Helping cities develop creative solutions

October 20, 2021

The Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation aims to deliver better results for residents while advancing the field of public sector innovation

Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg Philanthropies have announced the creation of the Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins University, a hub and resource center for city leaders and their staff to receive specialized training in creative problem solving in local government that will also conduct research on the impact of these practices.

Amanda Daflos portrait
The new Center for Public Innovation will be led by Executive Director Amanda Daflos, previously the city of Los Angeles’ first chief innovation officer.

With a $43 million investment, the center will develop fellowships for city hall staff to build a stronger evidence base for their work, create peer-learning initiatives for public innovation practitioners to share their knowledge, and strengthen networks among national and international organizations focused on public innovation. The investment will also establish three new Bloomberg Distinguished Professors at Johns Hopkins University for leading faculty whose research will contribute to emerging issues in urban policy and government innovation.

“City leaders have unique powers to save and improve lives, and this new center will help them do more of both, by advancing the art and science of innovative local government,” says Michael R. Bloomberg, 108th mayor of New York City and founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies. “The center will be the first of its kind in the world, and it will help meet the enormous demand we have heard from mayors and their staffs for bold and creative new ways to tackle their most pressing challenges.”

To support the emerging field of public sector innovation, the new center will focus its efforts on training city leaders and other government officials; researching how local governments become more creative, document effective approaches, and help good ideas spread; engage the next generation of public sector innovators.

The Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation will also become the permanent home for a number of key Bloomberg Philanthropies programs, including the Bloomberg Cities NetworkInnovation Teams and innovation training efforts, and the Cities of Service initiative, focused on expanding the ways city leaders engage residents.

The new Center for Public Innovation will be led by Executive Director Amanda Daflos, previously the city of Los Angeles’ first chief innovation officer who also established and directed the Los Angeles innovation team. Daflos led the city’s gender equity agenda, which achieved substantial results for women and girls, including delivering paid parental leave to all city government employees for the first time in city history. Daflos was a winner of the Fast Company World Changing Ideas Award in 2018 for her work around using backyard housing units as an avenue to dramatically increase housing supply.

Read the full story on The Hub.

Topics: Strengthen Communities