Lab Notes - a monthly newsletter for public sector innovators
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   This month's top picks: 

#1. Togolese architect Sénamé Koffi Agbodjinou outlines his vision of the African smart city built on ‘spontaneous urbanism’, harnessing the creativity of the informal sector.

#2. The city of Skopje in Macedonia has been testing an interesting use-case for aerial drones. In the UK, Nesta’s new ‘Flying High’ report addresses how local governments should adapt to ensure that drones can fulfill socially beneficial goals.

#3. From democratic innovation in Portugal to ‘solar-powered urban furniture’ in Serbia, Public provides a summary of inspiring govtech startups that are shaking up public service delivery across Europe.

#4. Sam Rye compiles a range of definitions, quotes and diagrams helping to clearly define ‘strategic design’, and how it can be used to tackle complex social problems.

 #5. Ideas for motivating local participation: a chapter in a new collection, Social Internet of Things, explores a range of creative methods for engaging the public in cities. Meanwhile in Denver, US, a series of interactive art installations are helping to involve young people in participatory budgeting.

#6. Sanjan Sabherwal from Policy Lab describes some of the experimental approaches and practical tools that governments can use to ‘bust biases’ in policymaking in this blog series.

#7. What is public sector innovation anyway? A blog from The OECD’s Observatory of Public Sector Innovation says we need a clearer collective understanding, and gives a definition built on three core dimensions.

#8. Bianca Wiley draws learnings Toronto’s ‘smart neighbourhood’ experiment to outline five principles for a democratic smart city, with an accompanying video.

#9. A new mobile app for tracking and monitoring government projects vows to make citizens the ‘eyes and ears’ in Nigeria’s Kaduna State.

#10. Stepping up our systems game: Tessa de Geus argues that social innovation movements need to urgently invest in a comprehensive understanding of systems if they want to create social change.

We've had some great contributions sent in from Lab Notes readers over the past few weeks. Remember, if you have content that you’d like us to share, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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