Your ideas in the spotlight

It’s time for councils to share their innovative work on tackling local issues and improving outcomes for residents, at the LGA’s annual conference.

If you had seven minutes to share your most exciting idea with the world – what would it be?

Local authorities today are facing some of the biggest societal challenges of our generation. Whether they are tackling climate change, building homes for the future, addressing the social care crisis or working to deliver sustainable, inclusive growth for our places, councils are at the forefront of developing local solutions to global problems.

Now, more than ever, it is important to shine a light on the boldest, most innovative thinking, and learn from the brightest minds in our sector and beyond.

The LGA provides an opportunity for councils and partner organisations to come together and share their pioneering ideas as part of the Innovation Zone – a vibrant, creative space and programme within the LGA’s annual conference and exhibition (30 June to 2 July in Harrogate).

The zone is a sector-led improvement success story and an example of councils continuously learning from one another and giving back to their communities.

In 2019, councillors and officers from across the UK shared some of their most innovative thinking during our very successful Open Mic session. This year, we want to build on this and create a new experience in the Innovation Zone. We want to share your stories of success and failure; ideas that you’ve tried and tested or those that are at their inception; ideas for the present and ideas for the future.

Through our new ‘Spotlight on Ideas’ sessions, the zone will provide a platform to those in the sector who don’t usually have one – the doers, the mavericks, and the outsiders. You will have seven minutes to sell your idea – the bolder the better – and convince the audience how your innovation could create real change and progress.

We will be using an interactive online platform to generate an open conversation that will involve the audience during the nine, seven-minute, energetic speaker sessions.

As well as these, our popular interactive sessions will continue to be a space for councils to share their most innovative work and projects that tackle local issues and improve outcomes for residents. During these practical and lively sessions taking place over three days, we encourage participants to bring their innovations to life through demonstrations, honest discussions and informal debates.

Previous examples have included a robotics session from Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, where Pepper the Robot is enriching the lives of people living in care homes; a perspective from Portsmouth on using nudge theory methodology to improve air quality; and the story of civic experiments from the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, Boston, US.

Last year, Sheffield City Council shared their Placement Game – a training toolkit and board game designed by children in care to try to improve placements for all children in care. And Bracknell Forest Council and Dogs for Good invited Lexi the dog to help demonstrate the benefits of animal- assisted intervention in mainstream social care provision.

So, this is your opportunity to share your innovative thinking.

We want ideas that can create ripples of positive change across the country, inspire fresh thinking, and challenge and generate new solutions to old problems.

Submit your applications by Friday 21 February for a chance to take part in this fantastic festival of ideas.

For more information about the Innovation Zone or to submit your ideas, please visit www.local.gov.uk/innovation-zone-2020 or email innovation@local.gov.uk.

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