Democratizing the city innovation process

San Antonio, TX
Warwick Business School and Daniels College of Business, University of Denver



Process Improvement

Procurement Method:

University Partner:

Warwick Business School and Daniels College of Business, University of Denver

Partnership Description

The City of San Antonio Office of Innovation will be working with Luciano C. Oviedo, technology strategy researcher, and Vi Narapareddy, Associate Professor at Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. The city is excited to be working with Luciano, a prior resident of San Antonio, and Dr. Narapareddy to characterize trade-offs, impacts, and implications of scaling democratized city-wide innovation processes and practices. The project will integrate novel multi-disciplinary social innovation action research methods such as by implementing an agile and iterative design, testing, and analysis of business/technology solution architecture and prototypes. The city looks to use this research to build upon their efforts in developing their Ideas Portal from their R&D League. Read more about the city’s R&D League efforts here:


The Office of Innovation at the City of San Antonio is seeking an equitable solution to collect ideas and democratize the innovation process for our employees and residents.


The City of San Antonio has a workforce of 13,000 employees and a strong desire to source ideas and solutions from employees and residents. Currently, the lack of a process creates silos of information, confusion, prevents follow-through, and limits the sourcing of ideas to employees in leadership roles or program managers. Additionally, we are a vibrant and diverse city yet the digital divide prevents residents without access to internet from being a part of offering ideas and solutions for our government. This is a missed opportunity for us to capture the needs of our community and provide solutions in an equitable and inclusive manner. 

The City of San Antonio seeks to work with an academic team to understand:

  • How to source ideas from all employees and residents
  • How to create a fluid and transparent process that fosters ideation and collaboration to avoid ideas getting stuck along the pipeline (i.e. with supervisors or within departments)
  • How can we provide visibility across departments
  • What resident-centered solutions are available to capture input from our community

Academic research teams will have access to:

  • City of San Antonio R&D League for feedback/collaboration  (League partners include: City of SA, UTSA, USAA, and SwRI)
  • The Office of Innovation, ITSD, and Human Resources
  • Annual Employee Survey data
  • personnel leading these efforts- Rhia Pape and Kate Kinnison (R&D Program)
  • R&D League partners, and City of SA staff can be interviewed

*Supporting information : 

The R&D League webpage has information of the Idea Portal Project which has completed "Phase 1". 

Requirements & Outcomes

The outcomes we would like to see include:

  • Evaluation of current effective solutions that other cities have applied
  • Metrics of evaluation
  • Measure the impact and outcomes of the platform
    • Do employees feel comfortable using the platform
    • Best practices for transparency
    • Does this way of idea sharing build trust/increase engagement
  • Digital portal, and additional tools and solutions to reach all employees and residents


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