Public sector innovation teams around the world: An interview with Jo Casebourne, Director of Public and Social Innovation, NESTA – Episode #74

How can city, regional or national governments use innovation initiatives – teams, units or funds – to catalyze innovation in the public sector? To gain insights into that question, we’re joined by Jo Casebourne (@jocasebourne), the Director of Public and Social Innovation at NESTA, the British innovation nonprofit. A recent report by NESTA and Bloomberg Philanthropies, called i-teams, presents case studies of 20 innovation initiatives around the world.

Those initiatives include five in the U.S.: the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund at the U.S. Department of Education, the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics in Boston, the New Orleans Innovation Delivery Team and two in New York City: the Center for Economic Development in the Mayor’s Office and the Innovation Zone (iZone) in the city’s Department of Education.

In the interview, Jo Casebourne discusses four focus areas of different innovation teams:

  • Creating solutions to solve specific challenges (e.g., UK Behavioral Insights Team)
  • Engaging citizens, non-profits and businesses to find new ideas (e.g., Seoul Innovation Bureau)
  • Transforming the processes, skills and culture of government (e.g., PS21 in Singapore)
  • Achieving wider policy and systems change (e.g., New York City Innovation Zone)