How Are You Changing the World?


Every day we see how Silicon Valley’s innovators and entrepreneurs are changing the world through new ideas and technologies: our smartphones, our fitness trackers, the smart meter at home, the cloud at our workplace, the latest app we download. Undeniably we are riding a wave of technological innovation at a breakneck pace.

What’s not as obvious is the wave of innovative change in the way we live: unifying neighborhoods, creating integrated communication systems, even speeding up basic maintenance of city streets. This second wave of innovation — a wave of civic innovation — is centered around people leveraging newfound access to information and other people to help not just themselves, but larger society.

Civic innovation is the process of designing and improving how people live, government works, and communities thrive.

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In a debut collaboration, Civic Consulting USA is partnering with California College of the Arts to to empower new civic innovation leaders both locally and globally.

When you think about it, it’s pretty obvious that we need civic innovation just as much as we need Silicon Valley innovation — if not more. What’s not as obvious is the role of government. Often, we blame government for everything that’s wrong — dysfunctional politics, bad traffic, redundant forms and waste. But government, particularly local government, needs to be tapped as part of the answer. From your mayor to your beat cop, local government is where progress is made; and there’s a new consortium of civic-focused groups, communities, and partnerships working to enable cities to innovate and create lasting change now.

This collaboration is the inaugural effort between the Civic Consulting USA and CCA, marked by our first-ever Civic Innovation Fellow, MBA in Strategic Foresight candidate Alida Draudt. Ali is analyzing the civic fabric of hundreds of cities across the US to determine which are ripest to host innovation hubs both short and long term.

As with many of the efforts around innovation, from Code for America to the Fuse Corps Fellowship and Bayes Impact, there is a legion of civic innovators working in our nation’s cities. Our efforts will aim to take scalable, proven projects from the history of Civic Consulting work and marry that with the DMBA acumen and methods to unleash a new layer of impact.

This strategic partnership will build upon the momentum of innovation work taking place nationally, and offer unique experience to test, try, pilot, and tinker in civic innovation while making real change in our own communities. We are excited to announce this partnership, and look forward to the waves of innovation to come.


Alexander Shermansong
Chief Executive Officer
Civic Consulting USA

Will Semmes
Associate Chair
California College of the Arts

Jeremy Goldberg
Director of Civic Innovation
Civic Consulting USA

Alida Draudt
DMBA – Strategic Foresight Candidate 2016 + Civic Innovation Fellow
California College of the Arts