Philadelphia is awarded $1 million prize to support an innovative initiative to help social entrepreneurs solve urban challenges
PRESS RELEASE: Mayor Michael A. Nutter today announced that the City of Philadelphia is one of the five winners in the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge, a competition to inspire American cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life – and that ultimately can be shared with other cities to improve the well-being of the nation. Philadelphia was selected as a Mayors Challenge winner out of a pool of over 300 applicant cities, based on four criteria: vision, ability to implement, potential for impact, and potential for replication. Philadelphia will be awarded a $1 million innovation prize to implement its idea to create the Philadelphia Social Enterprise Partnership, a new effort to engage social entrepreneurs in working with city government and other partners to tackle urban challenges. Philadelphia will also receive a sculpture created by world-renowned designer Olafur Eliasson to commemorate each of the Mayors Challenge winners.
“Philadelphia’s selection as a Mayors Challenge winner is a huge honor for our city and a testament to the creative, innovative work that is going on across city government,” said Mayor Nutter. “Through the Philadelphia Social Enterprise Partnership, our goal is to explore innovative new approaches to issues affecting cities across the country and ultimately to improve the quality of life for our residents. I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg and the Mayors Challenge for supporting innovative thinking in cities across America. The City of Philadelphia is also grateful for the efforts of GoodCompany Ventures and the Wharton Social Impact Initiative; both partners were integral to the successful collaboration that advanced our application through the Mayors Challenge process.”
“Procurement processes can stifle innovation and prevent local leaders from solving pressing city problems,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, philanthropist and Mayor of New York City. “Mayor Nutter’s winning idea will help city government leverage innovation and creative talent to tackle an array of major challenges. Bloomberg Philanthropies is eager to see this idea take hold in Philadelphia and across the country.”
The Philadelphia Social Enterprise Partnership will create a process through which entrepreneurs and city government can work together on researching, developing, and applying innovative solutions to urban challenges. By building on existing innovations taking place in Philadelphia and cities around the country – such as opening up city data for use by citizens and entrepreneurs – Philadelphia will demonstrate that creating partnerships between innovators within and outside of government provides the opportunity to develop more effective solutions to some of our most intractable challenges. Philadelphia will identify two to three issues per year for which it will seek proposals from entrepreneurs, bringing them to the city to develop and pilot their ideas through a proven social enterprise accelerator program.
The Mayors Challenge is a competition to inspire American cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life. Mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more were eligible to compete, with 305 cities representing 45 states submitting applications last September. Providence was awarded the $5 million grand prize, while Chicago, Houston, and Santa Monica were also awarded $1 million prizes. To learn more about the Mayors Challenge, visit bloomberg.org/mayorschallenge.
The Mayors Challenge is the latest initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Project, which aims to spread proven and promising ideas among cities. Other Mayors Project investments include Cities of Service, Innovation Delivery Teams, and Financial Empowerment Centers.
About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies is on a mission to improve and lengthen lives. We focus on five key areas to create lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation, which includes the Mayors Challenge, and Arts & Culture. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2012, $360 million was distributed. For more information, please visit www.bloomberg.org. For more information on Bloomberg Philanthropies, media should contact Meghan Womack, firstname.lastname@example.org.