Celebrating Great Ideas: The Better Government Competition Awards Dinner

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Pioneer Institute Hosts 23rd Annual Better Government Competition

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh Delivered Keynote at Awards Ceremony 

Mayor WalshPioneer Institute recognized the winner and runners-up of its annual Better Government Competition at an awards dinner on Thursday, featuring a Keynote Address by Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of Boston 

In his Keynote Address, Mayor Walsh described his comprehensive agenda for the City, emphasizing his civic engagement initiatives. His remarks were followed by a Q&A session.

Watch the Mayor’s speech:

[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soN-B_kHK7o&index=2&list=UUxPr4y_MBrcdji_ockXjuPA[/youtube]

“Compass® CoPilot,” a proposal to integrate data collection and reporting at state and county human services agencies, is the winning entry in the 23rd annual Better Government Competition. This year’s contest sought ideas that leverage technology to improve the public sector.

The winning entry recommends integrating mobile technology with electronic document management systems at human services agencies to improve caseload management, increase productivity, reduce overtime and staff turnover, lower travel costs, and most importantly protect children and families from abuse and neglect. It was submitted by Rich Bowlen, Director of Protective Services at Northwoods, an Ohio-based technology firm with over 100 human service agency clients across the country. Bowlen will deliver remarks at tonight’s ceremony.

Watch a video clip of Rich Bowlen explaining how Compass® Pilot and CoPilot applications are helping human services agencies in four states integrate data collection and reporting through mobile technology. Participating agencies experience daily net savings of 1.5 – 2 hours per social worker, improving caseload management and productivity. As a result, they are better able to protect the children in their charge.

[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiibRfP7gKQ&list=UUxPr4y_MBrcdji_ockXjuPA[/youtube]

In his incredibly moving acceptance speech, Rich tells the story of the little girl who woke him up to the reality that social workers were spending too much time on compliance paperwork, instead of focusing on the children who so desperately need attention. Watch:

[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qoXdNP6_ZQ&index=1&list=UUxPr4y_MBrcdji_ockXjuPA[/youtube]

Rich generously donated his $10,000 Better Government Award to to Adoption & Foster Care Mentoring.

The Better Government Competition winner and four runners-up were selected by a distinguished panel of judges from the business, legal, non-profit and municipal government communities:

  • Andrew O. Davis, Managing Partner, Overall Capital Partners
  • Keith N. Hylton, William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law
  • Patrick Larkin, Director, The Innovation Institute, MassTech Collaborative
  • David O’Connor, Senior Vice President for Energy and Clean Technology, ML Strategies, LLC
  • Kevin Stokes, Chief Information Officer, Town of Brookline

The four runners-up to the 2014 Better Government Competition are:

  • OpportunitySpace.org, a start-up company that is placing vacant public land available for purchase into an online, searchable database designed to reduce government maintenance costs, and increase economic development. Submitted by Alexander Kapur, OpportunitySpace.org Co-Founder.
  • Handicap Parking Permit Application and Management System, a three-part, web-based system to streamline the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles’ parking permitting process for disabled residents, significantly reducing customer wait periods and staff time. Submitted by Betty Johnson, Nebraska DMV Vehicle Services Administrator.
  • Independent Risk Manager model, a third-party entity with the IT infrastructure and expertise to manage care services for costly patient populations, relieving physicians of the administrative burdens that jeopardize their independence. Submitted by Caitlin Reiche, Stephanie Zaremba, senior managers, athenahealth, Inc.
  • City Hall to Go, a Boston-based, mobile delivery program that gives residents access to dozens of municipal services within their own neighborhood. Submitted by Danielle Valle Fitzgerald, Director, City Hall to Go, City of Boston.

Watch this video of the runners up:

[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=840Igpq68X4&list=UUxPr4y_MBrcdji_ockXjuPA[/youtube]

To learn more about this year’s winning entry, runners-up, and special recognition recipients, please visit http://bgc.pioneerinst.wpengine.com/.

The 23rd annual Better Government Competition Awards Ceremony recognized award winners before an expected audience of nearly 200 elected officials, policy leaders, and members of the business community.

Martin J. Walsh, recently elected Mayor of Boston, delivered the Keynote address at the ceremony. Mayor Walsh assumed office in January, after serving for 16 years as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, from the 13th Suffolk District in Boston. His agenda includes reforms in education, public safety, and economic development.

“The country’s most exciting innovations are being incubated right here in Boston,” said Shawni Littlehale, Director of the Better Government Competition. “As we continue to attract high technology talent and investment, our leadership will enjoy unprecedented opportunities to use new apps and tools to improve public services.”

Pioneer received nearly 150 submissions, among the highest quality in the Better Government Competition’s history. Over the last two decades, ideas generated by the contest have helped Pioneer save Commonwealth taxpayers over $750 million and improve public services.