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Issue 15 | Fall 2013

Past Editions

Dear Reader,

In partnership with the City of Philadelphia Office of the Managing Director and the University of Pennsylvania Fels Institute of Government, we are very pleased to bring you our Fall 2013 edition of the Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal (PSIJ), titled "Social and Public Innovations: A Look at How Philadelphia and Regional Government Innovates framed within a National Context."

In recent years, Philadelphia government has become known as the hub for social and public innovations, especially in the education, social, medical and technology sectors. What accounts for the successes (or failures) of these government innovations? In this edition we explore through case examples how Philadelphia and its regional government is innovating and leading large urban cities. In reading this edition, readers will learn "the secret sauce" of what it takes to innovate and successfully partner as a social innovator in and with government. Specifically, this edition will focus on:

  • Regional public-sector-driven social innovations;
  • Social innovation in the context of local social service delivery systems dominated by government dollars and rules;
  • How nonprofit and private-sector social entrepreneurs and innovators can engage, rather than avoid, government as part of their mandates, visions and theories of change; and
  • Leadership strategies that overcome the stumbling blocks and barriers—whether cultural, political or bureaucratic—that are holding back the progress that social innovation promises.

A special thanks to Rich Negrin, City of Philadelphia Managing Director, and Keri Salerno, Chair of the PSIJ Nominate an Innovator volunteer team, for providing the strategy and vision behind this edition. As always, we also want thank our Journal advisory board members and funders representing the Barra Foundation, Bank of America, Green Tree Community Health Foundation, Independence Foundation, Independence Blue Cross Foundation, Inglis Foundation, Knight Foundation, The Patricia Kind Family Foundation, The Philadelphia Foundation, Public Health Foundation, Public Health Management Corporation, Sage Communications Scattergood Foundation, St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, the University of Pennsylvania, Wells Fargo and the William Penn Foundation.

We hope this edition will give you insight and a framework for how government innovates, and to quote Michael Bloomberg: "America has never met a problem it couldn’t fix or a challenge it couldn’t meet… But too often we are held back by the very systems that were designed to address these problems… if we are going to emerge from these challenging times … we need to reinvigorate government with the spirit of innovation…"

Very truly yours,
Nicholas Torres, Publisher

Tine Hansen-Turton, Publisher