30 Innovations that Mattered in 2014

New Year’s Resolutions –we can all agree that they are difficult, if not impossible, to maintain. But here’s the thing: small, incremental changes and improvements are totally attainable. Say instead of joining the new workout fad – like Crossfit – you instead walk a mile a day. That’s completely doable. And by walking that mile, you took the first step to getting healthier.

It’s hard for governments especially to make wide, sweeping changes. But small adaptions can make a lasting impact. Small innovations or changes to business as usual can transform governments and the lives of millions of Americans. We wanted to highlight a few of these innovations that have the potential to have a lasting impact on the way government works.

In this end-of-year issue, GovLoop analyzed the 30 best innovations in government in six different categories:

  • Big Developments – Every year there are a few government-wide trends that start to emerge. Whether it’s a new piece of legislation (DATA Act) or a workforce challenge (millennials), some challenges are universal for all of government. In this section we review five big trends of 2014 and how they are being implemented innovatively.
  • Internet of Things Trailblazers – The number of “things” connected to the Internet has outpaced the number of people connected to the Internet since 2008. These connected things – mobile devices, parking meters, medical devices and more – will grow to 50 billion by 2020. Read about five organizations where government is dabbling in these connected devices.
  • Citizen Engagement Mavericks – Citizens want information in real-time and in the format they prefer. This communication revolution is forcing government to interact in new ways. We detail five of the most interesting new citizen engagement strategies.
  • Efficiency Implementers – Improving processes may sound boring, but the internal structures of government are what make it tick. You can’t launch a brand new app without a strong network back in the office to run it. In this section, uncover five ways the government is running more efficiently.
  • Technology Trendsetters – Every day it seems like there’s a new technology that is going to change the way government operates. But the government has to follow a fine line of investing too much in buzzworthy projects and still being on the cutting edge. Here are five examples of technology innovations done right in 2014.
  • Trend Trackers – 2014 was filled with remarkable innovations. But what does the future hold? What kind of foundation has 2014 set for 2015 innovations? We look at five trends that got started in 2014, but we expect will explode in 2015!

The 30 innovations include a morsel for everyone. If you are worried about our national transparency – fear not. The White House has created a robust open data plan that is mandating agencies publish data first unless there are national security concerns. If open data isn’t your thing, maybe you will be curious to find out what the Department of Defense is doing with robotics – or what the Census Department is doing with drones. And if new open data, drones and robotics aren’t for you – though why wouldn’t they be?! – you are going to be astonished by what the Environmental Protection Agency is looking at with heating sensors.

Sometimes government is thought of as this big bureaucratic hole – a dark space where innovation goes to die. But in this guide, we are hoping to show that not only is government on the cutting edge, it is also a place where innovative minds go to work. That’s why we’ll also be introducing you to two of the very best government innovators – the White House’s data superstar Erie Meyer, and on the local government side, Chesterfield County’s Barry Condrey. These two are helping to bring big data and analytics into government. By leaning on data over precedent they are making decisions to better government every day.

Finally, because innovation doesn’t end when the clock strikes twelve, we are also going to look at next year’s innovations, too. Although we don’t have a crystal ball, we asked the GovLoop community what new trends will make a mark in 2015.

So if you are ready to see government innovation at work, get ready for our 30 innovations guide! We hope you enjoy it!

Thank you to our industry partners for sponsoring our report.


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