In 2013 the City of Philadelphia developed the Innovation team, one of the first in the nation. The department’s initial goal was to build capacity for innovation within Philadelphia’s government. Under the original framework of “People, Place, and Process,” the Innovation team establish programs to support innovation, provide opportunities for growth, idea, and programs, and train employees in creative problem solving.  

A decade later, the Innovation “ecosystem” has grown, evolved, and successfully impacted dozens of City departments. Our current programs ensures that our work remains available and accessible for any City employee who is interested in challenging the status quo and applying principles of innovation to their own work. The current programs are: 

  • Innovation Fund: provides a framework in which to apply innovation principles and pilot new concepts  
  • Academy for Municipal Innovation: trains employees from all City departments in the principles of innovation 
  • Innovation Consulting: creates intentional, facilitated opportunities for continued ideation and collaboration on solving some of our most challenging problems 

As we look ahead to ten more years of Innovation, our team has created this retrospective documenting the work we have done and the impact we’ve had on City government so far. The document includes case studies, data, testimonials, and deeper insight into why this work matters.  

However, it’s not over yet! In fact, we are just getting started. As we plan for another decade ahead, we aim to expand the reach of our ecosystem with new programs and initiatives. We look forward to continuing to provide support for testing and implementing new ideas across city government, but also hope to expand the culture of innovation.