innovation

#citiesshare Session 4: Delivering innovation in cities

Cities aim to foster innovation, and yet, organising internal processes to actually deliver does not seem straightforward. During a peer learning session, James Anderson, Head of Government Innovation Programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Philip Colligan, Deputy Chief Executive of Nesta, challenged global cities' representatives on what assets could be mobilised to make innovation a tangible reality. 

As an introduction to the session, Philip Colligan presented recent research that has identified four types oiTeams (innovation teams, units or funds) that make innovation happen in local and national governments around the world:

  1. Developers – creating new solutions to specific problems/policy priorities (from idea generation to delivery).
  2. Enablers – engaging citizens, NGOs and businesses to find new ideas (e.g. using challenges to make government an innovation platform to generate and run ideas, engaging SMEs, reaching to business /non-profits via challenges, etc.).
  3. Educators – looking at and changing culture of governance from a broader and deeper perspective, transforming processes, skills and culture of government  (up-skilling civil servants, training, consultancy).
  4. Architects – situated outside government but paid by government, thinking on macro-level, wider policy and system change.

City officials were asked which of those approaches resonated the most with cities, and whether there was a fifth type of team for innovators that could help them adopt or design in-house capacity.

What did city officials take away from this session?

  • Enthusiasm for innovation has moved beyond our capacity to measure it. Too many people are busy re-inventing things; yet we must get better at accounting for investment into innovation. E.g., hold competitions not based on app quality but on impact.
  •  Innovation teams that survive administrative shifts are the ones who measure and demonstrate impact data, while those that survived and didn’t measure, were good at describing their minimum value proposition. 
  • Get the Mayor or CEO of the city to champion the team. The Chief Executive’s role seems central to create an enabling environment, provide political support and foster a positive innovation climate. 
  • Leadership drives behaviour and is key in all levels to make innovation possible –it can be an enabler or a barrier.
  • Innovation teams do not need to be a permanent fixture. They can –and sometimes should– have a short-term mission.
  • The role of cities is to provide assets for innovation, and the number one asset is open data. However, data should be collected and stored in useful ways, such as for economic development.
  • Cities need to bridge the gap between public and private sector to benefit from the skills and expertise of industry. This can be accomplished by building partnerships between cities and other institutions to access knowledge. E.g. enablers are open to ideas outside government, such as teaming up with universities, like in Newcastle and Krakow.
  • City leaders are interested in better ways of connecting with peers in other cities, finding out what they are doing and how they are adapting and managing change. E.g. moving from pilot to scale.
  • Examples presented by city officials included: the Mayor of London Low Carbon prize; Dublin’s adoption of “Code for America”; the introduction of GIS in San Luis Potosi (Mexico) fighting management resistance; the design lab to educate civil servants in Sweden; Moscow’s Center for Innovation Development to close the gap between government and entrepreneurs; open innovation and engagement in York. 

What else should local governments do to deliver innovation? Share your insights below. 

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From 23-25 June 2014, Mayor of London Boris Johnson hosted Cities Summit | Solutions Worth Sharing together with Citymart and supported by Citi. The Summit brought together city governments, businesses and entrepreneurs with bright ideas to help improve citizens' quality of  life. The Summit kicked off with a Peer Learning Session for cities, creating a dynamic dialogue among city officials around four key themes on how to make innovation a tangible reality. Participating cities included London, Barcelona, Dublin, Fukuoka, Heerlen, Kristiansand, Krakow, Lobito, Louisville, Madrid, Malmö, Moscow, Newcastle, Philadelphia, San Luis Potosí, Sant Cugat, Seville, Sheffield, Tampere, Tartu, Valencia, and York. 

Check out the entire #citiesshare series in our blog for the contents of the other sessions. 

#citiesshare Session 1: Financing innovation

During a peer learning session for city officials, Daria Kuznetsova from Big Society Capital and Paula Hirst from Future Cities Catapult, facilitated a dialogue on how to finance ideas that transform tomorrow's cities. The key question was how city authorities could enable an ecosystem that provided finance and support to city innovation.

The key takeaway was that cities needed to create investment-conducive ecosystems for innovation. This can be done by designing service delivery around users and engaging them in the process; providing support to SMEs; running challenge-based opportunities; and establishing incubators.

Another learning outcome was that cities should become an entrepreneurial enabler that encourages confidence, providing clarity and opportunities. Local authorities acting as entrepreneurs could work with big and small investors; meet directly with all investors and decision makers; co-invest; create guidelines or frameworks; enable external funding through multiple channels and mechanisms; and provide finance to the most innovative ideas.

City officials shared the following  ideas on how to finance innovation in cities:

  • Pay by result: outcome-based finance mechanisms can support and deliver service innovation. While providers benefit from greater freedom due to public-private shared risk, it might be difficult to negotiate or might face certain regulatory restrictions.
  • Open challenges followed by implementation through an innovative process: discovery + prototype + deliver, as well as prize fund challenges providing incentives such as access to capital finance.
  • Open city data to unveil assets, encourage ideation, and find out how to quantify future revenue.
  • Participatory design providing shares for citizens.
  • EU investment and sustainable benefits (e.g. low-carbon programmes, improving waste management).
  • Fast-track innovation through procurement.
  • Refinance existing service contracts to lower costs in order to obtain funds to invest in city services.
  • Venture funds for city service delivery.
  • Citizen-led social funding and foundations for innovation.
  • Increase diversity of providers and get major suppliers to use SMEs via supply chain.
  • Finance cultural activities for the community.
  • Social start-up to work for the government.
  • Mass market funding, which might involve more risk and have no return, but creates research value.
  • Private investment with a long-term return, sponsorship and angel investors.
  • Sell shares and invest revenue.
  • Rethink taxation systems.

What other ideas could help enable ecosystems that support city innovation? Share your insights below.

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From 23-25 June 2014, Mayor of London Boris Johnson hosted Cities Summit | Solutions Worth Sharing together with Citymart and supported by Citi. The Summit brought together city governments, businesses and entrepreneurs with bright ideas to help improve citizens' quality of  life. The Summit kicked off with a Peer Learning Session for cities, creating a dynamic dialogue among city officials around four key themes on how to make innovation a tangible reality. Participating cities included London, Barcelona, Dublin, Fukuoka, Heerlen, Kristiansand, Krakow, Lobito, Louisville, Madrid, Malmö, Moscow, Newcastle, Philadelphia, San Luis Potosí, Sant Cugat, Seville, Sheffield, Tampere, Tartu, Valencia, and York. 

Next post will cover how to share and scale good solutions among cities.

