While attending the 2014 Municipal Management Association of Northern California (MMANC) Annual Conference, I listened to a thought-provoking session hosted by Katy Simon, former county manager of Washoe County, Nevada, on the topic of innovation in local government.

Innovation, as she described, can be thought of as how “a creative idea becomes realized.” She discussed how innovation in the areas of big data, globalization, the “internet of things,” transparency, climate change, resiliency planning, and more are helping to “reset” local government operations today and in the future. She emphasized to attendees that ideas need champions to make them reality, and that innovation isn’t simply about specific individuals, but rather an organization-wide competency.

Interesting research conducted by the Rockefeller Foundation on 100 Resilient Cities may be a useful resource for many. http://www.100resilientcities.org/