Cities Big and Small Tackle Social Challenges in 2016: #GoodReads from Living Cities

Cities Big and Small Tackle Social Challenges in 2016: #GoodReads from Living Cities

A weekly round-up of reading recommendations that you won’t want to miss!

In this week’s round-up of reading recommendations, we look at how cities big and small are working in 2016 to tackle some of the most intractable social challenges. We take our explorations from the Midwest, where racial equity is top of mind, to New England, where innovative funding on the rise. Lastly we look at predictions for using private resources for public benefit in 2016. Happy Reading!


St. Paul Deputy Mayor: City Has A Diversity Problem, and We Should Fix It – Pioneer Press

Recommended by Steven Bosacker, Director, Public Sector Innovation and Jennifer Perkins, Assistant Director, Collective Impact

This article from the Pioneer Press highlights the work that the city government in St. Paul, MN has done to improve racial equity through city operations. For us, this article clearly articulates what we’re looking to accomplish in much of our work with cities, in both current and future initiatives.

Baker Announces $3M in ‘Urban Agenda’ Grants – Boston Business Journal

Recommended by Tiffany Ferguson, Program Associate, Public Sector Innovation

I’m excited to see the state of Massachusetts running their own cohort of innovation grants and also that many of the communities being supporting are members of the Working Cities Challenge (WCC). One project was even cited as using the funds to ‘scale up’ the work they began through WCC. I wonder about the state’s plan to capture and share knowledge about these projects. I can imagine that there will be exhaustive reporting requirements as is typical with public grant dollars, but might the state be embarking on an open-sourcing/real time knowledge effort as part of this?

Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2016 – GrantCraft

Recommended by Jeff Raderstrong, Program Associate, Collective Impact

One of my favorite writers and thinkers is Lucy Bernholz, a visiting scholar at Stanford. Every year she publishes a “Blueprint” of predictions and forecasts for the coming year related to what she’s deemed the “social economy.” The 2016 Blueprint touches on many aspects of Living Cities’ work–inequality, technology, data and privacy, open sourcing social change. And last year, all but four of her 20 predictions came true.


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