The Municipality of Gävle started an internal innovation group in the spring of 2022 with representatives from the Governance, Support, Education and Welfare sectors. This group meets every second week, and one of their focus points so far has been on increasing the understanding of innovation in a cost-efficient way (requiring only time, not money from the participants). Therefore, the municipality signed an agreement for a competence supply package with ADDA, the national agency of the Swedish Association of Municipalities and Regions – this package contains webinars that are freely available to all employees of the municipality, including municipal companies. Several of them took place within the framework of Phase 2 of the BETTER project:
• An open webinar on April 13 about innovation culture, aiming to inspire and provide leaders with tips on leading their organizations into the future.
• An open webinar on May 3 about user involvement, focusing on integrating user perspectives into the development of public sector services and products.
• An open webinar on May 31 about change management, enhancing the participants' skills in creating a supportive organizational culture for digitalization and addressing complex problems.
Employees were also invited to participate in an Innovation Capacity training (three 2-hour events) with the Research Institute of Sweden (RISE). The programme was designed to provide participants with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate future challenges and drive sustainable development.
• During the 1st workshop on May 15, the participants explored the inside perspective of sustainable development: analysing existing and emerging challenges, engaging in collaborative discussions, and brainstorming to identify potential innovative solutions.
• During the 2nd workshop on May 29, they assessed the identified challenges and opportunities, evaluating their potential impact and feasibility. Through this process, they prioritized the most critical issues and determined the path for further development, ensuring a focused and strategic approach.
• During the 3rd workshop on June 13, they developed comprehensive innovation plans – strategies, action plans, and implementation frameworks –, enabling them to create a clear roadmap for achieving the desired outcomes.
The completed RISE training programme has provided the municipality with valuable knowledge and skills related to sustainable development and innovation, cultivating a proactive mindset and an ability to identify and capitalize on opportunities for positive change. Additionally, the participants have formed a network of like-minded individuals, fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing. Moving forward, Gävle can leverage the methodology of these trainings in their urban development initiatives, even tailoring them to specific projects.