What the Mayors Challenge team learned after offering training to 4,000 city employees in 308 U.S. cities

By Anne Emig The Mayor’s Challenge has been an integral part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ strategy to help city leaders generate innovative solutions since 2013. But we’ve never attempted a competition on the scale of what we’re doing right now. After successful runs in the U.S. (2013), Europe (2014), and Latin America and the Caribbean (2016), […]

Follow the Data Podcast Episode 11: Closing the Word Gap in Providence, RI

The eleventh episode of Follow the Data features the winner of the 2013 Mayors Challenge: Providence, Rhode Island. A component of Mike Bloomberg’s recently announced American Cities Initiative, and now  in its fourth round, the Mayors Challenge empowers city leaders to think big, be bold, and uncover inventive ideas that have the power to spread. […]

On Building a Strong Team

By Stacey Gillett, Government Innovation Last month, 40 mayors from around the world came together for a first-of-its-kind leadership program, the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative. A collaboration among Bloomberg Philanthropies, Harvard Business School, and the Harvard Kennedy School, the initiative is designed to connect mayors and senior city leaders with the latest information, best […]

A profile in bold leadership: Deputy Mayor of Athens Amalia Zepou

If there’s one good thing to come out of the Greek financial crisis, it’s that the turmoil provoked many people throughout the country to pitch in—both to put Greece back on track and to provide each other critical services when the government was cutting back. Documentary filmmaker Amalia Zepou was one of those citizen volunteers, […]

A profile in bold leadership: Denver Mayor Michael Hancock

As a former community organizer, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock knows the importance of outreach and listening to different voices. It’s a principle that Hancock has committed to as the architect of Peak Academy, a city-focused program that trains employees to eliminate waste and improve the way government works rather than relying on outside consultants and […]

Innovators crisscross the U.S. in eight week sprint

By James Anderson, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Government Innovation 2,000 hours of skills-building workshops, delivered to more than 3,000 municipal leaders in 300 cities across 45 states. All in eight short summer weeks. Welcome to the first phase of the 2017 Mayors Challenge, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ flagship effort to encourage cities to generate bold responses to the urgent challenges […]

How 40 mayors are learning to solve the world’s biggest problems

By Tenley E. Albright, MD and Board Member, Bloomberg Philanthropies I really like something Michael Bloomberg says about mayors—that they do almost everything governors and presidents do, except sign treaties. It’s a point I kept returning to this week as I attended the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, a first-of-its-kind executive training program for 40 […]

Global cities target loneliness among rapidly growing senior populations

Life expectancy has been increasing for decades, and the world’s elderly population is expected to more than double – from 617 million to 1.6 billion – by 2050. Helping seniors thrive well into their golden years is one of the biggest challenges that cities face. That includes ensuring that older residents can remain connected to their communities.

A profile in bold leadership: Sam Liccardo

Last February, San José, California, was hit with its worst flood in centuries. After five years of drought, record-breaking rain led the nearby Anderson Dam to overflow, causing severe flooding in areas along Coyote Creek and 14,000 residents to be evacuated from their homes. Mayor Sam Liccardo asked the entire city to come to their neighbors’ aid. “Today, we’re calling on the whole community to help us,” he said at the time. San José’s residents were more than willing to lend a hand. Over the course of two weeks, 4,000 volunteers hauled more than 2,000 tons of debris from flood-ravaged homes. “To paraphrase [basketball coach] John Wooden, crises do not build character, they reveal it,” said Liccardo, whose city partners with Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities and Cities of Service programs.

Nine of the most inspiring ideas I’ve seen this year

By James Anderson, Bloomberg Philanthropies Government Innovation

Amidst numerous global crises and fractured national politics, many are looking with increased urgency to cities for hope and to drive human progress. That’s why, now more than ever, we need bold creativity from local leaders. Here are nine ideas – some funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, many that aren’t –that show that our cities, and their leaders, are more than up to the task.