MAV launches innovation lab

Victoria’s Municipal Association has launched MAVlab, an initiative aimed at helping local governments innovate and harness evolving technologies.

Bonnie Shaw

MAVlab will support Victoria’s 79 councils as they respond to increasingly complex social, environmental, economic, technological and leadership challenges, the local government peak says.

A key part of its work will be sniffing out and showcasing innovative work being done by councils with the aim of sharing knowledge.

From next month MAVlab will also hold a monthly online talk series, Inovatio pro bono publico, featuring innovative public sector work and leading practitioners from Victoria and around the world.

The talks will focus on community health & wellbeing, climate futures, future gen, connected places, tomorrow’s infrastructure, local leadership and emerging tech and data practices

 The initiative is led by MAV’s Chief Innovator in Residence Bonnie Shaw, who says MAVlab recognises that collaboration is essential and will work with a wide range of partners to ensure its work reflects the needs, resources and skills of local governments, local communities and the broader sector together.

“The MAVlab approach will be data informed, wilfully optimistic and wildly collaborative – both with our colleagues in council and more broadly across the sector,” Ms Shaw explained.

“MAVlab will keep a clear gaze towards the horizon. We intend to share both our processes and our outcomes so we can learn together – and move faster and more efficiently – towards achieving better outcomes for our people, places and the planet.”

MAV President Cr David Clark says the association is proud to be working with the future needs of councils and communities in mind and has been

“MAVlab is an example of the MAV bringing a contemporary approach to leading the local government sector into a new era in Victoria over the coming years,” Cr Clark said.

Councils will have the opportunity to get involved in a range of MAVlab activities.

More information is available here.

Meanwhile MAV is encouraging councils to have their say in a statewide survey open to all local government officers and elected members.

The data will be used to create a baseline picture of the sector and inform an evidence base for MAV’s advocacy and support, training opportunities, events and programming, and investment prioritisation and decision-making.

The survey closes on August 1.

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