Posts Tagged ‘Bloomberg Philanthropies’

Twenty Cities Advance in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Latin American and Caribbean Mayors Challenge

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Finalists selected from pool of 290 cities that submitted bold ideas to address urban challenges and improve city life

Finalists now competing for $9 Million USD in Innovation Funds

NEW YORK, June 20, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced the 20 Latin American and Caribbean cities selected as finalists in its 2016 Mayors Challenge, a competition that encourages cities to generate bold ideas that solve urban challenges and improve city life – and have potential to spread.  The finalists, hailing from 10 countries, will move forward to compete for a $5 million USD grand prize and four $1 million awards, as well as extensive implementation support. The ideas reflect creative new approaches to some of the most pressing issues facing cities in the region, including mobility, youth unemployment, waste management, obesity, and social and economic inclusion for immigrants and people with disabilities.

“We received so many great ideas for this Mayors Challenge, and narrowing it down to just 20 finalists was a big challenge in itself. These ideas really capture the diversity of the region and the creativity and commitment of its leaders and citizens in making cities work better. Each of them has the potential to improve the lives of local residents — and if they work, to spread far and wide. We look forward to working with all of the finalists on their proposals and to seeing the winning cities bring them to life,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City.

The 2016 Mayors Challenge is Bloomberg Philanthropies’ first in Latin America and the Caribbean following successful competitions in the United States and Europe. After receiving submissions from 290 eligible cities in April, Bloomberg Philanthropies conducted an intensive review of the ideas with the support of Bloomberg’s extensive global network and a selection committee of 13 innovation and policy experts from across Latin America and the Caribbean. Ultimately, the top 20 best and most innovative ideas were selected to move forward in the competition.

The 20 finalist ideas were evaluated against four key criteria – their idea’s vision, potential for impact, implementation plan, and potential to spread to other cities. Finalists will next attend Bloomberg Ideas Camp in Bogotá, Colombia – a two-day convening in July where leading innovation experts and peer cities will help finalists take their proposals from good to great. Prize winners will be announced by the end of 2016.

The finalists’ ideas (outlined below) illustrate fresh thinking to address common urban challenges experienced by cities across regions:

