Project on Social Innovation_Spring 2012 Update features Memphis


A sample of what has been posted recently on the Social Innovators blog – including Launch Memphis….

The Roots of Innovation: A Very Personal, Methodical Discovery (May 22) by Don Fitch of The Center for Career Freedom
This guest post illustrates how innovations are often developed by responding to clients.“Developing the Cybility Tutorials took the blending of accomplished and innovative professionals including direct care providers, special needs educators and corporate leaders…”

Why Not a ‘Venture Fund’ to Support Community Initiatives? (April 24) by Andre Fowlkes of LaunchMemphis
Memphis needs a true discretionary venture capital fund for purposes of supporting community efforts-does your city? “Right now, we have too many competing efforts in our community — many worthwhile, many redundant, many complacent, and many hurting our city. It’s time for a way to identify and fund initiatives that actually work…”

Building and Measuring Your City’s Innovation Infrastructure (April 3) by Andrea McGrath and Tim Glynn-Burke
The Project on Social Innovation and Amplified Impact are launching an effort that investigates successful, local innovation agendas. “Most important, we aim to develop a set of preliminary performance metrics and indicators in a prototype Innovation Dashboard, or Scorecard, that will demonstrate progress and highlight areas for improvement and investment…”

Milestone for NYC’s Experiment in Participatory Budgeting (March 23) by Hollie Russon Gilman
NYC residents will vote this month for the projects that their neighbors have been working tirelessly on for the last seven months. “Having followed New York City’s process for the last seven months for my doctoral research, I have seen an inspiring number of residents engage in politics and work directly with their government for the first time…”

Making the Leap from Program Evaluation to Performance Measurement (March 19) by Jodi Beckstrom
Insight into the design and development of a performance management system for a community based human service initiative. “Ultimately, Ryan believed that a modern performance measurement system might allow the Department to institutionalize its best innovations and reform efforts. As a summer fellow, my role was to help with three elements of this ambitious project: planning, implementation and sustainability…”

Building a Culture of R&D in Government (March 12) by Stacey Gillett of NYC Department of Education Office of Innovation
NYC Department of Education’s iZone works to incubate, evaluate and diffuse student-centered learning models across its own district and across the nation. “But it is critical that a pioneering group of schools, such as those in the iZone, simultaneously strives for new models that leverage all we know today about how students learn, and the many tools and strategies our teachers and school leaders now have at their disposal…”

Government’s Underappreciated Resource (February 27) by Stephen Goldsmith
Too often leaders overlook the value of incorporating the most plentiful human resource–the citizen–into public problem solving. “ Inside government, volunteers are sometimes thought to be a nice but not essential asset that can require more in organization and monitoring than an official with other responsibilities can handle…”

Project on Social Innovation
Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
Harvard Kennedy School



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