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Lab Notes - February 2016 Edition

Published Date: 8 February 2016

Brought to you by Nesta, GovLab, MaRS, MindLab and SIX; Lab Notes is a loose network of labs, units and teams working to support public sector innovation. Through a combination of useful content and links, our monthly digest will bring together interesting tools and news from public sector innovators around the world.

This month’s key lab picks: 

1. 2016 LabWorks events: Laboratorio de Gobierno and the OECD to host Future State: Innovation for the People, an international conference on public innovation in collaboration with the Government of Chile, in Santiago, Chile on March 30-31st. Registration information and more here.

2. In this Centre for Public Impact interview, Nicolas Gruen, Chairman of TACSI, considers the five critical factors of effective social innovation.

3. The Zambian government is passing control of 800 solar-powered milling plants to youth co-operatives in an effort to improve employment opportunities for school-leavers. More here.

4.  An Irish fifteen-year-old’s invention to create sleeping bags specifically designed for the homeless has proven to be social both in ends and means - by providing former street-drinkers a route off the streets. More here.

5. USAID Global Development Lab’s Executive Director, Ann Mei Chang, speaks about the lab’s mission and what other government agencies can learn from its work in this Federal Times feature.

6. The Alliance for Useful Evidence and Nesta have produced a practice guide, Using Research Evidence, to help those working in the public sector use evidence more effectively.

7. In Public sector innovation: the end of a private love affair?, Sophie Reynolds of Nesta asks whether the public sector should be looking beyond the private sector for innovation inspiration.

8. GovLab’s Beth Simone Noveck will discuss her new book, Smart Citizens, Smarter State: The Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing, with Nesta’s Geoff Mulgan in London on February 17th. Event details here.

9. Looking to examples of anti-poverty programmes in Uganda and Zambia, this piece in the New York Times considers what data can do to fight poverty.

10. This University World News article reflects on the role of arts and humanities research in spurring innovation to tackle global challenges. Read the Science Europe Scientific Committee for the Humanities paper in full here.

11. Some governments are working on the issue of planned obsolescence, but a consumer-driven movement has also emerged promoting ‘buy me once’ products. More here.