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Bloomberg Wants To Help Cities Like Milwaukee Innovate With The Mayors Challenge

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Last night I took part in Historic Milwaukee's "Envisioining the Seen," which was a conversation on Milwaukee's future.  It was very lively conversation between a very diverse group of Milwaukeeans.  One of the issues that came up was the lack of capital and resources to achieve some of the things that could help Milwaukee.   Ironically, later that night I came across a new initiative that Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, has created called The Mayors Challenge.

The Mayors Challenge is 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 cities across the nation. Bloomberg talks a big game, but he also walks the talk when it comes to this challenge. He has put up his own money via his foundation. $9 million are up for grabs to improve cities through innovative ideas. The grand prize winning city will receive $5 million to make their idea a reality. Four other cities will recieve $1 million.  The challenge is limited to cities with at least a population of 30,000 people.  Judges will pick 20 finalists and invite them to an Idea Camp in New York City to refine their idea. From there, the grand prize winner and four finalist will be selected.  The ideas will be judge on the boldness, strength of planning, potential for impact, and replicability of your idea. Before anyone can submit an idea, an application must be completed and submitted by city hall of the competing cities. 

To get started, the city must submit an RSVP to The Mayors Challenge by July 16, 2012. The application process won't begin till after the RSVPs are recevied in July. Applications must be submitted by September 14, 2012. Click here to see the complete timeline.

This could be great opportunity for some amazing public and private collaboration.  Milwaukee Mayor could even hold a local competition to picked the best idea to be submitted to the challenge.  Based off last night's discussion during "Envisioning The Seen," there are some potentially great ideas that can be submitted to the competition.   There are some examples over at the website to get the brain juice's going.

Do you have any ideas that would make Milwaukee better? If so, write them in the comments below.