  1. Asunción, Paraguay – Data: Closing the city’s socio-economic data gap by conducting citizen-led research to gather demographic information that can inform and measure the impact of policymaking for the first time.
  2. Barueri, Brazil – Social Inclusion for People with Disabilities/Workforce Development: Increasing access to the workforce for people with disabilities by creating a physical and virtual network to improve job training, analyze workplace conditions, and provide technical assistance to employers and job candidates.
  3. Bogotá, Colombia – Education: Twice daily, the city will leverage all transportation channels, public facilities, volunteers and the city’s cultural history to enhance and shorten the severe school commute times for children.
  4. Cap-Haïtien , Haiti – Waste Solutions/ Environment: Reducing deforestation and mangrove destruction by creating community biodigesters, which are closed containers that break down organic waste and turn it into renewable energy.
  5. Caracas, Venezuela – Social Inclusion for People with Disabilities/Mobility: Enrolling volunteers to drive people with motor disabilities to and from public transport points and providing assistance during their commutes,  opening access to education, culture, healthcare, employment and productive citizenship for a vulnerable segment of the population.
  6. Corumbá, Brazil – Environment/ Economic Development: Combatting further environmental degradation caused by improper disposal of ore – a mining byproduct – by repurposing the waste into productive materials for construction.
  7. Curitiba, Brazil – Social Inclusion for People with Disabilities/Mobility: Drawing on its history of transit innovation, improving the mobility of disabled people by integrating more inclusive transport services and introducing better designed routes.
  8. Estación Central, Chile – Social Inclusion for Immigrants / Entrepreneurship: Promoting social inclusion by matching immigrants with new business ideas to technical assistance, office space, and local entrepreneurs looking to partner to launch a new startup.
  9. Godoy Cruz, Argentina – Waste Solutions: Preventing illegal waste disposal in canals – an essential feature of the city’s irrigation system – by placing sensors to monitor and identify the exact location where infractions occur.
  10. Guadalajara, México – Transparency / Government Efficiency: Tackling corruption by streamlining the legal requirements for construction projects through a new geo-referenced app that publicly maps business names, plans, licenses and payments, speeding processing times and increasing transparency.
  11. Kingston, Jamaica – Youth Unemployment / Workforce Development: Tackling entrenched youth unemployment through a mobile digital platform that encourages young people to explore, create, and access career opportunities in a variety of industries, especially Jamaica’s cultural and music industry, based on their strengths and interests.
  12. Medellín, Colombia – Public Safety / Financial Empowerment: Reducing demand for illegal loans that finance organized crime by creating neighborhood lending collectives that offer low-interest commercial loans and connections to employment.
  13. Milagro, Ecuador – Environmental Sustainability: Encouraging emergency preparedness for children through the creation of a network chaired and formed by students that promotes better preparation for adverse weather and natural disasters.
  14. Pudahuel, Chile – Education: Pairing older residents wishing to volunteer with the children of working families in need of after-school child care, limiting social isolation for seniors and providing a vital service for families.
  15. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Public Health: Improving children’s healthcare standards and outcomes by removing silos and integrating data across agencies to improve the health and wellbeing of children ages zero to six.
  16. Santiago (Commune), Chile – Public Health: Through citywide challenges, encourage neighborhood groups to work together to reduce childhood obesity; communities earn points they can use to fund local recreational and civic infrastructure.
  17. São Paulo, Brazil – Economic Development: Creating an online exchange that connects growing local demand for locally produced farm products from restaurants, markets, and schools to struggling local farmers on the outskirts of the city, addressing a market failure.
  18. Tlalnepantla de Baz, México – Social Cohesion: Publishing and promoting a municipal catalog of good deeds, an effort to address widespread civic apathy by engaging citizens in acts like helping the elderly and improving the local environment.
  19. Tuxtla Gutiérrez, México – Anti-Corruption: Fighting corruption and improving efficiency by streamlining service delivery for public facing transactions and allowing users to monitor the activity of civil servants through a new mobile app.
  20. Valdivia, Chile – Entrepreneurship: Directing promising academic research toward practical problems and helping the local economy by testing bright ideas from local universities in real-world markets with a new mobile lab.

“This year’s finalists are using innovation to address the concrete, clear, and urgent needs of citizens – with noteworthy emphasis on vulnerable populations,” said James Anderson, the head of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation Programs. “There is so much cities around the globe can learn from the way these finalists are engaging citizens and data to meet pressing needs,” said James Anderson, the head of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation program.

To learn more about the Mayors Challenge, visit www.mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars.  For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on FacebookInstagram, Snapchat, and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

Media Contact
Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rebecca Carriero, (212) 205-0182 | rebeccac@bloomberg.org

Click Here for More Information »

2016 Mayors Challenge Entries in Latin America and the Caribbean Reveal a Focus on Addressing Social Inclusion, Sustainability, and Economic Growth – with a Strong Emphasis on Engaging Citizens in These Efforts

290 Cities Submit Ideas to Solve Pressing Urban Challenges; with 5 Cities from Haiti Participation

Selection Process Now Underway to Determine the 20 Finalists who will go on to compete for $9 Million USD in Innovation Funds

NEW YORK, May 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced that 290 cities across Latin America and the Caribbean have submitted ideas to solve major challenges and improve city life for the 2016 Mayors Challenge. The ideas offer insight into the needs of communities and priorities of local leaders in the region.

Seven in ten ideas aim to address a social or economic challenge, while the remaining 30% focus on improving government effectiveness and efficiency.

  • 71% of cities generated ideas to address major social or economic challenges such as:
    • Social inclusion for vulnerable populations (23%)
    • Sustainability (20%)
    • Economic growth (13%)
    • Education (9%)
    • Public health (8%)
  • 29% of city ideas focus on improving the overall effectiveness and efficiency of government

The 290 Mayors Challenge applicants represent over 172 million citizens in 19 countries across the region. Participating cities span the entire region with 71% from South America, 20% from Mexico and 9% from Central America and the Caribbean.  Seventeen capital cities in the region submitted ideas to the competition – from Santiago to Brasilia to Mexico City to Kingston. With applications from 80 Brazilian cities and 59 Mexican cities, Brazil and Mexico had the largest number of cities that submitted applications.

