Alliance for Innovation
The new Alliance for Innovation unveiled its new information materials, logo and website on June 6, at the opening session of the Transforming Local Government Conference (the annual Innovation Groups' conference) in Bellevue, Washington.

The Alliance was created in two-stages with an initial agreement between The Innovation Groups (IG) and ICMA followed by the selection in a national search of Arizona State University's School of Public Affairs as the third partner in the Alliance. Its mission is to transform local government and advance community excellence through the discovery and application of leading ideas and practices.

The Alliance combines the networking activities of IG with expanded efforts to discover new solutions to local government problems, rigorous assessment and testing of new practices, and expanded commitment to spread the adoption of solutions. In this unique partnership, IG is transformed into the Alliance for Innovation.

Katy Singlaub, Manager of Washoe County, NV, will serve as the first Chair of the Alliance Board of Directors. Jim Keene, former Tucson, AZ City Manager, will serve as the Alliance's first President in addition to his responsibilities as ICMA's Director of Strategic Initiatives. Both were on hand for the unveiling.

The Alliance's structure creates a special collaborative forum for learning, measured risk taking, exploration and discovery and sharing of knowledge and experience, said Keene. To solve the problems we face in the 21st century, we must connect, share, and change.

The Alliance is committed to the discovery and application of leading ideas and practices. Its goals are to identify major trends and create a repository of information on innovative, leading practices and the process of innovation. It will broaden awareness of academic research on local government management and develop a research agenda to help guide the work of academic researchers.

Mark Watson, Yuma's City Administrator said AFI is the collaborative efforts of individual leaders in local government, the best practices of their respective municipal organizations and the wisdom of academia, all coming together to be all that we can be for our citizens and our communities. I urge you to join us in our quest!

The Alliance brings together the best in basic and applied research with the best in governmental practice to aid in building more effective and responsive communities across the U. S. and beyond said Robert Denhardt, Director of Schools of Public Affairs, ASU. And Jim Svara, Director of the Center for Urban Innovation at ASU said The strength of the Alliance partnership comes from blending the perspectives of scholars and educators with those of practitioners in public management and public policy. The Alliance represents a standing conversation between local government managers and faculty members that will hopefully raise the level of both practice and scholarly research.

AFI will continue to study and test local government innovations drawing on the special qualities of each of the partners. It will serve as a network for local governments around the world, as well as members of the academic community and the private and non-profit sectors. The 350 cities and counties in 33 states and Canada that were IG members, automatically become Alliance for Innovation members.

This is an exciting time for local government, said Bob O'Neill, Executive Director of ICMA, the premier local government leadership and management organization. Given the dramatic social and demographic shifts happening right now, we need to focus more on developing and integrating innovative practices that can help create the kinds of communities that will flourish in years to come. The Alliance, in partnership with ICMA, provides the vehicle to make that happen.

The new corporate office for the Alliance is located at ASU's University Center at 411 N. Central in Phoenix adjoining the School of Public Affairs on the 4th Floor. The Alliance has five regional offices across the nation. Pamela Muse, Regional Director for the Western states is available to schedule site visits to review Alliance Membership, benefits, services, publications, workshops and more by calling 1-888-468-6450 or
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