Innovation Field Lab

Innovation Field Lab presentations
Municipal leaders from Innovation Field Lab partner cities gather at HKS to listen to presentations from students demonstrating their tools to help combat problem properties.
Improving social conditions is a collaborative, multi-sector effort. The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School has partnered with a group of five cities in Massachusetts to form the Innovation Field Lab. The field lab embeds teams of graduate students to collaborate with local governments to develop a holistic, data-driven strategy to prioritize and resolve the prevalence of problem properties.

The Field Lab begins with a class (MLD-621) co-taught by Jorrit de Jong, lecturer in public policy, and Joe Curtatone, the current mayor of Somerville and Innovations in American Government Fellow at the Ash Center.  Following the completion of MLD 621, students have the opportunity to then work in one of the Field Lab's five partner cities across Massachusetts to help implement solutions to combat the scourge of problem properties. 

The students undertaking this experience are provided with the opportunity to apply problem solving skills in a public setting, to be challenged to think in new and creative ways and to understand how to lead change. The project also provides an opportunity to investigate the effects of innovation on a particular area of urban policy, with potential implications for theories of public sector innovation.

To learn more about the Field Lab, its partner cities, and the project team, we invite you to visit the Innovation Field Lab site.