Barcelona makes procurement sexy

Barcelona has broken new ground with the BCN|Open Challenge in a number of ways. Barcelona is one of the first cities to procure by challenge, meaning that the RFP for six solutions to be procured is not stating the desired solution, but the problem to be solved.

Mañana de sábado de trabajo intenso BCN | Open Challenge @barcelona_cat

— AnnA (@Fenix_Anna) May 24, 2014

But BCN|Open Challenge also seems to have hit the spot by breaking down the many barriers experienced in procurement, and creating excitement among entrepreneurs and citizens alike. In fact, the RFP page has received over 30,000 visits in the first 2 weeks of the announcement.

This is not a coincidence, but the result of a remarkable effort by city leaders, administrators and managers to design an open process. Further, the city has shown its creativity in a media campaign that reached citizens on all social and media channels - including the screens on buses and metros.

So it is not surprising to find a Tweet (see above) that celebrates public procurement as a lifestyle experience. How many of your friends or colleagues would post a picture reading an RFP at breakfast?

Citymart teams with Barcelona City Council to break the public procurement mould

Citymart and Barcelona City Council have partnered to launch a trailblazing public procurement initiative. BCN|Open Challenge turns urban challenges into opportunities by opening them up to local and international innovators, with the aim of promoting economic growth while transforming public services to improve the lives of Barcelona’s citizens.

For the first time, companies – especially SMEs & start-ups – are directly linked into the public procurement process. Barcelona City Council has further committed to acquire and support the winning solutions with a comprehensive development package to ensure their fruitful implementation.

Barcelona City Council in partnership with Citymart launches BCN|Open Challenge, an international call for innovative businesses and entrepreneurs to propose pioneering solutions to six challenges carefully designed to address key issues that affect the citizens of Barcelona in their daily lives.

Companies have until 16 June 2014 to present solutions to the six challenges. Finalists will be announced in late July, while the winning proposals for each challenge will be contracted by the end of the year.

Rather than prescriptively defining the solutions they are looking for, Barcelona publishes six urban and social challenges they are facing and asks for new solutions. Companies with new technologies and innovative approaches stand to gain from this simultaneously inclusive and disruptive model.

Backed by a 1M EUR innovation fund, BCN|Open Challenge will welcome the winning companies with a comprehensive business development package including dedicated landing space as well as financial and human resource training.

Using public procurement as a vehicle to stimulate development and attract new talent, BCN|Open Challenge offers a model that will catalyze innovation and accelerate business growth and job creation in the city. In line with the Barcelona Growth initiative, which designs the economic strategy of the city, this programme enables Barcelona City Council to strengthen its position as a leading global city for innovation and entrepreneurship.

The six challenges are:

1. Reducing bicycle thefts in the city 2. Empowering support systems to reduce social isolation 3. Monitoring pedestrian flows in the city 4. Tools for digitisation of museum and archive collections 5. Automatic detection and alerts of damaged road surfaces 6. Empowering local retail through technology

BCN|Open Challenge

“Citymart is proud to partner with Barcelona to pave the way towards a more open, entrepreneurial and innovative city government” remarks Citymart CEO Sascha Haselmayer. “This is a unique and bold step to improve the lives of citizens, and an unprecedented commitment to support the global innovation community.”

The Deputy Mayor for Economy, Business and Employment, Sonia Recasens, highlighted this pioneering initiative as one that will “accelerate efficiency and transparency in public procurement so that it becomes a powerful tool to strengthen the Barcelona brand, attract investment to the city and establish synergies with local companies.”

BCN|Open Challenge sets a new standard for accountability and transparency within Barcelona’s regulatory and procurement decisions. Through this programme, Haselmayer says, “Barcelona is positioning itself as a leading global city for innovation and entrepreneurship by opening up and inviting entrepreneurs to transform the city.”

For Recasens, the benefits for the city of Barcelona are similarly apparent: “The proposals arising from this international call will enable us to build a more innovative, competitive and global Barcelona at the hand of local and international companies. It will also encourage foreign investment projects that will undoubtedly strengthen the role of the city as an economic and knowledge hub.”

Together, Citymart and the Barcelona City Council are proving that even in times of austerity and budget cuts, it is indeed possible to shift the public procurement landscape to enable business-led innovation to transform the lives of citizens in a more direct and transparent way.

To learn more about BCN|Open Challenge, visit bcnopenchallenge.org.

About Citymart Citymart supports cities in transforming their communities by strengthening their innovation capacity and sharing inspiring solutions & methods to address urban and social challenges. The company provides tools and methods adopted by 52 cities to-date – such as London, Paris, Barcelona, Boston, Fukuoka, Cape Town and Mexico City – to leverage entrepreneurship and markets early-on in the public procurement and regulation processes. As a result, cities invest less public resources to greater societal effect, and create more sustainable, resilient and responsive communities.

Over the last 5 years SMEs from around the world have won 98% of the Calls published on Citymart.com. By opening procurement and finding new approaches, cities stand to save between 5-10% of operating budgets, according to a study by McKinsey Global Research. More competition reduces costs, creates local jobs and increases entrepreneurship. The role of Citymart is to bring such city-innovator partnerships into being.

For more information, visit citymart.com, follow us @CitymartTeam or on facebook.com/Citymartcom

About Barcelona Growth Barcelona Growth is an initiative led by the City Council of Barcelona that brings together public and private representatives from various fields to guarantee the conditions for economic growth. It was born after the City Council called the main economic agents of the city together and invited them to work jointly on researching specific measures to restart the local economy. Barcelona Growth is at the centre of a package of policies and measures aimed at promoting the economic development of the city of Barcelona over the next few years. With this programme, the City Council aims to be practical, work in a network, alongside the actors and in a fast way, taking into account the situation, with the clear aim of achieving growth and acting as a motor for the country.

To find about more about Barcelona Growth, visit http://w42.bcn.cat/barcelonabusiness/en/.

Citymart 2.0 – Plastilin invests $1M to secure growth and independence of transformative impact venture

Citymart.com, the world’s leading marketplace for cities today announces an investment deal with Norwegian investor Tharald Nustad through his investment company Plastillin. The deal, which values the company upwards of $3M, is designed to secure the next phase of growth and development as well as the long-term independence of the marketplace by a deal equally emphasizing governance, social impact as well as solid opportunities for return. Citymart.com Showcase - Catalogue

Citymart.com follows the vision of helping 557,000 global city and local governments to use their spending and regulatory powers to greater effect for the good of citizens around the world. This is achieved by building a fair and open marketplace connecting cities, vendors, organizations and citizens. Citymart.com counts 50+ global cities as its customers, such as San Francisco, London, Lagos,  Barcelona, Fukuoka and Moscow.

