At a time when trust is dropping precipitously and American government at the national level has fallen into a state of long-term, partisan-based gridlock, local government can still be effective—indeed more effective and even more responsive to the needs of its citizens. Based on decades of direct experience and years studying successful models around the world, the authors of this intriguing book propose a new operating system (O/S) for cities. Former mayor and Harvard professor Stephen Goldsmith and New York University professor Neil Kleiman suggest building on the giant leaps that have been made in technology, social engagement, and big data.
Calling their approach "distributed governance," Goldsmith and Kleiman offer a model that allows public officials to mobilize new resources, surface ideas from unconventional sources, and arm employees with the information they need to become pre-emptive problem solvers. This book highlights lessons from the many innovations taking place in today’s cities to show how a new O/S can create systemic transformation.
For students of government, A New City O/S: The Power of Distributed Governance presents a groundbreaking strategy for rethinking the governance of cities, marking an important evolution of the current bureaucratic authority-based model dating from the 1920s. More important, the book is designed for practitioners, starting with public-sector executives, managers, and frontline workers. By weaving real-life examples into a coherent model, the authors have created a step-by-step guide for all those who would put the needs of citizens front and center. Nothing will do more to restore trust in government than solutions that work. A New City O/S: The Power of Distributed Governance puts those solutions within reach of those public officials responsible for their delivery.
Stephen Goldsmith is the Daniel Paul Professor of the Practice of Government and the Director of the Innovations in American Government Program at Harvard Kennedy School. He previously served as deputy mayor of New York and mayor of Indianapolis, where he earned a reputation as one of the country's leaders in public-private partnerships, competition, and privatization. His most recent book is The Responsive City: Engaging Communities through Data-Smart Governance.
Neil Kleiman is a clinical professor at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service and the Center for Urban Science + Progress. His research focuses on urban innovation and uses of technology and big data. He is policy director of the National Resource Network, a public/private consortium supporting economically challenged cities, and was founding director of the New York City–based Center for an Urban Future.
"Goldsmith guided us in Florida on our successful faith-based initiatives. His bold approaches continue to inspire public officials and community groups alike with keys to activating citizens and expanding opportunity for all."
—Jeb Bush, former Governor, Florida
"It has been a great pleasure to work with Steve Goldsmith. His work with us at America's Promise and all of his other diligent efforts are so well reflected in this book. The Power of Social Innovation reminds each of us in government, philanthropy, the nonprofit community, and as private citizens that we can and must work together to ensure the full fulfillment of the American Dream and to ensure the success of our most precious resource, our children."
—Alma J. Powell, chair, America's Promise Alliance
"The Power of Social Innovation is a must read for social innovators who want to make a powerful impact. Stephen Goldsmith surveys the field and provides indispensible tools to help civic entrepreneurs scale up their ideas and produce the best possible results."
—Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO, Harlem Children's Zone
"Goldsmith provides a useful toolkit for entrepreneurial public executives and innovative nonprofits and foundations. His research encourages transformative social change by advocating a shift in focus from direct services to citizens to building new, higher performance networks of public, private, and nonprofit organizations."
—Mark R. Warner, United States Senator, Virginia
"When it comes to doing good, Stephen Goldsmith is as disruptive an innovator as we've seen. Read and study The Power of Social Innovation if you don't just want to do good, but want to make the greatest impact possible."
—Clayton M. Christensen, professor, Harvard Business School and author, Disrupting Class
In their new book, The New Localism, urban experts Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak reveal where the real power to create change lies and how it can be used to address our most serious social, economic, and environmental challenges.
Power is shifting in the world: downward from national governments and states to cities and metropolitan communities; horizontally from the public sector to networks of public, private and civic actors; and globally along circuits of capital, trade, and innovation.
This new locus of power—this new localism—is emerging by necessity to solve the grand challenges characteristic of modern societies: economic competitiveness, social inclusion and opportunity; a renewed public life; the challenge of diversity; and the imperative of environmental sustainability. Where rising populism on the right and the left exploits the grievances of those left behind in the global economy, new localism has developed as a mechanism to address them head on.
New localism is not a replacement for the vital roles federal governments play; it is the ideal complement to an effective federal government, and, currently, an urgently needed remedy for national dysfunction.
In The New Localism, Katz and Nowak tell the stories of the cities that are on the vanguard of problem solving. Pittsburgh is catalyzing inclusive growth by inventing and deploying new industries and technologies. Indianapolis is governing its city and metropolis through a network of public, private and civic leaders. Copenhagen is using publicly owned assets like their waterfront to spur large scale redevelopment and finance infrastructure from land sales.
