Inspiration: – Accelerating Innovation…

Posted on 05/06/2012


Christopher Ireland – Co-founder at Mix & Stir Studio og Co-Author Mary Anne Masterson, Jay Nath skriver på

The San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Innovation recently piloted an “unhackathon” which attracted over 80 designers, technologists and business pros, all collaborating quickly and intensively to create viable solutions for the City’s taxi distribution and transit communication problems. This process, built on the central tenets of design thinking, proved as successful in innovating city management as it has for private industry.

When Ed Lee became Mayor of San Francisco one of his early moves was to create an Office of Innovation and to publicly announce his 2012 Innovation Portfolio. His call to action was direct: 

“The need for innovation in government has never been greater, and we must work with our greatest resource – our human capital – to find new solutions to old challenges. San Francisco is home to some of the world’s greatest talent, and through these and other innovation initiatives in 2012, we can start making government more accountable, accessible and responsive to our customers as the world’s first City 2.0.”

The mayor chose Jay Nath to be the City’s first Chief Innovation Officer and charged him with achieving the portfolio’s ambitious goals. In accepting this position, Jay knew one of his biggest challenges would be identifying and experimenting with cutting edge approaches that could inform and engage the many agencies and professionals responsible for managing city government. Fortunately, he didn’t have to look far: San Francisco is less than an hour north of Silicon Valley. It’s home to thousands of startups, incubators and venture investors who reinvent for a living. It’s also home to several top universities including California College of the Arts (CCA), a leader in design innovation. All Jay needed to do was open his door and invite collaborators to come in.

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