Citymart.com founders Jakob H Rasmussen and Sascha Haselmayer welcomed the deal which concluded a fundraising process which exceeds the general pattern of startup-to-venture investment seen in most markets. Through a rigorous process of identifying an investor who, in addition to interests to invest in a venture, is also committed to helping secure the venture’s social impact, the independence of the marketplace and scalable growth are secured. As an Ashoka Support Network member, Tharald Nustad was drawn to the investment opportunity because the partnership with Citymart.com represented a commitment to social impact, company viability and venture growth which is being fostered by leading social entrepreneurs that are alleviating a major challenge effecting cities, governments and citizens worldwide.

Ashoka, the world’s largest organization of leading social entrepreneurs and changemakers, played a key role in matching the investment needs of Citymart.com with a social impact-oriented investor and member of Ashoka Support Network – a global network of successful business leaders focused on changing the world with changemakers.

The investment of $1M will give Tharald Nustad an equal share to Citymart.com’s founders, who are committed to a common social impact purpose. It will also enable the creation of an independent conflict-resolution organization that will protect the marketplace from conflicts of interest and manipulation, as well as help Citymart.com to further develop its online tools (e.g. localization functions, project validation systems), which have been adopted by 25 global cities to date and are revolutionizing the accessibility of public contracts for SMEs and start-ups.

Citymart.com will use the investment to further develop its online tools such as localization functions, the validation system for project references, today adopted by 25 global cities that revolutionizes access to public contracts for SMEs and start-ups. Further, Citymart.com will extend its program of strategic partnerships such as the 2-year partnership with Moscow announced in November that will help reform the $25 billion annual procurement process in the city.

About Citymart.com

Citymart.com helps cities collaborate and share in new and highly scalable ways providing technology platforms, methods and policies that to-date have helped create the world’s largest catalogue of high-impact urban and social innovations; the adoption of common reporting standards on sustainability.

Citymart.com has shown that local government procurement and regulation could be made at least 10% more effective by adopting more open opportunity or problem based approaches and providing fairer access to opportunities to new ideas, approaches and businesses.

Founded in 2011, Citymart.com is based in Barcelona and Copenhagen and counts more than 50 global cities among its clients, discovering more than 10,000 solutions to city challenges in the past 3 years. With more than 1,200 social and urban innovations published by providers around the world in the Citymart Showcase, the platform constitutes the most complete global catalogue of solutions for cities today. 39 urban deployments initiated by Citymart.com reach more than 33.5 million citizens in global cities such as Lagos, Barcelona, San Francisco or Boston today, notably improving access to open data, tourist experiences, road quality or urban energy and lighting systems.

About Plastilin A/S

Plastilin AS is a private investment firm working with startups in the fields of digital technology and communications. Our philosophy is that a great idea needs to be supported by good values, positive organizational culture and capable management to achieve success in business. It is essential that we understand the technology, concept, organization and industry for us to add value to the venture we invest in. We engage in strategic development of the portfolio companies in addition to capital.

Tharald Nustad is a Norwegian private investor and main owner of the investment firm Plastilin A/S. He has been an entrepreneur in several tech startups and is actively engaged in all the portfolio companies of Plastilin. Tharald is also a member of The Ashoka Support Network Scandinavia.

Ending poverty through innovation: translating ideas into actions and challenges into opportunities

There are numerous initiatives and programs that target underprivileged communities. A wide variety of academic studies, economic analyses and policy briefs that list out recommendations to break the cycle of poverty have been written. And many governments around the world, such as those in Latin American countries, have federal agencies specifically dedicated to design and implement social policy for poverty reduction. Efforts come from the developed and the developing world, from different levels of government, from large international organizations to local NGOs and grass-roots associations.

And yet, despite the amount of effort and resources, the process to achieve the main goal – ending poverty - seems to be moving slowly, and there is an urgent need to accelerate it. We often hear about cooperation but it hardly materializes into concrete actions. We need to land those initiatives and translate ideas and good will into action. This requires changing the paradigm through which we have envisioned the end of poverty and making the shift away from the traditional models.

In recent years, we have witnessed the expansion of a phenomenon called “urbanization of poverty”. As cities continue to grow, the number of pressing needs increases in all fields, from health to public infrastructure and utilities, transport, education and employment. At the same time, citizens have changed from being passive service recipients, to key actors that get actively involved and demand transparency and results to their governments. How can cities improve the services they deliver to their communities in a faster way? In the era of knowledge and information, we have the very powerful tool of technology to deliver change.

As Sascha Haselmayer, CEO and co-founder of Citymart.com, acknowledges “there is great technology out there and it is in everyone’s hands; these technologies are scalable and can transform societies”. These words were pronounced at the 8th Forum of the World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty (WACAP) that took place in Dublin earlier this year, to introduce the Program “Cities Pilot >>> End Poverty”.

Cities Pilot to End Poverty

This two-year Program is designed by Citymart.com and Dublin City Council to find the most innovative technologies to end poverty and implement them in real life. The World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty (WACAP) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) endorse the Program.

The process starts by finding the 30 most committed WACAP member cities that share the values of innovation, collaboration, openness and transparency. Selected cities will join forces to call for the most innovative solutions to empower our communities.

Citymart.com gives cities the tools they need to get inspired by worldwide social and urban innovators to find solutions to their most pressing challenges. In order to achieve this, our team’s expertise provides cities guidance to identify a specific problem and frame it as an opportunity. Together we define the city challenge in a way that attracts global response from social and urban innovators, and which is published as a global call for solutions on our virtual platform.

Once the call is open for submissions, our dedicated research team starts a proactive outreach campaign to discover worldwide solutions that have the potential to address the city challenge. Each submission to the call is a commitment by a provider to co-invest in a community to implement a high-impact pilot, if selected as the most promising solution. Research findings are documented and shared with cities in real-time, so that their officials, representatives, stakeholders, and citizens can participate. Cities are also encouraged to communicate this opportunity to their local community of social and urban innovators.

In order to select the solution that best meets the city’s needs, we help cities to coordinate a Jury composed of a minimum of five members and at least one international representative. All submissions will be evaluated, five of them will get nominated, and the most promising one will get selected. Citymart.com sets up the technological tools to assure an accessible, transparent and straightforward evaluation process.

The campaign results are announced at the Dublin Summit in February 2014, where cities and providers get together to express their commitment to implementing the selected solution on the ground, while they share how innovation turned a local challenge into a global opportunity. This is a unique experience for both, cities and providers, to network and kick-start new collaborations in their communities.

Most importantly, the ideas get translated into actions, as the selected providers actually demonstrate their innovative solutions in participating cities. A pilot is a cost-effective way to test the chosen solution, which allows cities to make better-informed decisions and smarter investments. In two years from now, cities will meet again at the WACAP Forum in 2015 to collaborate and exchange results.

