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Lab Notes - January 2016 Edition

Published Date: 12 January 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. Norway has one of the lowest recidivism rates in the world. Read this Business Insider article about why its prison system is so successful.

#2. Sao Paulo has launched an unusual experiment: Agents of Open Government is a citizen-led open government training programme intended to retrain 150,000 civil servants. Read more about the programme here.

#3. In Project X: experiments in tomorrow’s government, Thomas Prehn, Head of Innovation at MindLab, Denmark, suggests that government efforts to do 'more for less' shouldn’t mean 'worse for less'.

#4. From evolving the rights of children for a digital age, to working to tackle antimicrobial resistance, Helen Goulden recaps the Lab’s 2015 highlights in Our work in 2015 - Nesta's Innovation Lab.

#5. From Vietnam to New York, find about a number of projects and organisations putting the 'sustainable seafood' movement on the global agenda.

#6. With promising projects in the pipeline such as the expansion of the electrical grid in Sidonge, Kenya, TRINE, a Swedish crowdfunding platform aimed at sponsoring solar energy projects in the developing world looks set to be one of the bright lights of 2016. Read more here.

#7. Read this blog by Adarsh Desai who describes the World Bank’s Innovation Labs’ goal to improve some of the world’s most complex development challenges.

#8. Roof-water harvesting systems in Kerala have proven an effective solution for water conservation and groundwater recharge. This CityLab feature explores what India can teach the rest of the world about rainwater conservation.

#9. In this article by The Conversation, Howard Rush, Professor of Innovation Management at University of Brighton, argues the world needs a more innovative approach to humanitarian relief.

#10. Learning from failure: this SSRI piece discusses how a social enterprise that served farmers in Kenya had to close down, but yielded a healthy crop of insights about failure nonetheless.

#11. The Nominet Trust 100 awards has recognised 100 tech inventions that help people live better in 2015. Read more here.