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In September, Ben Hecht, president and CEO of Living Cities, an innovative philanthropic collaborative of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions, spoke to an audience of a mayoral chiefs of staff from some of the largest US cities concerning the ideas in his latest book, Reclaiming the American Dream: Proven Solutions for... Read More

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Changeable and fast-moving issues, which are increasingly common in the digital age, demand more flexibility and responsiveness from government as it crafts and implements policy. By borrowing and adapting the “Agile” project management methodology from the dynamic software and start-up worlds, policymakers can thrive in an uncertain... Read More

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What do government programs reducing chronic malnutrition in Madagascar, boosting innovation in Asia, and increasing enrollment for food stamps in the United States have in common? While working at the World Bank Innovation Lab, I saw policymakers around the world searching for innovative solutions to complex problems affecting their... Read More

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Over the past 20 years, increasing momentum has been gathering behind the idea that governments need to apply scientific standards of proof to making decisions about policy. The drive towards evidence-based policymaking is a drive towards a rationalist dream: that hard evidence can remove partisan wrangling from the equation and, instead, turn... Read More

Artificial intelligence promises a bright future but getting there isn’t without challenges. A 2016 White House report stated that AI-driven automation technology could potentially increase economic inequality by amplifying the wage... Read More

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Graduation season is approaching, and many students will soon be back in the public sector where they’ll have the opportunity to make meaningful change. I sat down with Harvard Kennedy School Lecturer Nick Sinai, former White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer, for a conversation about what it takes to create real innovation in the public... Read More

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Beginning in November 2017, some residents in Seoul have moved into a zero energy residential complex called “EZ HOUSE.” Built in Nowon District, this is the first zero energy building (ZEB) residential complex in South Korea that is at the scale of a small village. Tackling energy consumption in buildings will create significant long-term... Read More

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Aadhaar, Sanskrit for “foundation” or “base,” is a 12-digit unique identity number that has taken India by storm. While Aadhaar is not the first of its kind — it follows other Indian identification schemes such as the Multipurpose National Identity Card and the Smartcard Programme in the state of Andhra Pradesh — it is certainly the most... Read More

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Financial technology, or fintech, has experienced phenomenal growth in the past few years. In the first half of 2017, global investment in fintech companies reached 293 transactions totaling $8.4 billion. The rise of fintech has given way to new opportunities and alternatives in areas that only a decade ago were monopolized by traditional banks... Read More

Mexico faces significant challenges in education — one of these is to guarantee decent and good infrastructure in public schools. In the country, 10 percent of the schools lack electricity, in poor states the numbers increase up to 20 or 30 percent. To improve school infrastructure, the federal government launched the program Escuelas al 100 (... Read More

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For those of us watching from afar as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and most recently Maria tore through both urban and tropical landscapes, turning them into debris-filled rivers infested with balls of angry fire ants, social media quickly put a familiar face to the nightmare unfolding on our TV screens. In the age of Facebook status updates... Read More

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While technology can be transformative and improve lives, it can also be very disruptive. Some technologies have the potential to change societal norms, norms that we have maintained for decades or even longer. Take the case of Uber, for example, which has completely disrupted the traditional taxi industry. Likewise, Airbnb has been giving the... Read More

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