Living Cities ConvergeUS Partnership

2012 Civic Engagement through Analytics Partner: Living Cities and Harvard Ash Center

Problem Statement

The organization is requesting the support of ConvergeUS in their attempt to implement a system of municipal analytics and data tracking. The goal is to introduce efficiency and competency in preventing problems in government and business establishments. They seek to transform systemic operations of government and business to help alleviate institutions of inefficiency that cost society greatly, and specifically seek to assist those of a lower income. This tool’s success would benefit society as a whole, and could be implemented within other organizations to improve efficiency.

Living Cities is ready to work with ConvergeUS to launch this partnership. With Stephen Goldsmith leading this partnership, the group will support the effort at a leadership level and it is committed to resourcing the launch. Mr. Goldsmith is the Daniel Paul Professor of Government and the Director of the Innovations in American Government Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Goldsmith, himself an entrepreneur, occupies the unique position of having approached issues of social innovation as a national leader across sectors—including government, for-profit corporations providing public services, and major nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. Goldsmith served two terms as mayor of Indianapolis, America’s twelfth-largest city. He also served as Deputy Mayor for Operations for the City of New York under the Bloomberg Administration. Elements of this work have already been piloted in New York City, where data analytics is helping to integrate multi-agency and program data and derive actionable insights from that data to make more informed decisions. Chicago is also active in beginning to consider predictive analytics in criminal justice. Mr. Goldsmith is actively cultivating national funders and recruiting additional participating cities. In addition, if selected, Living Cities has committed $75000 to ConvergeUS.

Background on the Nonprofit Organization

Living Cities was created in 1991 as a philanthropic collaboration of 22 of the world’s largest financial institutions and corporations. The members united in an effort to bring justice to the lives of low-income people by utilizing their access to resources. The organization is now requesting assistance from ConvergeUS to help them compliment their existing knowledge and information with technologically based innovation that will more effectively target the problems facing low income Americans. By building a system of municipal analytics and data tracking, the organization will be able to observe outcomes of policies and projects rather than activity, which will allow us to focus on their effectiveness. This will also allow us to implement change where need be to reach the greatest number of people and reduce unnecessary waste. The system will utilize technology to prevent problems before they occur, bringing attention to problem prevention rather than simple problem resolution. The focus of Living Cities has been on New York, due to the geographic concentration of member corporations and institutions, however there is a great possibility for nationwide implementation to improve the lives of low incomes Americans coast to coast.

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