Weekly Briefing April 20 – April 24

blogimage_dailybriefingEvery week, there are new intersector collaborations surfacing across the United States and new, fascinating research and commentary emerging that provides insight into the intersector — the space where collaboration among government, business, and non-profit sectors enables leaders to share expertise, resources, and authority to address society’s most pressing problems. To keep our readers, practitioners and researchers alike, in the know, we compile a weekly briefing that captures these insights, and we publish it here, on our blog, every Friday. If you like this briefing, you should sign up for our newsletter for more in depth coverage of the intersector.

Time to upgrade from the Walkman in education
We enjoyed this recent opinion piece in The Hill from Deborah Smolover, Executive Director of America Forward and Managing Partner of New Profit, and Shirley Sagawa, Senior Policy Adviser for America Forward. Regarding the importance of partnerships, they write, “Encourage school districts that receive funds to engage external partners that offer effective, evidence-based programs. Working alone, most schools do not have the capacity to provide students, teachers, and parents the effective supports and critical resources they need. High quality external partners can bring a fresh perspective and complementary supports to deliver results for learners.”

New MBA program masters the link between government & technology
California College of the Arts in San Francisco recently announced the launch of a new, one-of-akind MBA in Civic Innovation that will combine training and education in design, innovation, leadership, and technology. “Delivery of government services is stuck in the horse and buggy era,” Brian Purchia, a communications and policy strategist told California Forward. “Meanwhile Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Google are all based here in California but many of these folks don’t know of an opportunity to build a company focused on government software. We have the best and brightest all over California and this MBA will provide training for them.”

The future of civic technology
In this Brookings piece, Hollie Russon Gilman, Civic Innovation Fellow at the New America Foundation, writes, “There are many conversations concerning ‘civic technology,’ or ‘civic tech’ and the opportunities for leveraging digital tools to benefit the public…There is debate about its precise definition including who is even involved in civic tech. For instance, does it include governments seeking to modernize their systems or people sharing resources better? Is it about efficacy or effectiveness? Should the emphasis be on people or politics? Perhaps a definition can be expansive enough to include a variety of actors and activities.”

Bloomberg kicks Off $42 million ‘What Works Cities’ innovation effort
In case you missed the big news from Bloomberg Philanthropies this week, here’s coverage from Route Fifty: “Bloomberg Philanthropies on Monday unveiled a $42 million initiative to help 100 mid-sized cities use data and evidence to inform policy decisions, improve services and engage the public. Working with partner organizations over three years, the What Works Cities Initiative will seek to assist cities with efforts related to areas such as open data, program evaluation, and data-driven budgeting.”