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Lab Notes - June 2016 edition

Published Date: 2 June 2016

Brought to you by Nesta, GovLab, MaRS, MindLab and SIX; Lab Notes is a loose network of labs, units and teams working to support public sector innovation. Through a combination of useful content and links, our monthly digest will bring together interesting tools and news from public sector innovators around the world.

This month’s key lab picks:

1. Listen to this Planet Money episode about the Nigerian government’s You Win! initiative ‒ a grant programme to support SMEs, which has been lauded as one of the most effective development programmes in history.

2. The Sri Lankan government has started working with world leaders from Denmark and Malaysia to incorporate foresight and innovation tools in the country’s national planning. Read the Economy Next article here.

3. Blockchain, AI and design thinking are among the hottest topics in government innovation. This Huffington Post blog considers which innovations will make it beyond the ‘peak of inflated expectations’ into the ‘plateau of productivity’.

4. This Guardian article demonstrates how social innovation experiments are providing solutions to housing crises around the world.

5. Micro-health insurance for the informal sector and 3D printed prosthetics for burn victims are just some of the ideas uncovered by a WEF-backed challenge to reward promising female innovators in Africa. More about the initiative here.

6. Following the launch of the UK Cabinet Office’s Data Science Ethical Framework,Nesta’s Chief Executive, Geoff Mulgan, blogs about how governments must navigate the potential minefields of powerful new algorithms and data uses ethically.

7. Amsterdammers are turning the threat of flooding into a community design challenge - crowdsourcing information about risk-prone streets and developing DIY solutions to better use excess rain water. Read more in the Long and Short.

8. A new report from WWF, Ennovent, Impact Hub, Clarmondial and Greenworks Asia lays out a blueprint for innovative green businesses to create incentives that prevent rather than promote deforestation.

9. Two local nursing students are using a community-centred approach to help alleviate the lack of access to health services in rural Nicaragua.

10. Based on the experience of a Data and Design Research Fellow’s experience working for the City of Los Angeles’ i-team, this article offers some interesting reflections on opportunities and challenges public labs face in their bid to create civic benefit.

11. This Apolitical article considers the key impacts of Turnaround: Arts, an initiative that uses celebrity star power and arts activities to create success in America’s worst-performing schools.

12. By mining linked administrative datasets, machine learning is helping government in New Zealand to predict risk factors for vulnerable children quicker. More from the Centre for Public Impact here.

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