Bloomberg Philanthropies, the private philanthropy of New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, has announced that nearly four hundred cities have entered its Mayors Challenge competition, which seeks to inspire American cities to develop innovative ideas that address major challenges and improve city life.
Participating cities from forty-seven states have until September 14 to submit their idea for a chance to win a $5 million grand prize or one of four $1 million prizes. The ideas must address a significant social or economic issue, improve the customer service experience for residents or businesses, enhance government accountability and transparency, and/or increase public engagement and government efficiency.
Later this fall, Bloomberg Philanthropies will announce and invite twenty finalists to send a team to the Bloomberg Ideas Camp, where top policy, program, and innovation experts will work with them to strengthen and stretch their ideas to ensure the greatest impact. From there, the finalists will receive individualized coaching to prepare their ideas for final submission, with the winning teams to be announced next spring.
"There's been a tremendous response to the Mayors Challenge," said Bloomberg. "As cities face increasingly complex problems with fewer and fewer resources, the need for public sector innovation is greater than ever. The Mayors Challenge provides a chance for mayors to put forward bold new ideas that improve their communities — and then spread nationally."
For a complete list of the participating cities, visit the Bloomberg Philanthropies Web site.