December 15, 2014 (MINNEAPOLIS) —Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges announced today that the City of Minneapolis is one of 12 U.S. cities that Bloomberg Philanthropies has selected to participate in the $45-million expansion of their Innovation Teams program. Minneapolis will receive a grant of $900,000 a year for up to three years to create an innovation team, or i-team, that is initially focused on analyzing whether core City services are delivered equitably throughout Minneapolis.
The Innovation Teams program aims to improve the capacities of cities to effectively design and implement new approaches that improve residents’ lives, by relying on data, open innovation, and strong project and performance management to help mayors address pressing urban challenges.
“This innovation team grant will help us evaluate whether City services are delivered equitably throughout Minneapolis, and ensure that they are,” said Mayor Hodges. “Whether it’s towing cars in a snow emergency or cleaning up graffiti, the Bloomberg i-team will allow us to audit a range of City services to determine whether they are currently delivered equitably, and in cases where there is inequitable service delivery or outcomes, work collaboratively with departments to identify and implement strategies to address the disparity.”
Innovation teams function as in-house innovation consultants, moving from one priority to the next. Using Bloomberg Philanthropies’ tested Innovation Delivery approach, i-teams help agency leaders and staff through a data-driven process to assess problems, generate responsive new interventions, develop partnerships, and deliver measurable results.
“Innovation Delivery is an ideal fit for the work we are already doing at the City to examine our own internal practices and how we deliver services to residents,” continued Mayor Hodges. “I thank Bloomberg Philanthropies for this remarkable opportunity and investment in the work that we are doing here in Minneapolis to assess and advance racial equity. This grant recognizes the commitment we have made to increasing equity in our city. The analytical capacity that we build in partnership with Bloomberg will also be available to apply to issues beyond equity.”
Innovation team grants will also go to the U.S. cities of Albuquerque, NM; Boston, MA; Centennial, CO; Jersey City, NJ; Long Beach, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Mobile, AL; Peoria, IL; Rochester, NY; Seattle, WA; and Syracuse, NY. In addition to the grants, cities receive robust implementation support and opportunities to exchange lessons learned and best practices with peers in other cities. Newly formed i-teams will hit the ground running in each city no later than spring 2015.
The innovation team grants are the second round made through Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation portfolio, which focuses on promoting public sector innovation. The first round of grants were made to the cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Louisville, Memphis, and New Orleans. Successes include reducing retail vacancies in Memphis, minimizing unnecessary ambulance trips to the emergency room in Louisville, cutting licensing time for new restaurants in Chicago, reducing homelessness in Atlanta, and reducing the murder rate in New Orleans.
About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies' mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and the Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg's charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2013, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $452 million. For more information on the philanthropy, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.