Civic Innovation Labs, presented in partnership with the Michigan Municipal League Foundation, offer people who love where they live the opportunity to learn, share, and test ideas that can help address local and regional challenges. Our goal is to work with community members to design a customized program that brings cutting-edge approaches from around the state and the world to your doorstep. Labs are multi-day events that combine hands-on training, workshops, roundtables, and demonstration projects. Labs help build local capacity by giving local leaders tools, research, and connections so their ideas can actually come to fruition and live on past the initial event.
Innovation is integral to community building, and it’s driven by collaboration: bringing smart and diverse people and ideas together to realize our goal of strengthening vibrant places. Communities across the state are dealing with the same challenges: political red tape, capacity and leadership. We’ve seen some tackle these challenges head on through our programs, and it takes innovative thinking. We’ve been documenting and testing the best innovations from around the state and the world and want to share what we’ve learned with you, whether it’s reshaping community conversations around downtown development, funding projects through the power of the crowd or trying new approaches to community engagement.
We’ve been supporting local governments for more than 100 years and we know it takes a lot more than local government to get things done. It takes knowledge, passion and vision. It takes creative partnerships with community leaders and advocates. Let’s do things a little differently and create the places we’re all dreaming about, and let’s have some fun while we’re doing it.
If you are interested in hosting a Lab in your region, or you’re just interested in learning more, contact Luke Forrest, Labs Director. Download a one-page summary of the program here: civic-innovations-labs-flyer