People-Led Innovation

Toward a Methodology for Solving Urban Problems in the 21st Century

With cities as laboratories testing bold approaches to complex public policy challenges, leaders are in urgent need of new tools and methods that allow them to tap into their most important, yet often underused asset: people.

When the potential of people is unlocked, cities can design and deliver services in the most efficient way possible – for the people that benefit the most. But in order to create a virtuous circle of democratic legitimacy and effective interventions, they will need to unlock the knowledge and expertise of citizens and stakeholders at all levels.

Our People-Led Innovation Methodology seeks to provide city officials and all those who are seeking ways to improve people’s lives an iterative approach to determine how to become more empowered and effective by placing people, and the groups that mobilize and organize them, at the center of the problem-solving process.

The methodology fuses, scales and formalizes lessons gleaned from city-oriented work undertaken by the Bertelsmann Foundation through its Transatlantic Policy Lab project in Boston, Massachusetts and Athens, Greece, and the Governance Lab’s (GovLab) evidence-based work in across a number of interventions.

Going forward, we look forward to engaging with cities and others around our methodology as they attempt to innovate in a people-led manner.

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 | Toward a Methodology for Solving Urban Problems in the 21st Century