As we put the summer’s sizzling heat behind us, I hope Kansas Citians will make time to enjoy all the festivities our city has to offer during the fall and winter months. And although this time of year often brings busy schedules, I hope that all residents find new ways to enjoy their city.
Over the summer, Kansas City was selected as one of eight cities to participate in the national LRNG City Challenge award from Collective Shift. LRNG is an innovative initiative that will ignite a shared vision to redesign learning for our kids, built upon the shared belief that all youth have the opportunity to succeed. It is a technology platform that enables cities to network their existing learning resources—like schools, libraries and community centers—and connect those resources directly to young people. LRNG connects youth to in-school, out-of-school, employer-based and online learning experiences that align with their interests and passions.
We’re learning more and more here in Kansas City that in order to build a city for the future, we must be innovative and collaborative. And this initiative provides the perfect opportunity to do just that. It will take experiential learning to a whole new level and relies on the participation of its partners. You can be a part of it! For more information on how to become involved, visit www.kclrng.org.
What’s the most popular video on the KCMO City Communications Office YouTube channel in the last six months? It’s the mayor surprising the crowd at his State of the City address in March by singing “Kansas City” (more than 2,000 views). Check out this video and more on the City’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/kcmocco.
Recently, the City launched its second year of the Innovation Partnership Program. This program provides a unique opportunity for startups across Kansas City to develop a use case and allows City Hall to explore, at no cost, how new technologies may improve City services in unique, forward-thinking ways. Partners meet with the Office of Innovation and receive 20 hours of office space in City Hall weekly throughout the program. In December, the partners will pitch their ideas to me and City Manager Troy Schulte. Partners were selected based on the ability to support economic development and operations strategies such as improving quality and efficiency of City services and operations, creating new markets and jobs, attracting and retaining top talent, and improving economic vitality, social equity and environmental quality. For more information visit www.ippkc.org.
Friends, we’ve made some great progress over the past year and I can’t wait to see what sort of possibilities are waiting for us in 2017!