All potential city innovators

POC Innova.TO, Torino- IT

All potential city innovators

Innova.TO is a competition for all municipal employees (except directors) in the city of Turin, in Italy. Inspired by the principles of lean organisation, it aims to stimulate and develop innovative projects that improve the administration’s performance, reducing waste and/or valuing resources.

A competition for municipal employees

The city of Turin employs a 10,000-strong community of well-educated and skilled people. At the heart of Innova.TO lies the ambition to encourage all these employees to see themselves as potential innovators. In order to reinforce participation, project proposals remained anonymous, the jury was composed of both internal and external experts and private sponsors agreed to offer awards.

So far, 71 projects have been submitted, 111 employees got involved, and 10 proposals were rewarded. No public budget has been allocated. Winning proposals include: improving transparency and community participation in local projects, sensors that regulate lighting in public buildings and new models for smart procurements.

No need for permission to propose ideas

Innova.TO was designed by a team composed of different departments of the City of Turin, in order to assemble appropriated capabilities and assure a good level of knowledge for each phase’s definition in the implementation process. Public employees that propose innovative solutions face, directly or indirectly, urban challenges in every field of the intervention – it doesn’t matter what workstation they are in during the idea generation phase – but there is evidence on how important it is for a big organisation to adopt lean and sustainable instruments that deal better with complex urban problems. Public administrations are asked more and more to find innovative solutions with smaller public budgets. Therefore, it becomes crucial to create a collaborative environment that enables the generation of ideas, for everyone, “without having to ask permission to propose ideas to make things better”.

  • Project holders : Turin – IT  
  • Stakeholders : This case comes from the InnovatOr network co-financed by the European Union through the URBACT programme.