Kolding
— Kolding is both a university town and a commercial centre. Kolding has more than 87,000 inhabitants, centrally placed in relation to the rest of Denmark and Europe.

The municipality of Kolding – the home of 87,000 danes

In Kolding, they want to put innovation at the top of the agenda. As a consequence, the Municipality of Kolding has appointed a group of employees and made them responsible for launching innovation initiatives to benefit the citizens and the companies based in the Municipality of Kolding.

Innovation in the public sector

Danish municipalities find themselves on a burning platform. They are aware that, within a few years, access to financial and personnel resources will decrease compared with the level to which they have become used. Therefore, innovation has come to be more than just a way of creating short-term value – it is now a necessity for the longer term.

"Like private companies, we experience the need to make a wide range of decisions concerning budget limits as well as prioritization of the benefits we offer. But at the same time, it gives us a possibility to rethink the role of the public administration, our offerings and the technologies of which we make use."

Anne Saugmann – The Municipality of Kolding

The implementation of good ideas in public administration is one of the key drivers for efficiency improvements, which is at the top of the political agenda and also requested by the general public. This is why innovation is needed in the public sector. The staff and the citizens in the municipalities possess unique, local knowledge about initiatives that can easily be implemented in the short term, as well as ideas that can point out a direction for the municipality in the longer term.

“Danish municipalities experience the same kind of competition as you see in the private sector: the municipalities compete with each other. The important thing is to provide the right settings for families who decide to live in the municipality as well as companies that choose to do business here. At the same time, it is important to be a preferred employer for people who work in the Municipality of Kolding – or consider doing it.”

Anne Saugmann – The Municipality of Kolding

Kolding

— Kolding has more than 87,000 inhabitants

— Kolding is the seventh largest city in Denmark

— The city is a transportation, commercial, and manufacturing centre, and has numerous industrial companies.

www.kolding.dk

Kolding
— University of Southern Denmark Kolding. The entrepreneurship centre IDEA is located at Campus Kolding, and Campus Kolding offers the education programme B.Sc.Merc. in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Furthermore, Campus Kolding focuses on research within Management and Leadership, especially in relation to SMEs.

The future starts now

In November 2011, all employees in the Department for Urban Development in the Municipality of Kolding (approximately 850), were invited to be part of the city’s joint innovation panel. The participants hold all kinds of job titles and include administrative staff, management and blue-collar workers.

As kick-off for the idea campaign, all participants were introduced to five possible 2020 scenarios concerning Kolding. The headline was “The future starts now”.

Kolding 2020

 

The five scenarios

  1. In the year 2020, the Municipality of Kolding is honoured as the best Danish municipality when it comes to public involvement.
  2. In the year 2020, the Municipality of Kolding is honoured as the best Danish municipality when it comes to sustainable urban development.
  3. In the year 2020, the Municipality of Kolding is honoured for its superior and inexpensive problem-solving and case management.
  4. In the year 2020, the Municipality of Kolding is honoured as the best Danish municipality when it comes to growth and providing opportunities for entrepreneurship.
  5. In the year 2020, the Municipality of Kolding is honoured as the best workplace in Denmark.

After the presentation of the five scenarios, the 850 participants were given the task of ‘back casting’. They were asked to generate ideas on how Kolding can reach each scenario: “What do you think we should do today, in order to achieve the results of which we all dream?”

The suggestion of the five scenarios enabled the participants to create ideas ranging from radical innovations to tangible quick-wins. Thereby, the Municipality of Kolding can chart visions for the future, but at the same time encourage the participants to share incremental innovations for instant implementation. This is a great way of showing that the Municipality of Kolding is serious, and takes action when it comes to innovation.

“The campaign was a great kick-start for innovation in the Department for Urban Development. We have been talking about innovation for a few years, but it is not until this initiative that everybody understood that innovation is something of which they are all part. Now we are looking forward to conducting a number of more specific idea campaigns where we pick out the employees, as well as citizens, who we want to participate in the idea generation for specific topics.”

Anne Saugmann – The Municipality of Kolding

The result

  • 183 active participants shared, commented and evaluated
  • 242 ideas in 14 days.
  • The winning ideas

  • Internet chat function enabling citizens to chat with the public service centre.
  • Intelligent, heated roads based on solar-power technology.
  • The use of alarm systems to disconnect electrical power at night-time.
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