Out of these stories emerge new norms of growth, governance, and finance and a path toward a more prosperous, sustainable, and inclusive society. Katz and Nowak imagine a world in which urban institutions finance the future through smart investments in innovation, infrastructure and children and urban intermediaries take solutions created in one city and adapt and tailor them to other cities with speed and precision.
As Katz and Nowak show us in The New Localism, “Power now belongs to the problem solvers.”
One thing seems certain: old forms of governance -- in the public sector, corporations and civil society -- are becoming increasingly ineffective. New forms of governance will be needed over the next few decades which will involve a much broader range of active players. Traditional hierarchical organisations and top-down control will give way more and more to a wider diffusion of responsibility and decision-making that builds on the talents for innovation and creativity of individuals and groups.
This book explores some of the opportunities and risks -- economic, social and technological -- that decision-makers will have to address in the coming years, and outlines what needs to be done to foster society 's capacity to manage its future more flexibly and with broader participation of its citizens.
The Responsive City is a guide to civic engagement and governance in the digital age that will help leaders link important breakthroughs in technology and data analytics with age-old lessons of small-group community input to create more agile, competitive, and economically resilient cities. Featuring vivid case studies highlighting the work of pioneers in New York, Boston, Chicago and more, the book provides a compelling model for the future of governance. The book will help mayors, chief technology officers, city administrators, agency directors, civic groups and nonprofit leaders break out of current paradigms to collectively address civic problems. The Responsive City is the culmination of research originating from the Data-Smart City Solutions initiative, an ongoing project at Harvard Kennedy School working to catalyze adoption of data projects on the city level. The book is co-authored by Professor Stephen Goldsmith, director of Data-Smart City Solutions at Harvard Kennedy School, and Professor Susan Crawford, co-director of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg penned the book’s foreword.
Based on the authors’ experiences and extensive research, The Responsive City explores topics including:Building trust in the public sector and fostering a sustained, collective voice among communities; Using data-smart governance to preempt and predict problems while improving quality of life; Creating efficiencies and saving taxpayer money with digital tools; and Spearheading these new approaches to government with innovative leadership.
Once described by the Washington Post as “the most interesting mayor you’ve never heard of,” Pete Buttigieg, the thirty-seven-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has now emerged as one of the nation’s most visionary politicians. With soaring prose that celebrates a resurgent American Midwest, Shortest Way Home narrates the heroic transformation of a “dying city” (Newsweek) into nothing less than a shining model of urban reinvention.
Interweaving two narratives—that of a young man coming of age and a town regaining its economic vitality—Buttigieg recounts growing up in a Rust Belt city, amid decayed factory buildings and the steady soundtrack of rumbling freight trains passing through on their long journey to Chicagoland. Inspired by John F. Kennedy’s legacy, Buttigieg first left northern Indiana for red-bricked Harvard and then studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, before joining McKinsey, where he trained as a consultant—becoming, of all things, an expert in grocery pricing. Then, Buttigieg defied the expectations that came with his pedigree, choosing to return home to Indiana and responding to the ultimate challenge of how to revive a once-great industrial city and help steer its future in the twenty-first century.
Elected at twenty-nine as the nation’s youngest mayor, Pete Buttigieg immediately recognized that “great cities, and even great nations, are built through attention to the everyday.” As Shortest Way Home recalls, the challenges were daunting—whether confronting gun violence, renaming a street in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., or attracting tech companies to a city that had appealed more to junk bond scavengers than serious investors. None of this is underscored more than Buttigieg’s audacious campaign to reclaim 1,000 houses, many of them abandoned, in 1,000 days and then, even as a sitting mayor, deploying to serve in Afghanistan as a Navy officer. Yet the most personal challenge still awaited Buttigieg, who came out in a South Bend Tribune editorial, just before being reelected with 78 percent of the vote, and then finding Chasten Glezman, a middle-school teacher, who would become his partner for life.
While Washington reels with scandal, Shortest Way Home, with its graceful, often humorous, language, challenges our perception of the typical American politician. In chronicling two once-unthinkable stories—that of an Afghanistan veteran who came out and found love and acceptance, all while in office, and that of a revitalized Rust Belt city no longer regarded as “flyover country”—Buttigieg provides a new vision for America’s shortest way home.