A Mayor With Innovation Goals

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has made innovation a focus of his new administration. Lee has announced and committed to an Innovation Portfolio.

Highlights of the Mayor Lee’s 2012 Innovation Portfolio are:

– Business One-Stop: making it easier for new businesses to start and grow in San Francisco. Using this online service, businesses will be able to answer simple step-by-step questions and be presented with a clear roadmap of the required steps and forms to complete online. The goal is to have at least one business sector available online by the end of 2012.

– ImproveSF: creating new ways for citizens to engage City Hall. The online platform will allow the City to issue public challenges inviting people to help solve city problems. Some challenges being considered are ideas for budget savings and how to revitalize Central Market for a launch this Spring.

– Open Taxi Access: improving access to taxis through data standards and technology. The design community will join together to help the City redefine taxi access and define next steps.

– Hackathons 2.0: applying design thinking to civic hacking. In 2012, the City will work with several organizations to host user-centered hackathons around veteran services, new payment platforms, transportation issues and more.

– Open Data: advancing the City’s efforts to make data more accessible. As part of this effort, the City is moving to a cloud-based data sharing service.

– SmartPDF: moving the City away from paper-based processes to online forms. The Department of Technology has started a pilot launch and will continue deploying across agencies.

To carry out his Innovation Portfolio Mayor Lee has named Jay Nath as the country’s first Chief Innovation Officer in a mayor’s office, who will lead these innovation initiatives and introduce new ideas and approaches in City government. Lee has also partnered with other organizations to attract creative individuals to assist city government with new ideas through a Mayor’s Innovation Fellowship Program. In addition to engaging residents with city government, Lee has tapped into entrepreneurs and tech companies to make government more responsive and efficient.

Does your Mayor have established innovation goals? What do you think about the innovative ideas and approaches being utilized in San Francisco?


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