Carnegie Mellon University

A New City O/S with Neil Kleiman

The Power of Open, Collaborative, and Distributed Governance

Thursday, February 8, 2018
12 noon - 1:20 p.m.
Hamburg Hall Room A-301 | Carnegie Mellon University

Presented in partnership with Metro21: Smart Cities Initiative, Heinz College is pleased to present New York University professor Neil Kleiman who will share the latest from his book co-authored with former mayor and Harvard professor Stephen Goldsmith, A New City O/S: The Power of Open, Collaborative, and Distributed Governance. Professor Kleiman will present a new governance model that proposes to reverse declining levels of citizen trust by modernizing outdated systems and placing the citizen in the center of operations by focusing on outcomes and changing the way public employees work. Local government, in this new model, engages residents, employees and external partners dynamically through a connected web that produces knowledge while enabling all the nodes in the system to be more effective on behalf of the common civic agenda. The hardware, software and cultural infrastructure of the new city O/S will allow multiple parties to concurrently speak, listen and learn about matters important to the quality of life in a community.

After his talk, we will open the discussion up with invited panelists who were featured in the book: Laura Meixel, assistant director, Department of Innovation and Performance at the City of Pittsburgh, Bob Gradeck, Project Manager, Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center, and Erin Dalton, Deputy Director at Allegheny County Department of Human Services; moderated by Karen Lightman, Executive Director of Metro21.

The lunchtime program will include a catered lunch and water. RSVP required - please register at

Neil Kleiman, Professor, New York University

photo of Nell KleimanNeil Kleiman has spent 20 years building a career at the intersection of many sectors — policy, philanthropy, government and academia. He has written over 30 policy reports, and his work has been featured in many media outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today. His new book, co-written with Stephen Goldsmith, A New City O/S: The Power of Open, Collaborative, and Distributed Governance was published by Brookings Institution Press.

Kleiman is an urban policy professor at New York University, teaching courses on government innovation and new approaches to technology and big data. He has worked directly with dozens of mayors and senior municipal officials through urban innovation projects supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Kauffman Foundation and Citibank. He also serves as director for Research for the National Resource Network, a federally supported initiative providing assistance to the 300 most economically challenged cities in America. Before joining NYU, Kleiman was director of Policy at Living Cities, a collaborative of the world's largest foundations and corporate philanthropies. He began his career as the founding director of the New York City-based think tank, Center for an Urban Future.

Book Summary

A New City O/S proposes an entirely new governance model for forward-thinking cities to unleash innovation and restructure hindering government practices using today's technologies. Calling their approach “distributed governance,” Goldsmith and Kleiman offer a model that allows public officials to mobilize new resources, surface ideas from unconventional sources, and arm employees with the information they need to become preemptive problem solvers. The book, A New City O/S: The Power of Open, Collaborative, and Distributed Governance, provides a theoretical basis of public sector processes for students of government and actionable examples for practitioners looking to transform local government. Guiding cases from U.S. cities, such as Los Angeles, New Orleans and Pittsburgh, form the basis of a new approach to transform city operations.