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Mayors Challenge

Uncovering innovative solutions to today’s most pressing challenges.

CPI and the Mayors Challenge

CPI partnered with Bloomberg Philanthropies in 2018 and 2021 to design and deliver the Mayors Challenge, a city-based competition to uncover the most innovative ideas to today’s most pressing challenges. In 2021, the Challenge scaled to be a global competition.

About the Mayors Challenge

The Mayors Challenge is an ideas competition for cities to create big and bold solutions to their toughest problems. Winning cities receive $1 million and expert coaching to put their breakthrough idea into action and, ultimately, to spread their ideas to other cities around the world.

The Mayors Challenge helps city leaders build their innovation muscles and try new ways of problem-solving that put residents in the center of solutions. Key skills leaders learn include:

  • Defining a problem by starting with questions rather than answers, encouraging leaders to question assumptions, use data, and unpack complexity.

  • Co-creating ideas with residents to ensure those most impacted by a problem play a central role in designing and testing its resolution.

  • Testing, learning, and adapting (prototyping) small pieces of solutions with residents to quickly gain insights and refine the idea.

  • Pivoting with purpose when prototyping shows city leaders that they are on the wrong track with an solution approach.

Learn more