San Francisco has launched a new co-working space that brings together civic developers, start-ups and public sector officials all in one place. The 5,000 sq. ft. Superpublic will serve as a platform for the public, private, and non-profit sectors to work together on improving government services. Participants include city government officials, the Government Services Administration (GSA), and UC Berkeley. The Center for Design Research at Stanford University and MIT Media Lab “City Science” are also expected to join. Corporate and non-profit partners include: Microsoft, Deloitte, Local Government Commission and others to be announced at the end of May 2016.
Superpublic bills itself as the nation’s first innovation lab for policymakers, academia and industry partners to improve the delivery of government services. The lab managed is by the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation (SFMOCI), GSA and City Innovate Foundation.
Superpublic will be co-located in the same building as teams from the federal government’s 18F and U.S. Digital Service (USDS). 18F is a digital consultancy inside the GSA, working with federal agencies to rapidly deploy tools and online services that are reusable, cut costs, and are easier for people and businesses to use.
“Entrepreneurs want a place where they can collaborate with government to improve their cities. Superpublic will give citizens a seat at the table to work on our most pressing issues,” said California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom in a statement on the launch.
Organizers of Superpublic say that they drew their inspiration for the organization from other mission-driven co-working spaces worldwide. The participants expect to focus on three to four civic problems each year, and will draw on feedback that comes into Superpublic from policymakers, civic developers, citizens and others.