We hope you can join us at www.GeniUSYork.com, our new platform which launched on the 25th January to capture the ideas and inspirations from the community, businesses and residents of York City.
City of York Council, alongside Science City York, is hoping to cement York’s position as one of the UK’s five most innovative cities by launching one of the first community innovation schemes. In partnership with residents, businesses, community groups and innovators everywhere, www.geniusyork.com hopes to make a real difference in solving some of the city’s biggest challenges.
The aim is to inspire everyone in York, including residents, visitors and businesses to get involved in meeting today’s and tomorrow’s challenges using ingenuity, fresh thinking – and maybe a touch of GeniUS! One of the world’s leading companies, Proctor & Gamble, is on record suggesting that over 50 per cent of its new innovations come from sources outside the company. The council wants to emulate this way of working – known as open innovation – and use its expertise, contacts and resources to help bring people’s ideas to life – and together make York GeniUS!
This thinking is part of the Council’s joint working with NESTA – an organisation that promotes innovation in the UK – to bring those ideas to life and so create better, long-lasting and relevant services for the city.
City of York Council has already been shortlisted as one of the final 17 local authorities chosen from 137 entrants to take part in the NESTA Creative Councils Programme, to work with our partners from innovation experts Science City York to attract ideas and demonstrate their potential. If GeniUS! takes off, York could be in line for more funding to help take forward innovations and share our success with other cities.
Ideas can be related to new products and technology or simply changes in the way we do things. The four challenges will be posted one a week for four weeks and will stay open for a three week period. Each will contain background to the challenge faced to aid and inform potentially innovative ideas.
The most workable and productive ideas will be identified by a panel of experts in relevant fields. The originators will be invited to workshops to work with experts, council officers and members of the public who might be affected by it. Once a plan to develop the idea has been agreed by these partners, the council has committed to making it happen.
So, whatever the idea and wherever the inspiration strikes, the council wants to hear it. The simplest ideas can sometimes transform lives.
Cllr James Alexander, Labour leader of City of York Council said: “City of York Council is fully committed to improving its methods to tackle present and future challenges at an operational and strategic level. We wish to improve communication within and outside the organisation to help identify and solve problems as they arise, to make us more responsive and to use contemporary and future technologies in all areas of the council.”
Kersten England, chief executive of City of York Council said: “Open innovation has not yet been applied seriously to local authorities in the UK, and we want to demonstrate that we can collaborate with the private sector to increase our innovation capacity to make our city a better place to live, visit and work. We want to explore the potential for this process and to share the learning with other local authorities.”