New Bright Ideas Program recognizes innovative government programs. Selects 173 Noteworthy Government Programs and Practices
Cambridge, Massachusetts - September 29, 2010 - Today the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, announced 173 government programs selected for its newly-created Bright Ideas program. The Niles Teen Center is one of the programs being recognized. In its inaugural year, Bright Ideas is designed to recognize and share creative government initiatives around the country with interested public sector, nonprofit, and academic communities.
Bright Ideas seeks to complement the long-standing Innovations in American Government Awards Program by providing government agencies with a collection of new solutions that can be considered and adopted today. This new program serves to recognize promising government programs and partnerships that government officials, public servants, and others might find useful when faced with their own challenges.
This year’s cohort of Bright Ideas was chosen by a team of expert evaluators made up of academics, practitioners, and former public servants. Selected from a pool of nearly 600 applicants including smaller-scale pilots, 2010 Bright Ideas address a range of pressing issues including poverty reduction, environmental conservation, and emergency management.
“For over 20 years we have been honoring the country’s most creative public sector initiatives through our Innovations in American Government Awards Program,” said Anthony Saich, director of the Ash Center. “The creation of Bright Ideas was a natural next step to shed light on an even greater number of noteworthy programs and practices across our nation and to encourage practitioners to make these ideas work in their own backyards.”
The 2010 Bright Ideas will be showcased on the Center's Government Innovators Network, an online marketplace of ideas and examples of government innovation for policymakers and practitioners. The inaugural group of Bright Ideas will serve as a cornerstone of a new online community where innovative ideas are proposed, shared, and disseminated. The Ash Center also envisions that these Bright Ideas have the potential to become future Innovations in American Government winners.
The Niles Teen Center, funded by the Village of Niles, is a program that provides a welcoming, structured and safe environment for local teenagers to spend time with friends, receive homework assistance, and develop social skills. The Teen Center also provides opportunities for additional experiences including community service, special activities and trips, and educational programs. The Teen Center is one of the only facilities of its kind in the country to be located within a full size shopping mall, Golf Mill Shopping Center, bringing it regional and national attention. The Niles Teen Center continues to offer engaging activities as a result of a strong community partnership between the village government and its departments, the public library, the chamber of commerce, the shopping mall management and retailers, the local school districts, area businesses and citizens.
“This recognition will help to bring national attention to Niles Teen Center and the Village of Niles,” said Mark Williams, coordinator for the Niles Teen Center. “The Teen Center is truly an expression of municipal government at its best, with private and public interests working together for the benefit of the local youth. The Teen Center serves as a model for communities willing to work with out-of-school time programs.”
Bright Ideas is an initiative of the Ash Center’s Innovations in Government Program, which spotlights exemplary models of government innovation and advances efforts to address the nation’s most pressing public concerns. Throughout its history, the program has generated a wealth of research based on award-winning government innovations and the study of how innovation occurs.
The Ash Center will be accepting applications and recognizing more Bright Ideas on a rolling basis throughout the year. Learn more about the Bright Ideas program.
About the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
The Roy and Lila Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation advances excellence and innovation in governance and public policy through research, education, and public discussion. Three major programs support our mission: the Program on Democratic Governance; the Innovations in Government Program; and the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia. For more information, visit the Ash Center website.