Reimagining government in North America
Humanity faces complex challenges like the global pandemic, climate change, persistent racial and economic inequity, and a rise in misinformation.
But the systems, structures, and processes of government are often not set up to respond to these wicked problems; and only two-in-ten Americans say they trust the government to do what is right.
We help governments work differently, earn legitimacy, and deliver the outcomes that matter to all residents.
What we do
We act as a learning partner for governments, supporting them to make sense of complex challenges and drive meaningful change through experimentation.
Our North America team specializes in action research, capability building and transformation, and learning communities.
Action research: We dig deep, push the boundaries of current understanding, and explore topics critical to better government.
Capability building and transformation: We help governments build the capacity to transform cultures and work differently.
Learning communities: We convene public servants to share knowledge, accelerate learning, and improve government effectiveness.
We are building a future of government where public servants can better reorient government cultures, empower residents and communities, collaborate to respond to complex challenges, and innovate to co-develop solutions that make a difference for communities. Since 2018, our team in North America has impacted:
244 government teams
1,913 public servants
When we surveyed public servants and changemakers who were directly involved in our programming:
95% of respondents report learning new skills
93% of respondents continue using learned processes & skills after their CPI program ends
94% of respondents would recommend working with CPI to a peer
Our programs, partners, and funders
Activating Innovation Champions
Equipping public servants with skills to apply, teach, and coach innovation methodology.
A program executed in partnership with the Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation that offers extension coaching to cities in the Innovation Training Program to leverage skills learned and bring them to others in City Hall through a ‘Train the Trainer’ approach.
D.C. COVID-19 Response Collaborative
Responding to COVID-19.
A "peer learning network" that worked to build a framework for D.C. schools to help each other navigate the rapidly evolving challenges of COVID-19 testing and tracing in schools.
Earned Legitimacy Learning Cohort
Rebuilding trust in government.
A ten-week program during which governments work to address past harms experienced by marginalized communities, understand and dismantle inequitable power dynamics, and rebuild more legitimate systems.
Earning Trust to Build Equitable and Healthy Societies
Helping US governments address health disparities.
The ET4HS program helps local governments develop innovative approaches to address health disparities. As part of the program, participating cities join an international network dedicated to learning and sourcing solutions for health equity issues.
How to Fail (Forward) Framework
Reorienting government failure and learning.
A collaboration between CPI and the Aspen Institute Centre for Urban Innovation focused on one topic: failure. Failure is at the root of any successful innovation project, but local governments’ ability to identify, learn from, and do something about failures are limited.
Supporting collaborative government innovation.
A program executed in partnership with the Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation that supports interdisciplinary teams to build core innovation capacities as they design, test, and prototype solutions to a pressing city problem.
The Future of US Cities
Exploring how US cities are innovating to achieve impact.
Created in collaboration with Aspen Institute Centre for Urban Innovation, this work features stories of city problem solvers all over America, surfaces emerging practices from cities, and shares lessons from conversations with those within cities leading the charge.
The Opportunity Project for Cities
Using data and co-creating community solutions.
The Opportunity Project for Cities brings together governments, community leaders, and tech volunteers to address local challenges through the power of open data and community engagement.
"The CPI team has an unparalleled ability to translate big ideas into compelling action steps that lead to change. They deeply understand how to serve local governments, and all of their products and workshops are designed to inform and inspire local government innovators. Working with them is intellectually demanding and thoroughly enjoyable."
"CPI is an exceptional partner for those seeking to produce thoughtful and rigorous research. Our work on the West Philidelphia Skills Initiative resulted in one of the best institutional case studies I've seen."
"We really value our partnership with CPI and are grateful for their help towards our shared mission of increasing economic prosperity for all, particularly directing capital to overlooked communities. I'm always proud to walk into a room with CPI."
"Partnering with CPI should be part of every government’s playbook. From the wealth of resources, case studies, and reports to the amazing people behind them, CPI is equipping governments with the tools they need to be successful, to 'innovate with intention,' and provide better services for the communities they have committed to serve. You’ll only find yourself wondering why you hadn’t engaged CPI sooner in your journey!"
"[CPI's Reimagining Public Value] begins to outline practical approaches we, and other local governments, can take to operationalize our core values in all our actions, large and small."
“We once had a lack of communication and silos. Now [after participating in CPI's Failing Forward in Local Government], I know there are people I can go to and talk to because I don’t have to know it all myself.”
"Participating in this project has been an honor. The fact that HR senior management selected me to be on this team - I felt validated and recognized for the work I’ve done. It was important to me to do something meaningful outside of my usual ‘run the business’ duties before I retire. It’s been amazing to work with people from 11 different departments. Hearing resident’s different experiences and perspectives has been eye-opening and I’m grateful for the chance to be a part of this team. I’d like to thank Harvard, Bloomberg and CPI for picking the City of Boise to do this!"
“Before [participating in CPI's Reimagining Public Value] it felt taboo for workers to go into management’s office and talk to them - now it’s happening more. You get them talking and you realize it’s not that scary - and you get to know that personal side of people.”
“My viewpoints regarding management and their roles changed in many ways. [CPI's Reimagining Public Value] brought me to consider a wider variety of options. I’m open to hearing other opinions and learning to build trust with everybody, whether line staff or management.”
“I feel more responsibility than ever to do [resident] engagement... The benefit of it is to slow down and make decisions that are informed on what’s good for the public… that’s the point of my job.”
"If we really want to prioritize equity, [the Bloomberg-Harvard City Leadership Initiative] is going to be one of our best & biggest chances to be able to do that. If you're able to have healthy people, you're able to change outcomes."
“I really sensed the “Power of Hope” emerge through [CPI's Earned Legitimacy Learning Cohort] process. In fact, it was interesting and inspiring to experience how we moved from challenges to possibilities over the life of the engagement activities…The program allowed for important connections between the community and local government.”
“We have provided solutions in the past but they may stay in the research or the publications, they never really reach the community. The [Mayors Challenge] human design perspective allows you to see what the community actually thinks about this, and how we can make a solution that is sustainable.”
“Great information was received through [CPI's Earned Legitimacy Learning Cohort] community listening sessions and interviews. We identified a need for people to be heard.”
How can we help?
Let’s have a conversation about how we can work together to build a better future of government and deliver the outcomes that matter.