In June 2017, Bloomberg Philanthropies launched a $200 million effort called the American Cities Initiative with the goal of funding new ways for city leaders to collaborate with each other and improve their residents’ lives.
Making metro-level progress (and collectively) is becoming harder but perhaps more vital. States may preempt local decisions around minimum wage boosts, gun control, and sanctuary city policies. Technology has been rapidly changing how fundamental services (like transportation) once worked. And the federal government has abdicated responsibility for funding some basic health and social services while walking away from the global goal of fixing climate change.
To battle that, Bloomberg funded a domestic version of the Mayor’s Challenge, one of the funder’s long-running international programs, which typically asks city leaders in some global region to compete for funding by submitting bold solutions to their most pressing issues.
The contest will eventually award one winning city $5 million to implement its idea, along with giving an additional $1 million to four runners-up. So far, Bloomberg has narrowed the pool of 320 applicants down to 35 so-called “Champion Cities,” all of whom will receive up to $100,000 in grant funding to rapidly prototype their radical ideas.
Each place has six months to build, test, and reshape their application again based on lessons learned, before Bloomberg announces the grand prize winners in October.
Continue reading the full article in Fast Company here
Learn more about the Mayors Challenge here