Open Innovation in Cities: The case of Boston, Code for America and Code for Europe

How can cities solve the need of providing more and more diverse services, in a scenario of cutting budgets, while taking advantage of the opportunities that new technologies bring to us?

Open Innovation managed to fulfill this promise in the private sector and is now being translated to the Public Sector, particularly to Cities.

Code for America is an organization born in 2011 that taps on volunteers to bring fresh and new air to City Halls, providing to cities the kind of apps that are changing our lives. Commons for Europe and Open Cities are European projects that aim to translate this experience to Europe. The success of Code for America has been highly acknowledged with participating cities such as Boston, New York, San Francisco or Chicago and success stories such as adopt a Hydrant, and app that has been translated to different cities and contexts.

Boston has been at the forefront of this transformation, with experiences that range from using Innocentive for crowdsourcing apps to engaging with Code for America or fostering a leading incubator program.

Cities are in a process of transformation from Service Providers to managers of ecosystems, leading to more, better and more participatory services and in many ways reinventing not only cities but citizenship in the XXI century.

In order to talk about these topics, ESADE hosted a conference on “Open Innovation in Cities: The case of Boston, Code for America and Code for Europe” on March 28th by the active collaboration of IIK members. Keynote speakers have been Nigel Jacob, co-chair of Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics in the Boston City Hall and Joel Mahoney, fellow at Code for America.

A video of the event can be seen here.

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