The Mayors Challenge is a competition to inspire cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life — and that ultimately can be shared and replicated by cities worldwide.
INSPIRING MAYORS AND THEIR PARTNERS TO DEVELOP BREAKTHROUGH SOLUTIONS
Cities are uniquely positioned to encourage and foster the innovation, creativity, ideas, and solutions needed to tackle the pressing social and economic issues facing the world today — as well as meet the challenges of tomorrow.
Yet with increasing needs and diminishing budgets, local governments must find innovative new ways to get work done. That’s where the Mayors Challenge comes in— a prize competition for cities to develop bold innovations that solve big problems and improve city life.
THE U.S. MAYORS CHALLENGE HELPS CITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY DEVELOP BOLD IDEAS
The U.S. Mayors Challenge was a first-of-its-kind innovation prize competition for U.S. cities of 30,000 or more residents. Cities were invited to submit ideas that solve a serious social or economic challenge, improve the customer service experience for businesses or citizens, increase government efficiency, and/or make government more accountable.
After more than 300 cities submitted their proposals, the Mayors Challenge selection committee identified 20 finalist ideas. Teams from the 20 finalist cities were invited to participate in Bloomberg Ideas Camp – a 2-day gathering where finalist teams partnered with innovation, program, and implementation experts to stretch and strengthen their ideas and ensure they would have the greatest impact. Click here to watch a video and learn more about Ideas Camp.
The five winners were selected in March 2013. Providence was presented the Mayors Challenge Grand Prize for Innovation and a $5 million implementation award for its cutting-edge early education initiative. The idea, Providence Talks, combines a revolutionary approach with proven technology to measure vocabulary exposure for children in low-income households and help parents close the word gap. Mayors Challenge innovation prizes also were awarded to Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and Santa Monica, all of which will receive $1 million to support implementation.
AFTER SUCCESS IN THE U.S., THE MAYORS CHALLENGE MOVES TO EUROPE
In September 2013, Bloomberg Philanthropies launched the second installment of the Mayors Challenge competition in Europe. Modeled after the inaugural competition, the 2013-2014 Mayors Challenge invites European cities with populations of 100,000 or more to submit their best and boldest ideas that improve city life.
A total of €9 million will be awarded to the five cities with the most innovative and transferable ideas. The grand prize winner will receive €5 million to implement their bold ideas, and four additional runner-up cities will each receive €1 million. Winning ideas will be selected based on four criteria: vision, ability to implement, potential for impact, and potential to spread to other cities.
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