Today, Governor Phil Murphy announced the launch of the New Jersey Innovation Skills Accelerator – a free, online program to train public officials to leverage new technology and data to drive innovation in their day-to-day work and tap into the intelligence and expertise of residents of the Garden State.
“Reclaiming New Jersey’s place as the state of innovation means that we must embrace a culture of innovation within State government, leveraging new technology, better data, and more engagement with citizens to improve and enhance our outcomes,” said Governor Murphy. “As government, we have an obligation to innovate in order to deliver services and policies more effectively and efficiently in ways that improve the lives of residents in our state. We cannot tackle 21st century problems with 20th century government.”
“By training public servants in innovative ways of working, we can become more effective public problem solvers and public entrepreneurs,” said Beth Simone Noveck, the State of New Jersey’s Chief Innovation Officer. “Our hope is that, in due time, these efforts will create not just a more educated, informed, and modern government workforce, but also one that constantly strives to improve government by learning and growing – a workforce that embraces an innovation mindset.”
Designed by the State’s Chief Innovation Officer, Beth Simone Noveck, this program includes video instruction, interviews with leading public-sector innovators from around the world, readings, and self-assessments. The program aims to help public entrepreneurs — those passionate individuals who want to get better at designing public interest projects and taking them from idea to implementation — work differently.
Course content will span an array of new ways of working, such as introductions to new technologies, which includes blockchain and big data analytics, utilizing modern methodologies such as user-centered design and open innovation, and employing experimental design approaches. The course will consist of 10 individual learning modules, the first of which is now available. Future modules will be released every other week.
Upon completion of the digital courses, State employees will be eligible to attend a live, intensive Innovation Bootcamp to deepen their knowledge of new ways of working in government.
The launch of the Innovation Skills Accelerator builds on work completed in several other countries, including Brazil, Israel, Canada, and Singapore, which have already invested in innovation skills training. The cities of Denver and Orlando have also created skills academies to teach innovative ways of working. New Jersey, however, is the first State in the United States to launch a statewide innovation skills training program.
In addition to being made freely available to all State government employees, the Innovation Skills Accelerator’s online content will also be publicly accessible, with the hope that county and local governments across the Garden State — as well as states and municipalities across the country and around the world — will also find the trainings helpful.
“The Innovation Skills Accelerator program will be a great resource for the State’s employees and will equip the hard-working women and men of New Jersey State government with additional capacity to address public problems in innovative ways,” said Deirdre L. Webster Cobb, Esq., Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey State Civil Service Commission. “We’re thrilled to be able to provide this programming to employees throughout State government.”