5 cities from Haiti submitted applications and are now competing for $9 million dollars in innovation funds: Cap-Haïtien; Jean Rabel; Jérémie; Les Cayes; and Petite Rivière de l’Artibonite.

Applicants for the 2016 Mayors Challenge proposed innovative solutions to address a wide range of urban challenges. A series of themes emerged in the ideas, including:

  • Leveraging technology and citizen engagement to improve government performance
  • An emphasis on public education initiatives, citizen participation and digital solutions to prepare for and address natural disasters
  • An interest in entrepreneurship and digital learning to improve education
  • Promoting the inclusion of new or vulnerable populations through job creation, better use of public spaces and technology
  • Improving public health through wide-ranging citizen engagement strategies

“Cities in Latin America and the Caribbean are some of the most innovative in the world, and they are proving it with their entries in our latest Mayors Challenge. The hundreds of proposals present exciting new ways to tackle problems across the region, and they have the potential to have a big impact on the lives of millions of people.” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City.

Additionally, a survey taken of participating cities showed significant city hall interest in innovation, but a lack of resources needed to experiment.

  • More than half of participating cities report regularly borrowing ideas from cities in the region or even from around the globe when faced with a tough problem.
  • Three out of 5 cities said they usually or always crowdsource ideas from citizens when they are faced with a tough problem.
  • Just 1 out of 5 participating cities report usually having access to public or private funding to test new ideas.

“This is a region of the world with a rich history of public sector innovation. The ideas coming from the Mayors Challenge build on that legacy. We see a stronger focus in this year’s ideas on citizen engagement, which is both a trend in governments worldwide as well as an area in which Latin American cities have been clear leaders,” said James Anderson, the head of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation program.

The current applicants emerged from more than 900 Latin American and Caribbean cities who were invited by the Mayors Challenge in January 2016 to compete. Cities had until April 15, 2016 to generate and submit their innovative ideas to improve city government and city life. Modeled on successful competitions in the United States and Europe, the 2016 Mayors Challenge will award $5 million USD grand prize and four $1 million awards to four other cities that generate the most powerful and transferable ideas.

To learn more about the Mayors Challenge, visit www.mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram. Bloomberg Philanthropies has proudly partnered with the Centre for Public Impact (CPI) to implement this year’s challenge, provide related supports to city participants, and oversee coordination with other program partners. CPI is a not-for-profit, funded by The Boston Consulting Group, and dedicated to improving the positive impact of governments.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars.  For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

Media Contact
Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rebecca Carriero, (212) 205-0182, rebeccac@bloomberg.org

Click Here for More Information »

2016 Mayors Challenge Entries in Latin America and the Caribbean Reveal a Focus on Addressing Social Inclusion, Sustainability, and Economic Growth — with a Strong Emphasis on Engaging Citizens in These Efforts

290 Cities Submit Ideas to Solve Pressing Urban Challenges

Selection Process Now Underway to Determine the 20 Finalists who will go on to compete for $9 Million USD in Innovation Funds

NEW YORK, May 4, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced that 290 cities across Latin America and the Caribbean have submitted ideas to solve major challenges and improve city life for the 2016 Mayors Challenge. The ideas offer insight into the needs of communities and priorities of local leaders in the region.

Seven in ten ideas aim to address a social or economic challenge, while the remaining 30% focus on improving government effectiveness and efficiency.

