United States


Jacob Frey


422,331 (2017)

Lead Innovation Officer

Brian K. Smith

Innovation is helping to:
  • Improve service delivery

  • Engage residents and other stakeholders

  • Improve resident outcomes

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated funding

  • Focus on measurement

  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Human resource support

  • Leadership from Mayor

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Engagement with partners

  • Support from outside city administration

Spotlight on innovation in Minneapolis

Note: The City Innovation Snapshot (PDF version) was produced in 2019 and some aggregate findings have been updated with the latest survey results below.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 50% of cities surveyed, Minneapolis does not have an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to 24% of cities surveyed, Minneapolis approaches innovation capacity in specific policy areas/domains.

Policy areas that Minneapolis is focused on

Economic Development
Social inclusion and equity
Policy areas by number of cities

Minneapolis utilizes 4 different innovation skills or roles

Project manager
Communication officer
Community engagement staff
Innovation roles by number of cities

Situated in the City Coordinators office, Minneapolis’s dedicated team for innovation consists of 6 staff.

Terms Minneapolis most associates with innovation

Big picture re-thinking

Minneapolis' most common innovation activities

Promoting data-driven analytics / public data management
e.g. data storage/analytics; open data; big data
Engaging residents in new ways
  1. 1

    Taking risks or testing new ideas

  2. 2

    Data-driven analytics/public data management

  3. 3

    Engaging residents in new ways

  4. 4

    Developing new solutions based on digital technologies

  5. 5

    Organizational change within the municipality

  6. 6

    Human-centered design

  7. 7

    Rethinking your city’s approach to financing partnerships

How is innovation funded here?

Like 81% of cities surveyed, Minneapolis has dedicated funding to support innovation capacity.

Top sources of funding

Municipal budget
operating budget
Municipal budget
This could include, for instance, City Council approved funds; operating budget; a special funding process (bond, Mayoral special initiative funding, etc.); and participatory budgeting / citizen-selected budgeting.

Activities being funded

Idea generation & brainstorming
47 cities
Launching or sustaining a project
79 cities
Idea generation & brainstorming
51 cities
Investing in digital systems
36 cities
Investing in physical infrastructure
30 cities
Paying for services

How is innovation measured?

Minneapolis’s innovation team has developed both internal and external partnerships in all of their work.

To improve data use, the city has also developed data partnerships with academia and think tanks to collect and analyze data.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data

Housing and built environment

Policing and law enforcement

Social inclusion and equity

Economic Development


Environment and climate change

No Response



Waste and sewage

Labour market and skills



Public works


Digital governance