In this win-win scheme, cities accelerate problem solving through innovation and technology, and social and urban innovators have the chance to implement their solutions to an unresolved need. All participants exchange results as part of a global collaborative community, and facilitate the sharing of high-impact solutions across cities. Together we deliver real change and the outcome is community empowerment and a better quality of life for our citizens.

Urban Systems & Services - A debate at LLGA | Cities Summit

The Urban Systems & Services Parallel Session was moderated by Barbara Hale, the Assistant General Manager of SFPUC. Barbara focused the session on how cities are becoming massive interconnected systems and how to use technology as a tool to improve the quality of life of citizens. Parallel Session C

Speaker 1: Modupe Ajibola, CEO, OTG Playa

First up to speak was Modupe Ajibola of OTG Playa whose presentation centered on the role of technology in Africa and how it is slowly moving from a luxury to necessity. For example, there are already over 140 million cell phones in Nigeria making it one of the world’s largest mobile telecom markets. These devices had a multiplier effect creating many new jobs and services that were not available before. The problem is that many in the educated workforce are content in taking these newly created middle class jobs when they should be working in the white collar sector. For example, many of the electrical engineers end up working in call centers because it creates a life much better than they had growing up. While the progress is noble, it should be taken a bit further. These engineers should be working in R&D creating products for Africans by Africans. People in Africa want iPhones and iPads, but they don't want to pay a premium price. They end up buying Chinese knockoffs that break a few months later. Perhaps Africa could copy the U.S. and move to the subsidy model for mobile phones? By encouraging these engineers to start developing products and services for Africa and the rest of the world, the needs and wants of the people can be addressed while keeping the money inside the continent.

Speaker 2: Gianni Minetti, President & CEO, Paradox Engineering

Gianni Minetti followed by focusing on the open standards needed to network all the infrastructure for our cities. The shift from rural to urban is only accelerating, and he presented several facts to back this up. For one, 1.3 million people are moving to cities every week. This means that there are now 21 cities with over 10 million people. Paradox Engineering wants to put lighting, pollution monitoring, and power all together in one open system. While this may seem like something obvious to do, the problem is that many cities have separate systems for each infrastructure component. Not only is it expensive to build redundant infrastructure, it creates a spectrum crunch. By building an urban multi-utility network, we can make technology a tool, not a hurdle. By using open standards we can future proof the networks ensuring ROI protection for cities.

Speaker 3: Bill Oates, Chief Information Officer, Boston

Bill Oates spoke about how the city of Boston was using technology to solve its problems. The smartphone application, Citizen's Connect, has proven immensely popular, which isn't all that surprising considering 35% of the city's population is between 20 and 34. With the application, citizens can report potholes, streetlight outages, graffiti, and other problems. After seeing how much citizens loved using the app, city workers got their own version allowing the city to more efficiently dispatch workers and catalog repairs. Version 4.0 of the app, slated to be released by the end of the year, will allow citizens to be notified when the problem they reported is fixed. Embracing the recent trend of gamification, the new version of the app will allow citizens to thank the workers who fixed their problem. The app has allowed citizens of Boston to interact with government in ways previously not possible. Taking the application a step further, the city of Boston unveiled Street Bump, which uses a smartphone's accelerometer to passively detect potholes. Interestingly enough only 10% of the bumps reported were potholes; the other 90% were the 307,000 utility castings in the city. Using technology is essential for cities that wish to thrive in the 21st century. Bill Oats highlighted the point that if you stay at the status quo, you're falling behind. Historically, government has been very risk averse, but technology doesn't have to be risky. Those that avoid it completely will be left in the dust.

Speaker 4: Philip Playfair, CEO, Lowfoot

Last to present, Philip Playfair explained how his company pays people to use less energy when consumption (and thus prices) is peaking. The main purpose is to encourage consumers to shift power consumption from peak to off peak. His company has contracted with 6 companies with over 5,000 smart meters. In a way, the software can act as a virtual peaker plant. When demand exceeds supply, energy usage can automatically be reduced. The consumers are compensated for this inconvenience via monthly payments. Additionally, the software measures carbon savings to show consumers how shifting their energy usage benefits the environment. In order to increase engagement Lowfoot has added gamification aspects to the product. For example, users get badges for saving energy and can brag to their friends over Twitter or Facebook. While solutions like Lowfoot can marginally reduce power consumption, the main problem is that energy is too cheap to motivate people’s decision making. In order for huge shifts in consumer behavior, energy prices need to go up.

Conclusion

Whether it’s using mobile applications to encourage engagement or unifying infrastructure communication systems, technology is changing how cities operate. While governments have been traditionally viewed as slow and cumbersome, in order to keep up with the ever evolving world, cities need to speed up deployments of innovative solutions. The problem is that government procurement has been very slow and risk averse. In order to help solve this problem, cities need to adapt new processes to accept technology with open (but vigilant) arms.

Reported by Chris Mojaher

Civic Engagement, Community Development, Inclusion and Sharing - A debate at LLGA | Cities Summit

By Fedor Ovchinnikov and Ruth Doyle

20+ delegates interested in civic engagement, community development, inclusion and sharing took the opportunity to enjoy five inspiring presentations from speakers representing the UK, India, Argentina, the US, and Brazil. The presenters talked about resilience building at the city level, engaging the residents of a city yet to be built, co-creation as the ultimate goal of decentralization and participation, democratization of city space using the concept of pop-ups, and development of social intelligence through online civic engagement platforms.

Session moderator Allison Arieff (Editor + Content strategist, SPUR) opened the session by introducing the topic. According to Allison, civic engagement with city authorities is too much focused on complaints, so cities spend massive amounts of time and resources reacting to these complaints. In order to save time and resources, and to solve problems more successfully, cities need to move from adversarial to cooperative engagements based on action, innovation and citizen empowerment. Engaging the public in solution development cannot just be left up to high-technology or smart phone based solutions: simple low-tech measures are often capable of improving city services. Allison finished by calling for a “declaration of interdependence” to form the paradigm for reinvention of public participation in the 21st century and to make citizens feel that they have agency and are inspired to contribute to city development.

