People-led innovation: towards a methodology for solving urban problems in the 21st century

Urban planning Community engagement Social innovation
Attachment Size
People-led innovation (guide) 14.2 MB

The People-Led Innovation Methodology focuses on unlocking a too-often ignored and undervalued asset for innovation in cities: people and their expertise. People’s expertise comes in a range of flavours – from interests and experiences to skills and credentialed knowledge – yet all are equally valuable to engage when solving problems. In this publication, guidance is provided on how to become more “people-led” when seeking to address today’s urban challenges in innovative ways.

Key Findings

The People-Led Innovation Methodology is premised on the idea that unlocking and applying the expertise of people requires city government decision-makers to design engagements with a focus on curation – ensuring that the problems, solutions, inputs, and approaches remain targeted and implementable rather than ill-defined and un-actionable. The methodology comprises four key phases with related activities:

  1. Define and curate problems – engaging people to identify, define, and prioritize problem(s) to be addressed.
  2. Ideate and curate solutions – tapping into people’s expertise and leveraging data to ideate approaches to the curated problems.
  3. Experiment and curate capacity – leveraging people’s capacity to implement innovations in an agile manner while testing what works in practice.
  4. Expand and curate feedback – collaborating with people to transfer lessons learned to a wider audience and to enable strategic iteration and course corrections.
Publication Details