  • 71% of cities generated ideas to address major social or economic challenges such as:
    • Social inclusion for vulnerable populations (23%)
    • Sustainability (20%)
    • Economic growth (13%)
    • Education (9%)
    • Public health (8%)
  • 29% of city ideas focus on improving the overall effectiveness and efficiency of government

Applicants for the 2016 Mayors Challenge proposed innovative solutions to address a wide range of urban challenges. A series of themes emerged in the ideas, including:

  • Leveraging technology and citizen engagement to improve government performance
  • An emphasis on public awareness initiatives, citizen participation and digital solutions to prepare for and address natural disasters
  • An interest in entrepreneurship and digital learning to improve education
  • Promoting the inclusion of vulnerable populations through job creation, better use of public spaces and technology
  • Improving public health through wide-ranging citizen engagement strategies

“Cities in Latin America and the Caribbean are some of the most innovative in the world, and they are proving it with their entries in our latest Mayors Challenge. The hundreds of proposals present exciting new ways to tackle problems across the region, and they have the potential to have a big impact on the lives of millions of people,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City.

Additionally, a survey taken of participating cities showed significant city hall interest in innovation, but a lack of resources needed to experiment.

  • More than half of participating cities report regularly borrowing ideas from cities in the region or even from around the globe when faced with a tough problem.
  • Three out of 5 cities said they usually or always crowdsource ideas from citizens when they are faced with a tough problem.
  • Just 1 out of 5 participating cities report usually having access to public or private funding to test new ideas.

The 290 Mayors Challenge applicants represent over 172 million citizens in 19 countries across the region. Participating cities span the entire region with 71% from South America, 20% from Mexico and 9% from Central America and the Caribbean.  Seventeen capital cities in the region submitted ideas to the competition – from Santiago to Brasilia to Mexico City to Kingston. With applications from 80 Brazilian cities and 59 Mexican cities, Brazil and Mexico had the largest number of cities that submitted applications.

“This is a region of the world with a rich history of public sector innovation. The ideas coming from the Mayors Challenge build on that legacy. We see a stronger focus in this year’s ideas on citizen engagement, which is both a trend in governments worldwide as well as an area in which Latin American cities have been clear leaders,” said James Anderson, the head of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation program.

The current applicants emerged from more than 900 Latin American and Caribbean cities who were invited by the Mayors Challenge in January 2016 to compete. Cities had until April 15, 2016 to generate and submit their innovative ideas to improve city government and city life. Modeled on successful competitions in the United States and Europe, the 2016 Mayors Challenge will award $5 million USD grand prize and four $1 million awards to four other cities that generate the most powerful and transferable ideas.

To learn more about the Mayors Challenge, visit www.mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram. Bloomberg Philanthropies has proudly partnered with the Centre for Public Impact (CPI) to implement this year’s challenge, provide related supports to city participants, and oversee coordination with other program partners. CPI is a not-for-profit, funded by The Boston Consulting Group, and dedicated to improving the positive impact of governments.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars.  For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

Media Contact
Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rebecca Carriero, (212) 205-0182, rebeccac@bloomberg.org

Click Here for More Information »

Bloomberg Philanthropies Launches 2016 Mayors Challenge in Latin America and the Caribbean

Global Competition Calls on City Leaders to Generate Bold Solutions to Address Urban Challenges and Improve City Life

Approximately 900 Cities Eligible to Compete for $9 Million USD in Innovation Funds

NEW YORK, Jan. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Michael R. Bloomberg today launched Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2016 Mayors Challenge, a competition to inspire Latin American and Caribbean cities to develop bold new ideas that solve major problems and improve city life – and that ultimately can be shared with other cities. The competition includes a $5 million USD grand prize and four $1 million awards to four other cities that generate powerful ideas. The competition is one of the foundation’s flagship programs, reaching hundreds of cities in the U.S. and Europe.

“Cities around the world are pursuing bold policy innovations, and those in Latin America and the Caribbean are helping to lead the way. Expanding the Mayors Challenge to Latin America and the Caribbean provides new opportunities for progress on a wide range of issues that impact the lives of citizens. We’re looking forward to seeing what exciting new ideas emerge from creative city leaders throughout the region,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City.

Cities with 100,000 or more residents in Latin America and the Caribbean are invited to compete in this year’s competition. More than 900 cities are eligible within the following countries – Argentina; Bolivia; Brazil; Chile; Colombia; Costa Rica; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; El Salvador; Guatemala; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Uruguay; Suriname; and Venezuela.

