Tallinn selected as one of 21 European cities to join a new digital innovation programme

The Estonian capital, Tallinn, has been selected by Bloomberg Philanthropies as one of 21 European cities to join a new digital innovation programme; as part of it, the cities will receive technical support, access to a network of city leaders and training from global innovation experts to improve services.

According to the PR firm, Mercury, representing Bloomberg Philanthropies, the goal of the programme is to “help European cities deliver high-impact digital services and share lessons learned with cities around the rest of the world”.

“European capital cities are already among the world’s leaders when it comes to digitising government services to deliver better results for residents,” Andrea Coleman of Bloomberg Philanthropies said in a statement.

“Through this new offering, we hope to see these cities take their work to the next level by putting people at the heart of digital transformation, driving 21st century ways of working across their organisations and sharing lessons with other cities around the world.”

Expert technical assistance to deliver better outcomes

The participating cities announced today are: Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Athens, Greece; Berlin, Germany; Bratislava, Slovakia; Brussels, Belgium; Budapest, Hungary; Copenhagen, Denmark; Dublin, Ireland; Helsinki, Finland; Ljubljana, Slovenia; London, the UK; Madrid, Spain; Nicosia, Cyprus; Prague, the Czech Republic; Riga, Latvia; Reykjavik, Iceland; Sofia, Bulgaria; Stockholm, Sweden; Tallinn, Estonia; Vilnius, Lithuania; and Warsaw, Poland.

Ülemiste city district in Tallinn (the image is illustrative).

“For the duration of the two-year programme, participating cities will receive expert technical assistance, including design support to focus intensely on and transform one resident-facing government service to deliver better outcomes,” the PR agency said in a statement. “The types of issues cities are expected to address include housing, mobility, health, education and jobs.”

Beginning with a kick-off meeting in London in January 2020, representatives from the selected cities will participate in a series of in-person and virtual meetings that will connect them with leaders throughout Europe focused on digital transformation, Mercury said. City officials will have access to a specialised executive education program delivered by Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School faculty to strengthen the skills necessary for leading digital innovation in their cities.

To build innovation, data an collaboration capacity within cities

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced the new digital innovation program in June 2018 as an extension of the organisation’s ongoing efforts to build innovation, data and collaboration capacity within cities halls around the world. The organisation invited all European capital cities to join the initiative.

Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 510 cities and 129 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organisation focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: arts, education, environment, government innovation and public health.

Michael Bloomberg at one of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ events (Bloomberg Philanthropies).

The organisation encompasses of the former New York City mayor and the 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, Michael Bloomberg’s, giving, including his foundation and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed USD767 million, according to the statement by Mercury.

Cover: Tallinn skyline as viewed from the city’s Rotermann quarter. The image is illustrative.

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