Local Government Innovation & Redesign

To support local government redesign efforts and recognize the innovative work already underway, the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center has partnered with state associations to create the Local Government Innovation & Redesign Guide and host a yearly Local Government Innovations Awards ceremony.

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New social contract?

This week I attended the Policy Analysis Conference, sponsored by the University of Minnesota's College of Continuing Education and Economic Resource Group. The conference did its job – I left with renewed hope, unanswered questions, and new considerations for my work. Miles Rapoport, president of Demos, a public policy, research, and advocacy think tank offered the keynote. Rapoport reiterated what many of us working in public affairs already know: we’re living in an extraordinary moment of history. These times, Rapoport expressed, "require us to think differently about government’s social contract than we have in the past.? We’re facing tremendous economic and political uncertainty, an unprecedented political campaign, and experiencing a flowering of civic democracy. Rapoport posited that Congress will face new questions in this next era – role of America in the world in relationship to the other growing economic powers (China, India, and South Korea), newly established finance models between government and the private sector, and potentially new levels of taxation. Rapoport urged us to consider a new paradigm for this social contract, with our increasing levels of debt, challenges in education, trends with globalization, and rapidly changing American demographic. In this time, more than any before, Rapoport expressed, "we need transformational leadership at the local, state, and federal levels.? We need innovative solutions to public policy challenges, a swelling-up of grassroots and public pressure, and revitalization of our democracy. In your role as a student, professional in government or nonprofit organization, or academic how do you see this social contract changing?

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