Better, Faster, Cheaper

The Power of Partnerships in Economic Rebirth

In South Bend, Ind., new buildings housing high-tech startups are being built on the site that once housed the Studebaker automobile factories. This construction is a fitting symbol of the progress toward rebirth of the struggling rust-belt city's economy, which once relied on traditional manufacturing and is now benefitting from the knowledge and technology industries. This economic pivot is mirrored by an internal city-government shift to better use of data and evidence.

I spoke with Mayor Pete Buttigieg recently, after South Bend was named as one of the latest 16 cities to join Bloomberg Philanthropies' What Works Cities initiative, about the factors that enabled this growth and the way innovation is coming to permeate the city's government. This economic-development strategy, the mayor emphasized, "is all about taking what we have and finding new value in it." READ MORE

Innovation in Education: Unleashing the Talent

It is no secret that talent drives success. Winning sports teams are made up of great players, the best technology companies have the best engineers and the finest cuisine does not come without top-notch chefs. Education is no different. But all too often, efforts to improve K-12 education focus on imposing expensive, highly prescriptive approaches on even the most talented education leaders. It's a recipe for stifling innovation.

The key ingredient behind the kind of innovation that drives success in education is attracting and investing in quality, talented leaders and teachers and then giving them the necessary accountable discretion to perform. This focused approach has been implemented over the last decade in Indianapolis, and it has delivered quality results. READ MORE

The Need for Governing Intelligence

Recent advances in artificial intelligence have enabled many promising technologies, from sophisticated voice recognition to virtual personal assistants. While there is much excitement about how these technologies might lead to better public services, we will achieve more profound gains if we first focus on building governing intelligence -- the capacity for effective data-driven governance.

Just as artificial intelligence enables machines to be responsive in ways beyond simple pre-planned procedures, governing intelligence can empower governments to be effective in the dynamic modern era in areas ranging from customer service to responding to unseen terror threats. READ MORE

Risk Sharing's Key Role in Strengthening Public Pensions

There appears to be a lesson to be drawn from Wisconsin's fully funded public pension system, along with promising pension reforms recently enacted in Arizona: More risk sharing between employers and employees can be a major ingredient in creating fiscally sustainable state and local government retirement systems.

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Why Data Sharing Should Be Government's Default

Government needs to adopt a share first mentality for departmental data. Its easy exchange should be the default, not the arduous and exceptional result of lengthy administrative and legal battles to pry data from legacy computer systems and siloed departments.

Departments within a single government entity should be able to freely use data that's been scrubbed of sensitive personal information, although clear policies concerning the process for anonymizing the information, as well as how long and under what conditions it will be archived, are necessary. READ MORE