Letter from the Board Chair

Alliance for Innovation 2017 Annual Report and letter from Board Chair Shannon Flanagan-Watson.

ARTICLE | Mar 15, 2018

2017 Annual Report

by Shannon Flanagan-Watson, Board Chair, Alliance for Innovation

To the Alliance Community,

As we reflect on the last year, I invite you to take a moment and celebrate with us the accomplishments we achieved together. 

In 2017, we were honored to celebrate our 10th year anniversary as the Alliance for Innovation (AFI), in collaboration with our strategic partners the International City/County Management Association and Arizona State University. We pride ourselves on being a long-term partner for local government organizations in support of your innovation journey. Reflecting on the work completed last year highlights the diverse ways in which we pledge to meet this commitment.

Our annual report spotlights new research projects, regional and organizational workshops, and consortia around key communities of practice in local government innovation. The Alliance held two national annual signature events, the Transforming Local Government (TLG) Conference and BIG Ideas, and virtual learning programs continued to bring peers together to share leading and emerging practices. This past year, AFI also brought together another successful cohort of Innovation Academy graduates, projects, and leadership advances.

We established a partnership with the Public Health National Center for Innovation to customize a signature innovation curriculum for public health professionals. As a new model, the Alliance will expand and deliver innovation curriculums for other public-sector industries in the upcoming year.

As the year came to a close, it also brought the culmination of the career with the retirement of our long-time President and Chief Executive Officer, Karen Thoreson. We are grateful for Karen’s dedicated service and tireless passion to foster innovation in our communities over the last decade.

View the 2017 Annual Report

Looking forward, this is an exciting time to be part of the Alliance! We are energized by the regeneration of the organization called Alliance 3.0 which re-positions us as a leader in the innovation space.

In December, the Alliance Board of Directors adopted a new Strategic Framework as part of the Alliance 3.0 which focuses on four key areas:

  • Innovation Ecosystem
  • Innovation Learning
  • Idea Cloud
  • Connected Community of Innovators

In February, the Board accepted a new business plan which outlines our approach to advancing this  framework and continuing to ensure our members and partners receive the highest value from their engagement with us.   

Inspiring and fostering innovation in local government is at the core of our work. Through it all, our members and partners can expect to receive continued excellence from the Alliance team and our network of innovators across North America.

On behalf of the Alliance Board, thank you for your ongoing support of the Alliance and contributions to advancing innovation in your organizations and communities. Our world is a better place as a result of your leadership and innovative work.  

As we look to 2018 and beyond, you will see exciting new ways that we will continue to engage with our members, partners and others to chart our pathway forward into the future.

In the spirit of innovation,

Shannon Flanagan-Watson

Alliance for Innovation Board Chair

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