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Reflect and reimagine

Learning from the work of our North America team in 2022

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What we learned in 2022

As a learning partner, we think of our work as more than just individual projects. This means we regularly bring together what we learn, identify broader trends across our projects, and reflect on what it all means.

Reflect and reimagine explores those connections made by our North America office, and dives into key takeaways that public servants and organizations that work with government can implement to better drive the results that matter for their communities.

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Our impact

In 2022, CPI in North America worked with over 50 governments, 550 public servants, and 3300 residents. We dove deep into public impact with King County in Washington; fostered a culture of learning among public school teachers and officials as they responded to COVID-19 in D.C.; worked with multiple levels of government to embed principles of legitimacy and innovation into their cultures; and helped cities across the country identify data tools to prioritize equity in their work.

What people said about their work with CPI in 2022

"I was more risk-averse prior to participation in Failing Forward; however, I now am constantly looking for low-stakes opportunities to enact changes that will have lasting impactful changes for the culture of our agency and our service delivery model. By not fearing change, we are growing our potential to make a difference in both our workforce and the lives of our residents.”

Diana Martin, Program Manager for Economic Services, Cabarrus County, North Carolina

"Before [participating in CPI's Reimagining Public Value program], it felt taboo for workers to go into management's office and talk to them - now it's happening more. You get them talking, and you realize it's not that scary- and you get to know that personal side of people." Reimagining Public Value Program Participant."

Program Participant, Reimagining Public Value

"We (government employees) must show up and be present with clear intentions, honesty, acknowledgment of past hurts, and listening ears as the first step to humanize and demystify."

Kaletta Lynch, Chief Equity Officer for Salt Lake City
Keisha Morris

“When the script changes week to week and there is an influx of new information from different sources - what’s been most helpful for me is to have the platform to network with other ops leaders who are getting the same info and try to figure out best practices.”

Keisha Morris, Director of Operations at YouthBuild Public Charter School DC

"We are excited to build relationships in a setting for which the expectation is learning together. We know that our new Peer Learning Network will be tackling thorny issues, so it’s critical to have a safe space to name challenges without the pressure of performing – and being supported if things don’t work as planned, working towards sustainable and scalable approaches."

Dana Carr, Senior Advisor, DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s Division of Health and Wellness

Our key learnings

I. Mindsets: Shifting how governments approach problems & develop solutions

Innovation is a mindset, not a clear process - a combination of methodologies, tools, and organizational culture enable governments to solve sticky challenges.

II. Mindsets: Shifting how governments approach problems & develop solutions

To bring innovative mindsets to life, governments must prioritize experimentation over mastery of theory.

III. Relationships: Prioritizing & developing meaningful connections

Governments must build trust with residents and communities before they are able to truly co-create solutions.

IV. Culture change: Incorporating new ways of being & working into an organization

The ‘secret sauce’ for governments to successfully implement and sustain culture change is a combination of top-down and bottom-up empowerment.

Our programs, partners, and funders

The Opportunity Project for Cities

Using data and co-creating community solutions.

The Opportunity Project for Cities brings together governments, community leaders, and tech volunteers to address local challenges through the power of open data and community engagement.

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Reimagining Public Value

Understanding and creating public value.

King County, Washington worked with CPI to expand from traditional government values of risk-aversion, control, and efficiency to their stated values of trust, sustainability, and equity.

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Reimagining Climate Action in Cities

Helping cities lead the charge towards a net zero resilient future.

A CPI global initiative to help city governments mobilize cross-sector collective action and drive the transformation needed to accelerate action on climate change, supported in part by our team in North America.

Get in touch

Innovation Training

Supporting collaborative government innovation.

A program, executed in partnership with the Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation, that supports interdisciplinary teams to build core innovation capacities as they design, test, and prototype solutions to a pressing city problem.

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Failing Forward in Local Government

Building innovative government culture.

A year-long program in partnership with the National Association of County Administrators that applied a top-down and bottom-up approach to spark and sustain cultures of innovation.

Get the how to

Earned Legitimacy Learning Cohort

Rebuilding trust in government.

A program during which governments work to address harms experienced by marginalized communities, dismantle inequitable power dynamics, and rebuild trust.

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D.C. COVID-19 Response Collaborative

Responding to COVID-19 in schools.

A "peer learning network" that worked to build a framework for D.C. schools to help each other navigate the rapidly evolving challenges of COVID-19 testing and tracing in schools.

Build your network

Data for Equity

Leveraging data for inclusive economic growth.

Launched by the Centre for Public Impact and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, Data for Equity is a collaborative network of city governments working together to close wealth and opportunity gaps.

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City Leadership Initiative

Fostering design-based government innovation.

CPI supported two cohorts of a capacity-building track of the Bloomberg-Harvard City Leadership Initiative, which expands cities' ability to think outside the box, center residents, more effectively tackle challenging problems. 

Learn More

Download the report

Are you a public servant? Do you work with governments? Download Reflect & reimagine for recommendations to help you drive better outcomes for your community, gleaned from our work with over 50 governments in 2022.

Also, learn more about the programs we were a part of and a sneak peek at what's coming next for CPI in North America.