Social Innovation Portal

The Social Innovation Portal gathers online resources from Harvard University and beyond: the Government Innovators Network; online discussions moderated by Harvard faculty between some of the nation’s great innovators from all sectors; and a comprehensive list of third-party sites including blogs, communities, research hubs, and other resources.

Government Innovators Network

The information below is culled from the Government Innovators Network, a marketplace of ideas and examples of innovation for policymakers, policy advisors, and practitioners sponsored by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. With its news service, database of Innovations in American Government Awards recipients, academic papers, and Webinars, the Government Innovators Network strives to stimulate new ideas and bring people and solutions together around innovations in public programs.

The Government Innovators Network is a resource for social innovators from any sector.


Awards Archive

The Innovations in American Government Awards Program is a significant force in recognizing and promoting excellence and creativity in the public sector. The following social innovations are just a sampling of additional practices your city might be interested in studying.

New Leaders for New Schools, Chicago Public School District, Illinois
2009 Winner
It was not until relatively recently that research clearly showed the direct relationship between leadership and student achievement: great schools are led by great principals. With this…READ MORE »

Kingsport Higher Education Initiative, Kingsport, Tennessee
2009 Winner
During the 1990s, the city of Kingsport, Tennessee, saw its manufacturing-based economy shrinking with no end in sight. This problem was being exacerbated by an unlikely culprit: Kingsport’s public…READ MORE »

Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
2009 Winner
As the United States continues to debate how best to expand access to health care and reduce costs, Massachusetts is coming close to its goal of securing near-universal health insurance for its…READ MORE »


Social Innovation as Economic Development: How to Incubate and Grow Social Enterprises in Your Community
April 19, 2011

School Reform in Detroit: Critical Lessons in Building Community Support
April 13, 2011

New Pipelines for Social Innovation: The Changing Face of Recruitment, Opportunities, and Impact
March 10, 2011

Grow and Replicate! Lessons from the Fresh Food Financing Initiative
March 9, 2011

Mobilization and Member-based Organizations for Social Change (The Power of Social Innovation Series)
August 12, 2010

The Mandate and Caution of Engaging the Government (The Power of Social Innovation Series)
August 3, 2010

The Role of Procurement in Social Innovation Funding (The Power of Social Innovation Series)
July 29, 2010

Engaging the Citizen as Co-Producer of Social Good (The Power of Social Innovation Series)
July 15, 2010

Topic Papers