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Leadership of Urban Digital Innovation for Public Value

The Leadership of Urban Digital Innovation for Public Value (LeadUP) course is a flagship program for delivering responsible digital innovations in connected places and cities.

LeadUP provides new thinking on how to develop interdisciplinary competencies to effectively plan, design and implement smart city / urbanism projects aimed at delivering public value in connected places. LeadUP is designed to provide multidisciplinary knowledge and skills required to deliver digitalisation projects which benefit citizens and communities, spanning leadership, ethics and responsible innovation, and technology. Participants will gain a deep understanding of how to successfully integrate the digital and technical, governance and management, ethical and responsible innovation, and place-based leadership dimensions of real-life digital innovation projects in urban contexts.

LeadUP is designed as a part-time course for working professionals aspiring to gain new knowledge and elevate their careers. This includes, but is not limited to: City managers, public sector consultants, technology experts, and built environment professionals aspiring for city leadership roles

The course is structured as a part-time course across three levels: Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert), Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) and the Master of Studies (MSt). Students can progress from the PGCert, through the PGDip and then on to the MSt in a flexible manner, enrolling each year for the corresponding award if they choose to progress, with breaks allowed along the way. 

LeadUP also has an Executive Education offering. Read more about that here.

LeadUP is underpinned by robust academic research from CSIC.

Findings from the interdisciplinary Digital Cities for Change (DC2) research project on Leadership for Place-based Digital Innovation in the Built Environment form the critical knowledge at the core of LeadUP. DC2 is pat of the transformation-led research led by Dr Jennifer Schooling, OBE FICE at the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC)

The curriculum of LeadUP is underpinned by findings and outputs from the DC2 research project and the wider academic literature, in particular the DC2 competency framework and international case studies. The competency framework describes a novel and practical digital innovation process and identifies skills and governance gaps across the conception, planning, implementation, and evaluation of digitalisation projects. The case studies inform a case-based learning approach, a key element of the teaching which enables students to place the theoretical learning in the context of professional practice.

LeadUP is recognised as relevant by professionals experienced in urban digital innovation initiatives.

The course and its contents have been acknowledged as critical for training the next level and future generation of professionals. This recognition comes from senior built environment professionals, experienced city managers, academics, policymakers, representatives of global and multilateral agencies involved in urban digitalisation projects, and postgraduate student cohorts.

Alumni Testimonial.

“For anyone involved in Urban Innovation this course is essential, exploring responsible innovation that delivers public value and the capabilities needed to ensure successful delivery. This course has brought clarity to the way we think about and deliver innovation projects and is highly recommended.”  - Daniel Clarke, Head of Technology and Innovation – Greater Cambridge Partnership

Read more testimonials here.

Latest News

26-27 February 2024

The Leadership of Urban Digital Innovation for Public Value Executive Education is taking place on these dates.

The second session of the Executive Education is receiving applications. Contact to register.

Read testimonials from the inaugural LeadUP Exec Ed here.

Follow the LeadUP LinkedIn page for updates.


1 October 2023

Applications for the PG Certificate are now open.

Apply here

LeadUP Research 

LeadUP is underpinned by robust academic research from the Digital Cities for Change (DC2)  project at the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC).

Here are the latest peer-reviewed publications from the DC2 research backing the LeadUP course:

Read all the publications backing the LeadUP course here.