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Boot Camp—for Mayors
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We’ve all heard of the traditional business plan competitions. Typically, budding entrepreneurs pitch ideas to a panel of judges. Those with the most promising ideas then partake in a business-oriented boot camp: refining their business model, learning how to access capital, and which types of marketing will work best to promote their company. After boot camp, the best idea(s) wins a prize.
What if we sent Mayors to a similar boot camp?
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, through his Bloomberg Philanthropies, is doing just that.
Last week Bloomberg Philanthropies launched the “Mayors Challenge.” Mayors from cities across the nation will submit ideas that can make government work better, solve a serious problem or improve city life.
All “large” cities—those with 30,000 or more—are eligible to participate. In total, 1,300 cities qualify, with the exception of Mayor Bloomberg’s very own New York City, which he cites as an obvious conflict of interest. The winning city will receive a $5 million prize, with the four runners up each receiving $1 million.
The goal of the competition is to find local solutions that can be applied at the national level. Mayor Bloomberg explained to CBS This Morning: “If you look, the federal and state government seems to be paralyzed, and they work at the policy level. So we are trying to find out what’s the best ideas each mayor could maybe have, a different idea that may be transferable to another city.”
After all, while each city has its own identity, many cities struggle from the same issues. From education, to pensions, to obesity, solutions exist that can be shared.
How it Works:
Cities must RSVP by July 16, 2012. From there, they receive a link that gives their team participant-only access to an online application. Each city may only submit one application and it is due by September 14, 2012. From there, 20 finalists will be chosen to attend “Ideas Camp”—the proverbial boot camp for mayors. After Ideas Camp, the five winners will be selected. The funds awarded to the winners are intended to help the winners carry out their bold ideas in their cities.
Winners are chosen based upon the idea’s vision, potential impact, ability to be implemented and its replicability potential.
Some Great Examples have already been posted on the Mayors Challenge website.
If you could be mayor for a day, what idea would you try to get implemented? What areas do you think the Mayors are in most need of addressing through this competition? What bold ideas are already being employed and improving your community?
BY Amanda Maher on June 18th, 2012
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