What do you mean when you say an idea has to be “new”?
Successful ideas might, among other things, re-imagine or drastically improve how cities delivers services, create efficiencies, or improve citizen engagement. Innovation is no longer optional.
What characteristics have past winning cities shared?
- Openness and collaboration: Seeking ideas, solutions, and resources from both inside and outside city hall.
- Partnership and engagement: Identifying and leveraging skillsets and funding throughout the community to sustain innovative solutions over time.
- Smart use of technology: Understanding that technology is not, in itself, a solution but is often how to arrive at a solution.
- Testing, learning, and adapting: Starting small, testing, learning, and making incremental impact to learn fast and early and to build both goodwill and strong partnerships.
- Measurement: Articulating the intended impact, measuring it, and then holding people accountable.
Can we submit an idea that is already in the implementation phase?
No. Ideas that are currently being implemented and that have already been launched are not eligible for the competition.
What if the idea is new in my city but has been tried or implemented in another city or country?
While your idea may stand on the shoulders of an idea that came before, cities will have to develop a significantly new element or approach in order to win. To be competitive, the applicant must turn its idea into something that no city has done before.
Should I collaborate with external partners as part of my plan?
One of the best ways to generate new ideas and increase impact is to leverage resources, talent, and creativity from other sectors and from residents.
What makes a great idea?
We’re looking for bold solutions to urgent and emerging problems that are relevant today. Specifically, we want to make sure that you are presenting a creative vision that has the potential for meaningful impact. Your plan should demonstrate your city’s ability to implement your vision and the potential to transfer your idea to other cities.
Click here to read more about the selection criteria.