, develop partnerships, and deliver measurable results. Innovation team grants were initially awarded to Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Louisville, KY; Memphis, TN; and New Orleans, LA in 2011. As part of a $45 million expansion, additional grants were recently awarded to Albuquerque, NM; Boston, MA; Centennial, CO; Jersey City, NJ; Long Beach, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Mobile, AL; Minneapolis, MN; Peoria, IL; Rochester, NY; Seattle, WA; and Syracuse, NY in the U.S. and the cities of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv-Yafo, in Israel.
Living Cities harnesses the collective power of 22 of the world's largest foundations and financial institutions to develop and scale new approaches for creating opportunities for low-income people and improving the cities where they live. Its investments, research, networks, and convening's catalyze fresh thinking and combine support for innovative, local approaches with real-time sharing of learning to accelerate adoption in more places. Additional information can be found at www.livingcities.org.
Bloomberg Philanthropies' mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and the Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg's charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $462 million. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.
SOURCE Living Cities