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Rep. Thissen Featured in National Article on Innovation in Government


"We need to embed the idea of innovation into the state agencies themselves."

In the recent issue of the M.I.T. journal Innovations, Andrew Wolk and Minneapolis resident Coleen Gross Ebinger wrote about "Government and Social Innovation." The article highlighted Rep. Thissen's Minnesota Innovation and Research Council as an example of cutting edge work on improving how government carries on its business:

"The conviction that government needs to embrace innovation in its own work— in addition to supporting its progress in other sectors—has led two states down the path of establishing state agency liaisons. While neither had been launched as of this article’s publication, their legislative processes provide a glimpse into the potential for this model.

"Spearheaded by State Representative Paul Thissen, a bill to establish the Minnesota Innovation and Research Council was introduced in the state legislature. This council would have identified high-level champions of innovation in each of the state agencies and brought them together with nonprofits, community foundations, and business leaders to focus on coordinating efforts for better results, with an Innovation Challenge Grant Fund serving as an incentive. Speaking about why the group decided on a liaison model instead of an office, Thissen emphasizes 'the need to embed the idea of innovation into agencies themselves. Part of the evolution of the proposal was to move away from this idea that there would be this [one] place where innovation happens, rather than throughout the agencies where work gets done. How can we embed innovation into agencies?'"

Read the the report:
Recommendations on Improving Collaborative Activities between the State, Not-for-Profit Organizations and the Private Sector: A Report to the Minnesota Legislature.

Read the article here.