Giving Compass' Take:

· Speakers at the Smart Cities Connect conference in Denver highlight the importance of regional collaboration and collective impact as 'problems don't see borders'.

· How can philanthropists and donors support collective efforts to address regional issues? 

· Read a guide to collaborative philanthropy

On the first day of the Smart Cities Connect conference in Denver, speakers highlighted how various cities' efforts to collaborate have helped to advance smart initiatives.

A regional, collaborative approach to innovation is key as cities look to advance, speakers said on the first day of the Smart Cities Connect conference in Denver.

With cities facing issues as varied as traffic congestion, air quality and homelessness, while innovations around mobility and the gig economy are causing uncertainty, many speakers called for a greater sense of collaboration, both regionally and with residents.

"Problems don’t see borders," Amanda Daflos, director of innovation for the City of Los Angeles, said during a keynote panel discussion.

Colorado sees itself as something of a leader on partnering across jurisdictional borders, as the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) has driven regional collaboration for decades and the recently-formed Colorado Smart Cities Alliance looks to do similar collaborative work.

Others are taking notice. During a panel discussion, Kansas City, MO Chief Innovation Officer Bob Bennett said Denver and Colorado’s regional approach is "the envy of a lot of us out there."

Read the full article about the importance of regional collaboration by Chris Teale at Smart Cities Dive.