Our commitment to no longer treat, but end poverty in cities.

Posted on February 20, 2013

Today we would like to share with you our joint vision, developed with Dublin City Council, the UNDP, the World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty (WACAP) and supporting organizations such as Ashoka to act on poverty in our communities.

We believe that Cities can not only fight, but can END POVERTY

Because...
developing economies have lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty in very short time
we now accept that development has to be empowerment
cities understand that they are not just part of a common economy, but constitute a common marketplace
cities collaborate to take global action to tackle complex issues – across borders, across sectors
businesses no longer just sell to cities, but have created the business models and partnerships to create value and progress in new ways.

And because
technologies have revolutionized our possibilities, are scalable and in the hands of almost all today

In short, we believe that this is a historic opportunity to think and act boldly.

Let us look at a couple of examples.

Did you know, that blind, visually impaired and elderly citizens in Stockholm feel 90% less disabled since piloting e-adept, a smart little navigation device to go anywhere they want, any time?

- they no longer see themselves as recipients of help, a liability to society, but are empowered to shape their lives.

Did you know, that Lavasa (a new city in India) is about to pilot Skybus, a smart on-demand public transport system from Spain to make mobility safe and accessible to all and change pre-conceptions about social status and transport in India?

What made this possible?

Both cities shared their unsolved problems openly before deciding what to do.

Openly, they listened to the markets & innovators without prejudice.

They found 10x more approaches, ready to solve their problems, than expected.

It turned out, that entrepreneurs shared their vision and were ready to act and share the risks, reducing costs by 80%, getting results 3x faster.

In the past 3 years alone, more than 45 cities from Barcelona to Lagos to Christchurch to San Francisco have opened their problems in this way, discovering 10,000 new approaches to transform lives.

We can say it possible.

Together with Dublin City Council and the WACAP Partners, we invite you tonight, to join in a commitment to action that will mobilize the global marketplace & innovators to implement high impact solutions to end poverty.

CITIES PILOT TO END POVERTY is a two year programme for the 30 most committed WACAP Cities to join Us to deliver leadership and turn learning and opportunity into action.

In year one, Cities will jointly discover and evaluate thousands of solutions to solve their most urgent challenges.

This time next year, we will meet here in Dublin, to commit the 150 best solutions to action in our communities.

Two years from now, at the next WACAP Forum, cities will share the results of the real-life pilots to help us all scale up and transform our communities.

At our CITIES PILOT TO END POVERTY booth, and in the plenary on Thursday morning, we will share more details with you about how you can join this commitment to action.

Until then, I will leave you with just one idea:

Poverty in our cities is not there to be treated, but to be ended.