Procurement as a secret weapon of change
In 2021 cities around the globe will spend roughly $6.4 trillion, or 8 percent of GDP, on procurement. In a volatile world it is one government function that can address challenges from climate change to equity and more. Too long about cost savings and compliance, procurement. Locally it can have an immediate impact on citizens and be a significant catalyst of change. Despite this vast buying power, city procurement faces several challenges, including resistance to the idea that procurement can be creative, strategic, economically formidable—and even an affirming experience for professional staff, citizens, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders. City procurement is in a state of creative tension. Leaders want it to be a creative engine for change, but they underfund procurement teams and foster a compliance culture that leaves no room for much-needed creative and critical thinking. Sascha Haselmayer tells how. He led Citymart the procurement innovator for 10 years.
Sascha Haselmayer is a Public Interest Technology Fellow at New America. As a social entrepreneur, he has led urban innovation, economic development, and government innovation projects in over 40 countries. He trained as an architect at the Architectural Association in London.
In 2011, Haselmayer founded Citymart, an organization that transformed expectations and practices of public procurement by reliably introducing civic engagement, diversity, problem-solving, and innovation into a core bureaucratic process. Under his leadership, Citymart implemented innovative procurement practices in 135 cities in 35 countries.
Haselmayer’s contributions on urban and civic innovation, smart cities, economic development, and public procurement innovation in cities have been recognized through an Ashoka Fellowship. He advocates for change as a keynote speaker and lecturing at leading institutions and universities. He has authored two books on service and procurement innovation in cities and has served as a trusted adviser to organizations and philanthropies.