Driving economic mobility



A mid-sized US city was growing rapidly, attracting new residents, businesses and investment.

However, not all residents were benefiting from the growth and its inner-city black population, in particular, was being displaced.


Design a new 3-year equitable economic development and mobility strategy, bringing multiple departments together behind shared goals and objectives.

  • We collected data from federal, state and city governments to help understand the problem. We applied and localized insights from think tank and academic partners

  • We identified departments and partners and created willing coalitions and ways of working

  • We helped to define long-term goals and quick wins, in partnership with local communities

  • We identified capacity and resource gaps and helped to secure additional city, philanthropic and private funding. We also introduced a private social impact investor and helped to design a fund which could use federal grants as first loss capital

  • We identified other income inequality drivers over which the Mayor had limited control, but which she could influence

  • Finally, we helped to create an implementation plan as well as reporting mechanisms with the city council and key stakeholders


  • Officials from city agencies - from public works to transportation to permitting to workforce - started to work as a single team behind shared goals

  • Private and philanthropic partners deployed resources and services in support of the plan

  • 12 months on, the city remains on track to deliver its output indicators - which should contribute to long term equity-related benefits for poor and hard-to-reach residents

  • Internal program NPS scores at 9.75 for the project