Through these three pilot partnerships, which are still in progress, I’ve learned a number of important lessons on various innovation models that have the potential to lead to real change in cities. To fully understand the potential of these partnerships we must first stop thinking about the traditional public-private partnerships that are common to local governments and many other organizations. While the traditional collaborations may have some of the same qualities, they are most often concerned with a different purpose. Public-private partnerships are generally designed to deliver contracted public services, such as trash collection or day care provision, while the partnerships that we are creating are designed to develop policies, programs and technologies that deepen the engagement between government and the community.

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