Alliance for Innovation Transformations Newsletter

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

Andy Warhol - 1928-1987

Our April issue of Transformations is full of great articles that will inspire you to try new things and get you ready for attending our 20th Transforming Local Government conference in Denver April 23-25!

Start with the article on behalf of our TLG host committee who share how collaboration helps innovation thrive – a hallmark of and the lifeblood of TLG.

We welcome a new contributor Aaron Renn who writes for Governing and hosts his own blog site,! Aaron’s message mirrors a theme that is emphasized in our own Innovation Academy: Just coming up with a lot of great ideas is not enough. You have to put those ideas into practice, learn from that experience and refine your work to get even better results.

Richfield, MN brings us a story of setting personal agendas and egos aside, in order to build a better regionally collaborative fire service. Working with four other nearby fire departments they created a new training program that helps make ground fire operations safer and more effective.

Being a gardener myself, I loved Germantown, TN’s story about creating a “farm in the town” to bring fresh produce and an understanding of where our food comes from – to their residents, grade school children and urban foodies. The partnerships they built around this project are amazing and sustainable over the long run.

Palo Alto, CA, one of the first communities in the country to sponsor a citywide hackathon, shares their experience with their second annual community event. Their emphasis on including everyone – not just hackers – provides a glimpse into how local government can develop collaborative relationships with multiple citizens and interest groups.

And finally, our new board member and long time county manager, Tom Lundy of Catawba County, NC shares his own reflections on what innovation means to his organization. Tom helps us all remember that even the best run organizations can learn and renew by connecting with other communities.

Andy Warhol was an iconic figure in the mid to late part of the 20th century when political attitudes and citizen aspirations were changing quickly. But as Warhol notes, change doesn’t just happen – we make it happen, one individual and each organization at a time.

Hope to see you in Denver!

Karen Thoreson, President/COO                              
Alliance for Innovation                                    

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