LLGA2013 15.5.13 Parallel Session A

James Togut (Founder, The Good Life for All) talked about resilience in Brighton & Hove, the first city worldwide to formally embed the “One Planet Living Framework” and concept of “resilience” within its city action plan (“One Brighton”). The core of resilience is the ability to transform and adapt to one planet living whilst providing good lives for all. Resilience implies fostering resourcefulness in material terms - meaning waste (“just a resource that is in the wrong place”) and in human terms – implying the cultivation of imagination, inventiveness, and enterprise. Cat Fletcher (Materials Coordinator for Brighton Waste House) introduced Brighton Freegle Group – an “online dating for stuff” which helps people to become personally resilient in their own lives by developing a peer to peer, and cross-sectoral sharing market place. This platform has 1.4 million users and contributes annual economic value of 120k. Drawing upon the concept of City Makers, Cat & James talked about the need to nurture passionate individuals (change makers and visionaries) within each sector – public, private and voluntary – who are not afraid of disrupting the norm. Cat suggested that City Councils should make dedicated efforts to identify, support and empower these people who are well connected on the ground and have catalytic qualities.

Scott Wrighton (City Manager, City of Lavasa) discussed his experience of building a new city from nothing. The City of Lavasa is the foremost lifestyle development project in India and represents part of the rural-urban migratory shift taking place where it is estimated that 350 million people will move to urban areas in the next 30 years. Lavasa is a private city that creates profit, sells real estate and invests in joint ventures with the private sector to enable the provision of city services. Interestingly, the biggest challenge that confronts this epic endeavor is not infrastructure or money, but acquiring land and dealing with poor governance systems that are not conducive to new ways of city management and public engagement and reduce autonomy for public private partnerships.

The assumption that most people want to engage with their government does not ring true worldwide. Scott suggested that dealing with government can be very off-putting in India where local governments are micro-managed by state government. In this case he stated that there is a desperate need for a change in paradigm to make new inhabitants of Lavasa eager to engage with the city to build organizations that they hope will evolve sustainably and extend citizen engagement. So how do you engage the residents of a city yet to be built? Who should decide and design the mechanisms? Scott noted that after starting with a paternalistic approach where the provision of infrastructure prevailed, the next challenge is to look at the invisible social fabric so that civic engagement mechanisms are in place.

Daniella Rosario (Technical Coordinator, Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment, Municipality of Rosario) introduced the efforts of the Municipality of Rosario, Argentina to shift to embed sustainability within its city governance and shift to a more decentralized and participatory governance model. Introducing two successful projects – Rosario Mas Limpia (Cleaner Rosario Campaign) and the Green Homes Network Program – Daniella emphasized the need to move beyond government as service provider to paradigms of co-creation with citizens.

Mariella and Pete Watman (Co-Founders of Pop-Up Brands) talked about how pop-ups create a multitude of economic and personal opportunities.. Pop-Up Brands addresses the problem of underutilized and poor listing of available city spaces by providing a marketplace for short term commercial space of all kinds. This approach gives entrepreneurs and artists an opportunity to prototype their ideas in spaces they could not previously afford. Pop-ups can create vibrancy in vacant neighborhoods and regenerate the area. Some pop-ups become permanent while others recycle and evolve thus contributing to the resilience of the area. The growth of the Pop-Up Movement is linked with the trend for the democratization of space – championed by the “Noisebridge Group” – the makers space in San Francisco, focused on citizen empowerment and action over deliberation, through their paradigm of “Do-ocracy”.

The session concluded with a presentation from Brazilian entrepreneur, Daniel Bittencourt (Co-Founder, Lung) who introduced an engagement system called Wikicity. Wikicity is a collaborative platform where, through use of mapping systems, residents highlight city problems as well as projects that may be developed by communities themselves. Each point on the map turns into a lively discussion on the Internet, through the debates promoted on Facebook. The ideas are then sent to local governments who help to create and implement these concepts. In Brazil, the initiative mobilized over 15,000 citizens in PortoAlegre.cc, and a growing number of cities around the globe are starting to use this innovative solution to become better places to live!

A First Step Towards A New Era of Trust in Public Procurement: Validated Project References

Today we are extremely excited about a small box appearing in the Connecthings Showcase: Connecthings Validated Project Reference

For Citymart.com and our many partners, this is an important step towards building a global infrastructure that allows high-impact solutions for cities to scale quickly. Why? Because it delivers unprecedented transparency and accountability.

This summer, we carried out a survey of 54 global cities under the Agile Cities initiative which showed that 87% of cities do not trust the information supplied by providers. Too often, cities reported, companies submit project references that over-state achievements or give no credit to project partners.

66% of cities, consequently, reported that they rely on informal contacts into the business community and often patchy follow-up on project references through calls to former customers. This is often not documented, and can lead to an overrepresentation of local companies winning contracts.

Yet, companies like Connecthings have proven they have technologies worthy of scaling globally. As winners of 4 LLGA|Cities Pilot the Future Awards in 2012, Connecthings was selected to pilot their solution in Rio, Derry~Londonderry, Hamburg and Barcelona.

The team at Citymart.com searched for providers that could certify project references to address this trust issue. Nothing could be found. So we looked at ways to build trust online, inspired by the practices used by journalists in the Arab spring to triangulate facts using Twitter and other sources.

The result is our Project Validation service, which allows companies to describe projects involving the product/service featured in their Citymart.com Showcase and invite stakeholders (such as customers, users, partners and experts) to validate the basic project facts.

Why basic facts?

Trust starts with the basics. Did the project really happen, or is it under discussion? Was it a full implementation or a pilot? Who was involved? When did it happen?

These are binary facts - either true or false. Our validation model works by establishing these facts and requiring three independent stakeholders (who have declared commercial independence from the project) to confirm such facts.

Project View of Connecthings

What can trust deliver?

Cities are always going to carry out due-diligence when awarding a contract worth millions. Yet, our primary aim with this new Project Validation service is to help cities manage the perceived risks associated with contracting small providers and using new approaches to solve their challenges.

If cities cannot trust project references, they have no way of evaluating what is state-of-the art in the market. How can you believe that a technology is mature if you cannot trust its past implementations? The same is true when cities attempt to establish the viability of new and different approaches, which is an issue that most companies consider the most significant barrier to market-entry. Whether your solution tags urban spaces, prevents breast cancer by making use of the sensory skills of blind women, or involves citizens in logistical tasks - cities rely on getting an accurate picture of project implementation history.

Trust in an unconsolidated marketplace.

We have often written about the challenge of a marketplace with 557,000 local governments dealing with complex technological, service and regulatory decisions. Our vision was to create a trust-building Project Validation service that was scalable in such a marketplace because, unlike other markets, cities are never going to merge and consolidate. This means that there is limited room for the specialized decision-making found in other industries. Hence, our eyes turned to sourcing validations though project stakeholders as the only viable method for validating basic project facts.

And this is just the start. Validated references are not just useful in the context of Citymart.com, but in all business activities (tenders, pre-qualifications, RFIs and corporate alliance building) in which increased trust can get you more attention from cities and create better business opportunities.

