Louis Stewart, chief innovation officer of the city of Sacramento, California, was hired to be a trailblazer.
His vision is to gather the city's strengths and foster an environment to improve on them.
"My role is a change agent," he said. "You step into a municipality and you start looking at infrastructure, you start looking at workforce development."
The mix of ingredients to make innovation work is an "all-of-the-above" mix of looking at roads and lighting, technology, inclusivity and design of public spaces.