All cities competing in the 2016 Mayors Challenge must submit ideas that do one or more of the following:

  • Address a major social or economic issue in the local area
  • Improve customer service for citizens or businesses
  • Create government efficiencies
  • Improve citizen engagement in local government

Winners will be selected based on their idea’s vision, potential for impact, implementation plan, and potential to spread to other cities. By design, the Mayors Challenge prompts participating cities to leverage resources, talent, and creativity from residents and from other sectors.

Key moments in the 2016 Mayors Challenge for those interested in participating include:

  • By March 15, 2016, all cities must sign up for the competition at www.mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org
  • By April 15, 2016, all cities must submit their ideas
  • In late spring 2016, approximately 20 finalists will be announced
  • In July 2016, teams from the finalist cities will attend Ideas Camp, a two-day gathering where finalist cities work with experts to stretch and strengthen their ideas
  • In fall 2016, the five winning cities will be announced

Bloomberg Philanthropies will be supported by a selection committee of innovation and urban policy experts, largely from Latin America and the Caribbean, to help select the winning cities. The selection committee will be announced in the coming months.

All Mayors Challenge winners receive robust assistance from Bloomberg Philanthropies and its partners to support implementation and document lessons learned. Bloomberg Philanthropies has proudly partnered with the Centre for Public Impact (CPI) to implement this year’s challenge, provide related supports to city participants, and oversee coordination with other program partners. CPI is a not-for-profit, funded by The Boston Consulting Group, and dedicated to improving the positive impact of governments.

Facts on Prior Mayors Challenge Competitions

The Mayors Challenge is designed to surface bold new solutions, enable cities to test the best of these ideas, and help those ideas that work spread. To date, 465 U.S. and European cities have participated in the competitions. Highlights include:

  • Providence Talks, the grand prize winner from the U.S. Mayors Challenge, aims to address the fact that low-income children hear millions fewer words than their peers from wealthier families by the time they reach kindergarten, negatively impacting future educational attainment. That program’s pilot showed promising results in increasing the number of words heard by program participants. Providence Mayor Elorza is aggressively ramping up the program to reach thousands of children.
  • Santa Monica, a winner from the U.S. Mayors Challenge, successfully became the first city in the United States to conduct a wellbeing survey in early 2015. City officials are now using these data to align resources, programs, and policies to improve the health and wellbeing of residents. The survey will be conducted once every two years moving forward.
  • Athens, Greece, a winner from the European Mayors Challenge, has established a robust program to unleash the power of civil society to solve community problems, and to reform outdated regulations that make it difficult for citizens to contribute. Over a thousand community activities have been promoted through the program.
  • Barcelona, the grand prize winner from the European Mayors Challenge, aims to coordinate the activities of family members, neighbors, volunteers, and professional care givers around individual at-risk seniors to reduce isolation. The city has prototyped the technological platform and collected significant end-user feedback. An expanded pilot will take place in 2016 as they move toward their ultimate goal of reaching 20,000 seniors.
  • Seven finalists from the European competition that did not receive funding are nonetheless pursuing their ideas: Amsterdam, Brno, Bologna, Bristol, Lisbon, York, and Stara Zagora.  Three of the finalists from the U.S. competition that did not receive funding implemented their ideas: Milwaukee, WI; Cincinnati, OH; and Highpoint, NC, while five other finalists continue to pursue the concepts.
  • Winners from the U.S. and European competitions have received over 300 requests for information related to replication from other cities, universities, and civil society organizations.

Bloomberg Philanthropies has a strong history of work in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. In 2015, the foundation launched its Data for Health program in Latin America which will enable countries to vastly improve their public health data collection and use. Cities in Brazil and Colombia are participating in a new phase of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Global Road Safety Initiative, and the foundation is also assisting the region through its Vibrant Oceans Initiative, the largest philanthropic commitment to internationally reform fisheries management.

To learn more about the Mayors Challenge, visit www.mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in over 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat: Bloombergdotorg and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

Media Contact

Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rebecca Carriero, (212) 205-0182, rebeccac@bloomberg.org

Click Here for More Information »