Bloomberg Philanthropies is partnering with Johns Hopkins University to launch the Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation. The center will offer fellowships, training, technical assistance, grants, and other support to city officials in the US who are interested in learning more about data and “human-centered design”.
“City leaders have unique powers to save and improve lives, and this new center will help them do more of both, by advancing the art and science of innovative local government,” Bloomberg Philanthropies said in a statement. “The center will be the first of its kind in the world, and it will help meet the enormous demand we have heard from mayors and their staffs for bold and creative new ways to tackle their most pressing challenges.”
The center will be led by former Los Angeles Chief Innovation Officer and Los Angeles i-team director, Amanda Daflos. It plans to focus on three areas: training city leaders and staff to develop, test, and scale new solutions to challenges such as housing, climate, and economic development; conducting research on the impact of those practices; and engaging the next generation of public-sector innovators by connecting students with city hall internships.
The center will also host other city-focused initiatives from Bloomberg, such as Innovation Teams and Cities of Service – a coalition of nearly 300 communities around the globe that provides a platform for officials to share best practices about common public concerns. Johns Hopkins will also use part of the $43 million investment to create three new Bloomberg Distinguished Professors for faculty specializing in urban policy and government innovation research.
“Johns Hopkins University is honored to collaborate with Bloomberg Philanthropies on this critical center devoted to advancing the field of public innovation,” said Johns Hopkins University president Ron Daniels. “The Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation embodies our shared belief in the power of philanthropy to improve lives and demonstrates the critical role universities can play in providing today’s most innovative civic leaders with the tools they need to marshal data, shape policy, and transform practice for the benefit of cities and citizens around the world.”