Smart Cities: The Making of - Shannon Spanhake


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Smart Cities: The Making of - Shannon Spanhake

  1. 1. Shannon SpanhakeTalks Innovation & Smarter CitiesThe Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation was established in January 2012 when San FranciscoMayor Ed Lee appointed Jay Nath as the City’s first Chief Innovation Officer. Shannon Spanhakejoined the City as Deputy Innovation Officer shortly thereafter, working with a not-so-secretagenda to lower the barriers of entry to working with government and to find new ways forgovernment to support innovation.With a very small team and limited financial resources, the Office of Civic Innovation focuses onpublic/private/people partnerships and also whatthey refer to as "the platform-play." That is,creating a platform for innovation to generate more innovation. Rather than administeringprograms, they look for opportunities to open underutilized resources, modify policies or createnew partnerships that catalyze innovation.During her presentation at Swissnex, Shannon gave some examples of the platform-play:
  2. 2. In 2009, San Francisco became the first City in the U.S. to have Open Data legislation. Since itslaunch, over 200 government datasets have been posted to and nearly 100applications have been built at no direct cost to the City. Living Labs Global was instrumental inbringing Socrata to the City of San Francisco to power its Open Data Cloud service.In April 2012, the Office of Civic Innovation launched, a crowd-sourcing platformthat empowers San Franciscans to submit ideas for city-wide problems. Over 20,000interactions have taken place on the platform and it has been used to crowdsource the latestversion of the SF Public Library Card and tackle food justice in the blighted Central Marketneighborhood.With the success of Open Data, the City realized that opening underutilized assetscould spurinnovation, create jobs, improve government efficiency, and enhance quality of life forresidents. It is now exploring what other assets might be open-sourced. The Living InnovationZones initiative will enable the use of City assets as demonstration sites for new and emerging
  3. 3. innovations. Organizations would partner with City departments to showcase new technologiesor demonstrate innovative solutions to citywide problems.Living Innovation Zones came about as a result of interest from the private sector and arealization that government agencies were facing administrative hurdles as they attempted tolaunch their own pilot projects. The goal of Living Innovation Zones is to spur moredemonstration projects such as the SFPUC pilot of Paradox Lighting Equipment, a winner of the2012 Living Labs Global Award, which was discussed later in the evening.Through these initiatives, the Office of Civic Innovation is breaking down silos of government tocreate innovative partnerships across departments and between government and the privatesector. These Public-Private-People partnerships enable the Office to support and cultivate thelocal ecosystem of innovation that makes San Francisco the Innovation Capital of the World.For more information visit: