As NESTA is wrapping up the CITIE programme (CITy approaches to catalysing Innovation and Entrepreneurship), they share their findings and bring together summaries of the various reports they have published since the project launched. Their analysis of over 50 global cities has revealed a rich diversity of approaches to catalysing innovation and entrepreneurship: in other words, there is no single pathway to success.
Nevertheless, high-performing city governments recognise that new ideas and technologies create big opportunities to do things differently and generally make cities better places to live. This tends to provoke three responses in the way that they work:
- They make sure that very different areas of policy need to work in concert.Good policy in one area can be undermined by bad policy in another. As a result, they tend to have teams, individuals or strategies in place who champion innovation across departmental silos.
- They are open by default. They recognise that the kind of knowledge and ideas needed to drive change are unlikely to reside entirely within city hall. As a result, they habitually find ways to work with outsiders in solving urban problems.
- They employ styles of working that are more closely associated with start-ups than bureaucrats. They are happy to try things out and not afraid to fail. And they are increasingly delivering agile projects, prototyping, deploying user-led design and developing digital services. As a result, they are able to move quickly as the world changes around them.
To read more about the findings of the CITIE programme, read the programmes’ reports published to date here.