Citymart.com partners with UN Global Compact Cities Programme

Today Citymart.com, the global marketplace for cities connecting more than 50 global cities with more than 1,000 providers of solutions to improve lives announces a landmark partnership with the UN Global Compact Cities Programme. As part of the agreement, Citymart.com has implemented the Cities Programme's 4 dimensions of sustainability used by cities such as Melbourne or São Paulo to carry out their sustainability assessments.

The UN Global Compact Cities Programme is dedicated to the promotion and adoption of the Global Compact’s ten principles by cities, and provides a framework for translating the principles into day-to-day urban governance and management.

Citymart.com will be the first global marketplace and solution resource to adopt the 4 dimensions of impact reporting in partnership with UN Global Compact Cities Programme:

- Impact on Ecology - Impact on Economy - Impact on Culture - Impact on Politics

 

[slideshare id=15045039&w=342&h=291&sc=no]

Already today, this model has been implemented in the Citymart.com Showcase as well as in the evaluation model used by the experts appointed in the jury process of LLGA|Cities Pilot the Future, underwritten by 21 global cities such as Barcelona, London, Paris, Mexico City, Lavasa, Lagos and Cape Town.

Citymart.com thereby provides solution providers guidance in reporting the impact of technologies and other innovations in line with the objectives identified in the UN Global Compact process.

10 Steps: Taking an Innovation for a City from Idea to Deployment

After a first round of consultation of experts and city professionals, Agile Cities is launching the first draft of its 10 stage process to take innovative ideas to full implementation in cities.

You can comment on the 10 Steps and the Draft text here.

One of the objectives of the Agile Cities initiative is to provide more reliable communication in the marketplace around innovative solutions that can transform communities.

A key element of this is to begin to establish a process to track the stages which a typical innovation passes through from Idea to Deployment. After an initial consultation process, we have edited a 10 Step Process which is now open for comment in an iterated editorial process.

You can add ideas by going directly to the open text document here or by commenting on this post.

THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON AGILECITIES.ORG

LLGA2012: A Journey in Numbers to Improve Millions of Lives

As we are nearing our Award Ceremony on May 2 in Rio de Janeiro, when all eyes will be on the 21 winners that have been selected by 21 global cities - such as Barcelona, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Kristiansand, Eindhoven, Lagos, Cape Town, Rome and Fukuoka - we take a minute to recall the journey that took us here.

LLGA2012 in Numbers

21 Cities

110 Million Citizens

21 Challenges

3,500 Existing Solutions Found

555 Validated Entries from...

50+ Countries

147 Jurors

109 Shortlisted Solutions

7,500 Evaluations

45,000 Evaluation Data-Points will be published to providers

21 Winners

21 Pilots in next 12 months

Three years ago, we had an idea. What if cities called for solutions to their pressing challenges? Why was there no place where cities, soon home to 70% of the world's population, could share their challenges?

LLGA - the Living Labs Global Award - was born as a simple and quick experiment. In just 3 months we mobilized 12 cities to present their challenges and share an evaluation method to identify the best solutions. The results led to improved waste management in Barcelona, and to Eindhoven adopting a new process to involve citizens in their evaluation methodology,

In November 2011 we launched LLGA2012, in partnership with 21 global cities with 110 Million citizens in Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa. Each city presented a challenge to which our wonderful research team of 10 in Barcelona found 3,500 existing solutions around the world.

Image

After a validation, we received 555 entries from more than 50 countries, which were reviewed by 147 international jurors appointed by the cities to 21 juries evaluate the impact of the solutions for each category. This generated 7,500 evaluations and some 45,000 evaluation data-points providing valuable feedback on May 3 to participating solution providers via the Showcases on Citymart.com.

On March 5th, the cities and their juries presented 109 nominated solutions that entered a second round of evaluation. On May 2, we will present 21 winners - selected by the cities as the most promising solutions to improve the lives of 110 Million citizens.

In the coming 12 months, these winners will implement 21 pilot projects, to show the real impact of their solutions and allow citizens, government agencies, business partners and the partner cities to experience change.

Bitcarrier, winner of a LLGA2011 Award saw their Citysolver solution launched their pilot just 3 months after winning, and signed a contract within another 3 months. Not only did they save $320,000 in acquisition costs and went to market 4x faster than usual - but the citizens of Barcelona spent less time in traffic as a result. Every single day. And that is just one winner...

Stay tuned! #LLGA

Living Labs Global cities sign to share technologies and policies in Tainan

At The Global Smart City Summit in Tainan this week, our partner cities Tainan, Eindhoven and Lavasa together with the cities of Dubuque (US), Kortrijk (BE) and Helsingborg (SE) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on Smart City developments and knowledge exchange in the coming years.

Tainan's Mayor Ching-te Lai concluded yesterday's lively exchange with about 250 participants at which six cities shared their visions, projects at which the issues of citizen participation, environmental sustainability, inter-governmental collaboration and new procurement practices were central issues.

One clear statement resonated across all cities: That Smart Cities are not a technology product, but the intelligent application of government policies, public-private-partnerships and a clear focus on and inclusion of citizens. Hence, the participating mayors declared their intention to 're-conquer' the smart city concept from what has become a one-sided technology perspective.

Motivated by Hope or Fear?

I heard a talk on a local National Public Radio affiliate this week dealing with the politics of fear. The guests on the radio show drew a distinction between being motivated by hope and motivated by fear, an idea I thought I’d explore here further. Living Labs Global Award city partners have made numerous requests for forward-thinking proposals. From México City’s digital public transport project, to Cape Town’s open government idea, to Santiago de Chile’s on-street parking improvements, these requests are fundamentally motivated by hope and a vision that the future can be improved.

The radio show also called to mind a series of blog posts published on the Copenhagenize site about “Fear of Cycling,” in which sociologist Dave Horton argues many of would-be cyclists fears, while real, are due to western culture’s tendency to inflate risks. Policymakers, planners, and even advocates, while well-intentioned, have been motivated by fear in their plans, programs, and policies. And the result has been less bicycling and more driving.

Taking a broader view, in today’s political climate, with the world’s economic woes at center stage, it is easy to be risk averse and to make decisions motivated by fear. However, these times are also an opportunity to take new risks, to fundamentally alter the way things are done, to inspire hope and innovative thinking. Tragedy presents opportunity. A forest decimated by fire welcomes new life. It’s been a useful exercise for me to note the distinction between fear and hope in my motivations; I think it’s time our institutions check theirs and remember that hope is the only outlook that beckons innovation.

