The City of Syracuse’s Department of Innovation (i-team) was created in April, 2015 thanks to a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Three years ago, Bloomberg Philanthropies awarded Innovation Grants to five pioneer cities - Atlanta, Chicago, Louisville, Memphis, and New Orleans. The innovation grant allows cities to develop and implement solutions to tough challenges. (You can read more about the goals of the grant here.) The pioneer cities focused on areas ranging from economic development, to crime reduction, to streamlined licensing processes. These cities experienced such tremendous success that Bloomberg Philanthropies extended the opportunity to 14 other cities around the world, including Syracuse.
In Syracuse, the i-team's first priority is to improve our city's infrastructure systems. Much of the infrastructure is old and battered from Central New York weather. The i-team works to identify, examine, and resolve infrastructure-related challenges. We work within the city and with the community to make large, impactful changes, and are guided by data to make evidence-based decisions.
The i-team follows a four step innovation delivery process that guides us through our work:
Investigate the problem
Generate new ideas
Prepare to deliver
Deliver and adapt
Andrew Maxwell is the Director for Syracuse's i-team. Adria Finch is the Project Manager. Sam Edelstein is the Analytics Coordinator. Addison Spears is the Program Coordinator. Jonnell Allen-Robinson is the University Fellow. We all have different backgrounds and work experiences, but we have all lived in Syracuse for years. Most importantly, we are all passionate about making positive changes within the City of Syracuse. We will all be contributing to this blog over the next few years, and look forward to working with you as we innovate!
We hope you are excited about this initiative, and want you to get involved. Here’s how:
Fill out this survey about how infrastructure impacts your life