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 is an author and social entrepreneur who has led transformative work in innovation in government procurement around the world, reinventing how cities use their resources to better serve the public. More than 130 global cities used Citymart, the organization that Sascha founded. Sascha trained as an architect in London and has worked with communities, social entrepreneurs and governments in cities in fifty countries. Sascha has been a New America Fellow, is an Ashoka Fellow and a non-resident Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He published a book called The Slow Lane, about how big change doesn’t come from quick fixes, but thoughtful, slow work.