-          Terra Curtis

Smarter Cities? Venturing with Evaporating Budgets

On invitation by the Smart Cities team at Oracle, yesterday we helped facilitate an executive roundtable of European and US city leaders facing recessions on both sides of the Atlantic during Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco. Cities are unlike businesses and are reluctant to respond deep drops in revenue by radical cost-cutting that would affect services. We learned first-hand about ongoing measures to cut costs and raise revenue: more efficient use of software, better collection of fees, taxes and penalties; creating shared service centres, and reducing staff overheads by cutting external contractors first and planning for 5-15% staff reductions in the coming years. Administrative and customer service technologies clearly are a blessing in this process, turning the city into a self-service environment that, albeit pre-occupations about digital literacy, is clearly heading towards greater accessibility and transparency.

Smart & Sustainable? Later please...

When the discussion came to smart urban technologies and sustainability agendas, we found that little was happening. It was largely political leaders who made announcements and placed demands on technology to deliver green cities, yet additional resources are not available beyond stimulus packages or external grants that have provided at most a short-term leap but no fundamental re-thinking of cities' often immense service operations.

In the current climate, cities are struggling to reconcile the expectations of citizens (more, better, for less taxes); the dire economic realities of surviving in times of crisis; and propagating sustainability and innovation agendas - all at the same time.

Partly, the instinct to respond to crises through calls for cost-reductions can be blamed. For example, most US government agencies forbid foreign travel by employees today, even if travel costs were covered. Looking outside is seen as a political risk and irresponsible - when it should be the way by which ideas can be found to innovate and come out of the crisis stronger. By starving the curiosity and creativity of their employees, governments are unlikely to come up with innovative approaches to deal with crises.

Our exchange turned to the question of cost-cutting vs technology venturing by identifying major opportunities in a city to reduce the cost of major service areas through technology opportunities. Urban lighting, maintenance of urban trees (EUR 220 million per year in Paris alone), water management, and services for the disabled all offer great opportunities to use sensors, automation, and consolidation to create vast efficiencies. And improve quality.

Yet, it is rarely the technology departments that can stimulate such change, their influence tends to be dwarfed by public works, utilities, infrastructure and other major services departments. IT is seen as a tool to cut costs (however one measures this) by creating leaner processes - but not as a transformative tool to be applied to fundamentally change services. And the inherent struggle for more influence, budget and resources all work against the need to seek synergies not just in savings, but design.

Cities struggle to proceed on a smart agenda and instead go leaner and leaner. American cities in particular mourned the lack of capital grants to deliver technology leaps, with European city leaders nodding. There is no change on the horizon with federal or state budgets planning deeper cuts in the years to come.

How then can technology venturing be brought (back) to American cities?

One promising area will be the understanding that technology is a process of piloting, evaluating, learning, buying. This is a logical and simple concept, yet most cities pursue massive roll-outs to immediately generate results rather than having a continuing innovation pipeline that may not require vast budgets, but a clear agenda for exploration and change. Like 22@ Barcelona's Urban Lab, cities should begin to take pre-procurement intelligence, testing and innovation seriously to enable smarter investment choices in major urban services such as lighting, waste management, transport.

A second promising area is to involve citizens and other interest groups more directly in understanding the possibilities of change, as allies in pushing through hard reforms. Cost cutting and staff redundancies are already on the agenda, yet citizens may not appreciate the opportunity of smart investments that have a truly transformative impact. Stockholm acted wisely when involving all organisations representing visually impaired and blind citizens, as well as about 300 individual impaired users, in developing its approach that led to the ground-breaking e-Adept navigation system for the blind - all of whom retained the pressure on political and administrative leaders to keep going.

And e-Adept pointed to a third promising area: The vision that technology would not only cut costs, but create value. Value not only in the immense leap in quality of life for the visually impaired users, but value as applied to society and the economy as a whole. Instead of delivering an additional social service, the city generated EUR 17 million per year in direct economic benefits with the vision that accessibility for all means receivers of social services today may be employees and entrepreneurs in the future.

Like any risk-taker, cities need to regain their optimism - and take citizens along.

Fundamentally, city governments under fire must regain confidence that they are not on a one-way, cost-cutting road that will eventually reduce their service offering. Instead, cities should venture and pursue policies that are more open to co-investment by external social and business partners and make sure that citizens take an active role in the hard choices - with optimism.

Smarter Cities? Venturing with Evaporating Budgets

On invitation by the Smart Cities team at Oracle, yesterday we helped facilitate an executive roundtable of European and US city leaders facing recessions on both sides of the Atlantic during Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco. Cities are unlike businesses and are reluctant to respond deep drops in revenue by radical cost-cutting that would affect services. We learned first-hand about ongoing measures to cut costs and raise revenue: more efficient use of software, better collection of fees, taxes and penalties; creating shared service centres, and reducing staff overheads by cutting external contractors first and planning for 5-15% staff reductions in the coming years. Administrative and customer service technologies clearly are a blessing in this process, turning the city into a self-service environment that, albeit pre-occupations about digital literacy, is clearly heading towards greater accessibility and transparency.

Smart & Sustainable? Later please...

When the discussion came to smart urban technologies and sustainability agendas, we found that little was happening. It was largely political leaders who made announcements and placed demands on technology to deliver green cities, yet additional resources are not available beyond stimulus packages or external grants that have provided at most a short-term leap but no fundamental re-thinking of cities' often immense service operations.

In the current climate, cities are struggling to reconcile the expectations of citizens (more, better, for less taxes); the dire economic realities of surviving in times of crisis; and propagating sustainability and innovation agendas - all at the same time.

Partly, the instinct to respond to crises through calls for cost-reductions can be blamed. For example, most US government agencies forbid foreign travel by employees today, even if travel costs were covered. Looking outside is seen as a political risk and irresponsible - when it should be the way by which ideas can be found to innovate and come out of the crisis stronger. By starving the curiosity and creativity of their employees, governments are unlikely to come up with innovative approaches to deal with crises.

Our exchange turned to the question of cost-cutting vs technology venturing by identifying major opportunities in a city to reduce the cost of major service areas through technology opportunities. Urban lighting, maintenance of urban trees (EUR 220 million per year in Paris alone), water management, and services for the disabled all offer great opportunities to use sensors, automation, and consolidation to create vast efficiencies. And improve quality.

Yet, it is rarely the technology departments that can stimulate such change, their influence tends to be dwarfed by public works, utilities, infrastructure and other major services departments. IT is seen as a tool to cut costs (however one measures this) by creating leaner processes - but not as a transformative tool to be applied to fundamentally change services. And the inherent struggle for more influence, budget and resources all work against the need to seek synergies not just in savings, but design.

Cities struggle to proceed on a smart agenda and instead go leaner and leaner. American cities in particular mourned the lack of capital grants to deliver technology leaps, with European city leaders nodding. There is no change on the horizon with federal or state budgets planning deeper cuts in the years to come.

