Rio Summit on Service Innovation in Cities

The Living Labs Global Awards has been a months-long process that all comes down to a series of announcements and awards ceremonies next week in Rio de Janeiro. Innovators from across the globe will join representatives from 21 participating cities to share ideas on how to turn urban challenges into opportunity. Spanning 5 continents, over the next year these cities will each host an LLGA pilot project selected by a panel of city leaders and experts. As of now, over 90 nominated showcases are in competition for the awards, many of which have been featured here over the past several weeks. Each stands a chance to leave the Rio Summit with big plans to move forward with their proposed projects.

The summit begins next Wednesday, May 2, at the Associação Comercial do Rio de Janeiro. Awards for the participant cities will be announced throughout the day at the conclusion of each City Dialogue. The City Dialogues are mediated conversations held between city officials, business leaders, local experts, and peers of multiple cities to invite an exchange of ideas and discussion of trends taking place in a variety of contexts.

The second day of the conference, Thursday, May 3, involves an all-day Matchmaking Summit that is designed to connect city leaders with dozens of urban solution innovators. Activities throughout the day will revolve around networking, showcases, and interactive sessions to acquaint attendees with a wealth of new ideas, technologies, and business models being shared. The day will also include visioning workshops for all 21 cities, in which participants will collaborate on developing new urban concepts and strategies for cities to pursue in the future.

The final day of the event on Friday, May 4th, will involve turning from inward discussion of urban trends to outward interaction with the summit's host city. Tours and visits will take summit attendees to view recently completed and upcoming urban projects throughout Rio de Janeiro. This will be a chance for visitors to see on-the-ground solutions in action and also to identify future opportunities for Rio to continue to develop as a player in the global innovation market.

May 2nd promises to be an exciting day for all of those involved in the LLGA process. Keep an eye out next week on the LLGA website and here at our blog, where we'll be announcing the winners of the 2012 awards.

~ Allison Bullock