Glasgow is one of 50 Champion Cities selected today (15 June) as finalists in the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge, a global innovation competition that identifies and accelerates the most ambitious ideas developed by cities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These 50 urban innovations rose to the top of a competitive pool of more than 630 applications from 99 countries, in the first-ever Global Mayors Challenge.
As a Mayors Challenge finalist, Glasgow now advances to the four-month Champion Phase of the competition. From June through October, the 50 finalist cities will refine their ideas with technical assistance from Bloomberg Philanthropies and its network of leading innovation experts. 15 of the 50 cities will ultimately win the grand prize, with each receiving $1 million and robust multi-year technical assistance to implement and scale their ideas. Grand Prize Winners will be announced in early 2022.
Glasgow proposes to tackle the societal challenges that most effect our citizens by unleashing a neighbourhood-level participatory approach to community wellbeing - a design academy in every neighbourhood, locally designed nature based social enterprise accelerator support and access to creative problem solvers, to share new design skills to improve their lives and environment.
Poverty and climate change are worldwide challenges. In Glasgow, COVID 19 has amplified these challenges for our citizens. These challenges are multifaceted and quite often our citizens can be disconnected from the design of the solutions that could transform their lives. This and lack of power are a major cause of health inequalities.
By building a citywide design-led ecosystem, using data to innovate and co-design for the common good, we aim to create a system in which power is transferred to citizens. Our vision includes a design academy in every neighbourhood, locally designed social enterprise accelerator support and giving access to creative problem solvers to all neighbourhoods. By upskilling local people in creative problem solving we can change the culture, thought processes to build a greener and more inclusive city where citizens collaborate and empower all levels of the city to work together for the common social good to eradicate poverty and address the climate emergency.
We will become a socially innovative city of tomorrow where design and innovation skills are the cornerstone of our local and global communities. We need to put citizens at the heart of everything that we do and creatively co-design new and innovative ways of solving problems.
The 50 Champion Cities submitted ideas addressing four of the most significant challenges borne of the pandemic: Economic Recovery & Inclusive Growth; Health & Wellbeing; Climate & Environment; and Good Governance & Equality. A prestigious selection committee co-chaired by Bloomberg Philanthropies board member Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO & President, Ariel Investments, and David Miliband, President & CEO, International Rescue Committee, assessed the applications to determine the Champion City finalists.
This is always an especially exciting phase of the Mayors Challenge, helping mayors push their innovations to even greater heights,” said James Anderson, head of Government Innovation at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “While 15 cities will ultimately take home grand prizes, all 50 cities receive world class coaching and support to improve their ideas and their potential to improve lives.”
The 2021 Global Mayors Challenge builds on the success of four previous Bloomberg-sponsored Challenges in the U.S. (2013 and 2018), Europe (2014), and Latin America and the Caribbean (2016). For more information, visit mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram.