Key Points
  • Public policy relating to communications and technology should be driven by free market principles.

Whether improving processes, creating products or developing new ideas, the application of technology can enable real changes in how local government works, both in quality of services delivered to constituents, cost savings and quality of life.

Many localities have the opportunity, by the powers given to them by the state government, to address policy challenges through innovation and experimentation, to lead by being the “laboratories of the state.” Most of the challenges are not easy, but innovation is often the way through, and localities are best equipped for this challenge. Confronting challenges in these “laboratories,” and taking the risks to create a better tomorrow provides a best practices blueprint for other localities, states and the federal government. Often localities can be the incubators of solutions. But even when the creativity goes astray, the experience provides valuable insight for other governments as they grapple with challenges.

Solving real problems with relevant solutions is the key to any successful public policy agenda.  In other words, innovation is just as much about identifying the problem as it is about creating the solution. The secrets of America’s success at invention are flexibility, the willingness to experiment and learn from mistakes, an inherent love of risk taking, adventure, discovery, entrepreneurship, the internal drive that gives permission to imagine and invent, the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail…and a sensible government that stays out.

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