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Submission #53

Submission information
Submitted by Mark Karkenny
Mon, 11/26/2018 - 8:57pm

This team  - Alexis Bonnell, Director of Global Innovation, USAID; Arianne Miller, Director of the OPM Lab; Nagesh Rao, Director, Business Technology Solutions, SBA; and James Thompson, Director of Innovation, State Dept Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships - supports the Institute for Innovation "Government Innovation Community" building initiative. Their spirit of “collaboration in action” is demonstrated by their contributions to the ACT-IAC Institute for Innovation programs, activities, and in sharing their innovation experiences, programs, and knowledge broadly with the government/industry ecosystem.

Each of the advisors are recognized innovators in their own right. They execute their missions through engagement with diverse communities, including across government and agencies, industry, academia, and non-profits. Together and as individual public servants, they make a difference in the federal community through collaboration, while driving new methods and approaches and creating a more effective, innovative and responsive government.

Together, we have been building a “network of networks”, made up of their communities and stakeholders, along with those of ACT-IAC. As a team, and as individuals, they have taken on responsibilities and actions well beyond our hopes. Below are just some examples of their contributions.

Alexis Bonnell, Director of Global Innovation, USAID, served as Government Co-chair of Igniting Innovation 2018. She worked with her industry chair and the planning team to expand the showcase and awards program to a full-blown conference. With the benefit of the “network of networks”, attendance surpassed previous numbers by over 50%. (It is also worth noting that Alexis and Her team were award winners in the prior year).

Arianne Miller, Director of the OPM Lab, initiated the idea of a government-wide Innovation Inventory. She and members of her team worked with volunteers to confirm the use case, identify data sources, select a taxonomy, and conceptualize search and visualization needs. She also worked with the Innovators Circle and facilitators in a collaborative Innovation Zone that was delivered at ELC and at Acquisition Excellence conferences, as well as the Partner-Voyager Joint Training Day (Alexis led this, too),  to educate participants on how to innovate using Human-centered Design methods.

Nagesh Rao, Director, Business Technology Solutions, SBA (Former Chief Technologist, Office of Investment and Innovation, SBIR/STTR). Nagesh established an electronic and social media community to support the SBIR/STTG program. It was so successful it began attracting innovation-interested people beyond this stakeholder community. When Nagesh joined us as an advisor, he quickly saw the possibilities of leveraging the work he had done into something even more impactful. He proposed merging his LinkedIn Group community of over 2,000 people with the newly launched one associated with the Institute for Innovation.  Nagesh was hands-on in working with the ACT-IAC and SBA teams, and in communicating with his group members to assure a seamless transition to the new LinkedIn Group, ”Innovation Ecosystems Community-Powered by ACT-IAC Institute for Innovation”.

James Thompson, Director of Innovation, State Dept Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships. Jim is recognized for his leadership in developing public-private partnerships, and has developed many methods to assure critical communications supporting Foreign Service Officers all over the world.  He and his team are guiding the ACT-IAC team in use of technology to reach a far-flung audience. He is providing technical and tools experience to aid in Government Innovation webinars, videos, and other outreach that will accelerate the pace and breadth of uptake for innovations. The next initiative will leverage Igniting Innovation finalists whose innovations could support aspects of the President’s Management Agenda and Cross-agency goals in areas such as IT Modernization. A series of webinars and YouTube-posted videos will help spread the learning and experience more readily. This will benefit not only State Dept employees, world-wide, but also government, industry and academic colleagues through ACT-IAC.

See some highlights of their activity in Institute for Innovation's InnOvation Newsletters:

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