November 5, 2013

Dear Reader:

Sacramento is at an inflection point.

When I launched Public Innovation last year, it was with an explicit and deliberate motivation to disrupt the status quo. And while the idea of building a civic innovation and social entrepreneurship ecosystem has been met with positive reception among hundreds of residents, there is much work to be done to bring our institutional leaders on board—whether they’re in the public, private, or nonprofit sectors.

This, I would submit to you, is Sacramento’s greatest challenge: Will regional leaders embrace the uncertainty comes with change or will the comfort of predictable stability prevail?

Public Innovation is an open platform for co-creation. Anyone with a good idea for improving civic infrastructure and a willingness to roll up their sleeves to try something new will find a home here. This plan is all about how we're going to do that.

We've titled our plan OpenOrg. Unlike most business plans, however, ours will never be finished. OpenOrg is more than just a plan—OpenOrg is the beginning of an effort to develop an open standard for open organizations. It's also our commitment to being an open, transparent, and emergent organization.

If our theory of change is going to work, we need to earn your trust and we figure the best way to do that is to be completely transparent about what we're doing and why we're doing it. As our strategy evolves, this plan, too, will evolve. OpenOrg is a real-time window into Public Innovation and this is your invitation to help improve it.

In short, we’re an incubator for civic projects and social enterprises. And our strength lies in the diversity of human capital we’re able to attract—resulting in the cross-pollination of ideas to improve our neighborhoods, communities, and our region as a whole.

Our social impact and business models are the result of more than a year of experiments. OpenOrg is not a plan based on untested assumptions. Rather, we're putting forth a set of strategies that have been largely validated. That does not mean, however, that Public Innovation will not continue to evolve. As we’re able to collect and analyze data about our work, we will strive to always do better. In fact, OpenOrg is a tool for you to hold us accountable.

The plan calls for $250,000 in initial seed funding. By our third year of operation, we expect to be self-sustaining; and by our fifth year, 85 percent of total revenues will comprise earned income. In other words, seed funding is a runway to help us get off the ground.

Sacramento not only has the opportunity, but the responsibility, to do better. And we hope you agree that this is a plan to help get us there.


/s/ Ash Roughani

Ash Roughani
Founder + Chief Evangelist, Public Innovation

Ch. 1: Executive Summary >>