How then can technology venturing be brought (back) to American cities?

One promising area will be the understanding that technology is a process of piloting, evaluating, learning, buying. This is a logical and simple concept, yet most cities pursue massive roll-outs to immediately generate results rather than having a continuing innovation pipeline that may not require vast budgets, but a clear agenda for exploration and change. Like 22@ Barcelona's Urban Lab, cities should begin to take pre-procurement intelligence, testing and innovation seriously to enable smarter investment choices in major urban services such as lighting, waste management, transport.

A second promising area is to involve citizens and other interest groups more directly in understanding the possibilities of change, as allies in pushing through hard reforms. Cost cutting and staff redundancies are already on the agenda, yet citizens may not appreciate the opportunity of smart investments that have a truly transformative impact. Stockholm acted wisely when involving all organisations representing visually impaired and blind citizens, as well as about 300 individual impaired users, in developing its approach that led to the ground-breaking e-Adept navigation system for the blind - all of whom retained the pressure on political and administrative leaders to keep going.

And e-Adept pointed to a third promising area: The vision that technology would not only cut costs, but create value. Value not only in the immense leap in quality of life for the visually impaired users, but value as applied to society and the economy as a whole. Instead of delivering an additional social service, the city generated EUR 17 million per year in direct economic benefits with the vision that accessibility for all means receivers of social services today may be employees and entrepreneurs in the future.

Like any risk-taker, cities need to regain their optimism - and take citizens along.

Fundamentally, city governments under fire must regain confidence that they are not on a one-way, cost-cutting road that will eventually reduce their service offering. Instead, cities should venture and pursue policies that are more open to co-investment by external social and business partners and make sure that citizens take an active role in the hard choices - with optimism.

Cape Town Announces Hybrid Venture Capital Fund with Living Labs Global Award Winner PoweredbyVC

Cape Town today publicly announced its partnership with PoweredbyVC, a venture fund manager and winner of the Living Labs Global Award 2011 to create a hybrid venture capital fund to support social entrepreneurship in the city and all of Africa. The City is to assist a venture capital fund manager, PoweredbyVC, to implement its programme that was selected winner of the Living Labs Global Award 2011. 11 global cities, including Cape Town, called for innovative strategies to address major socio-economic issues through this global process in which PoweredbyVC was selected as one of 11 winners from 245 entries from around the globe.

“Our City’s economic growth model supports high-growth entrepreneurs who can benefit from venture capital. These are the employers of tomorrow. They provide real business solutions and ensure healthy returns to investors. With its billion people, Africa is the world newest untapped market and Cape Town is the knowledge and innovation gateway to the continent,” says Alderman Belinda Walker, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning as she handed over the Living Labs Global Award 2011 to PoweredbyVC.

According to Eben van Heerden, CEO of PoweredbyVC, their concept is a new ‘hybrid’ venture capital funding model that combines the proven best practices of a traditional venture capital fund with a new 'business cultivator' funding system for a sustainable impact on innovation, job creation and growth. This second generation venture capital fund will combine funding, business angel investment, incubation and entrepreneurship development initiatives into a structured ecosystem to the benefit of emerging entrepreneurs and providers of funding alike.

 

Cape Town Announces Hybrid Venture Capital Fund with Living Labs Global Award Winner PoweredbyVC

Cape Town today publicly announced its partnership with PoweredbyVC, a venture fund manager and winner of the Living Labs Global Award 2011 to create a hybrid venture capital fund to support social entrepreneurship in the city and all of Africa. The City is to assist a venture capital fund manager, PoweredbyVC, to implement its programme that was selected winner of the Living Labs Global Award 2011. 11 global cities, including Cape Town, called for innovative strategies to address major socio-economic issues through this global process in which PoweredbyVC was selected as one of 11 winners from 245 entries from around the globe.

“Our City’s economic growth model supports high-growth entrepreneurs who can benefit from venture capital. These are the employers of tomorrow. They provide real business solutions and ensure healthy returns to investors. With its billion people, Africa is the world newest untapped market and Cape Town is the knowledge and innovation gateway to the continent,” says Alderman Belinda Walker, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning as she handed over the Living Labs Global Award 2011 to PoweredbyVC.

According to Eben van Heerden, CEO of PoweredbyVC, their concept is a new ‘hybrid’ venture capital funding model that combines the proven best practices of a traditional venture capital fund with a new 'business cultivator' funding system for a sustainable impact on innovation, job creation and growth. This second generation venture capital fund will combine funding, business angel investment, incubation and entrepreneurship development initiatives into a structured ecosystem to the benefit of emerging entrepreneurs and providers of funding alike.

 

Eight Cities Announce Winners to Solve Major Urban Challenges at LLGA2011

The cities of Barcelona, Cape Town, Eindhoven, Lagos, San Francisco, Sant Cugat, Stockholm and Taipei announce the winners of the Living Labs Global Award 2011.

The Award presented the major challenges faced by these cities in the coming years, to which 245 companies from 30 countries responded by presenting their solutions. With rapidly growing populations, budget pressures due to the financial crisis and increasing international competition for investment, talent and tourists cities are looking for innovative approaches to remain competitive. Cities represent a major, yet complex market, spending an annual EUR 3.5 trillion in public procurement alone

The cities of Barcelona, Cape Town, Eindhoven, Lagos, San Francisco, Sant Cugat, Stockholm and Taipei have announced eight winning solutions that were selected by 45 international users out of 245 submissions from 30 countries. Winning solutions will now be piloted in the participating cities, to evaluate their impact to meet the challenges.

In a unique global effort, eight cities joined forces with Living Labs Global to present their pressing challenges to the global business and technology community.

Challenges put forward by cities include the need to provide more efficient and sustainable urban services such as lighting using latest LED technologies; to rethink city services in the light of open data and apps developed by interest groups; to overcome media piracy undermining native film industries through digital distribution systems; or the need to provide financing and support to social entrepreneurs in African cities. The winning solutions are:

City of Barcelona: Citysolver, by Bitcarrier

City of Cape Town:  Venture Capital Cultivator Fund, by PoweredbyVC

City of Eindhoven: Integral Solution for Urban Infrastructures (SIIUR), by bdigital

City of Lagos: Eggup | Sell your films while preventing piracy, by Eggup.com

City of San Francisco: Open Data as a Platform for Citizen Service Delivery, by Socrata Inc.

City of Sant Cugat: Smart Parking for Smart Urban Living, by Worldsensing

City of Stockholm: Spotscout, by Spotscout Inc.

City of Taipei: A+ Care: Smart Autonomous TeleHealth Care Service, by Netown

Winners were announced after an international two-round jury process under auspices of Living Labs Global, a non-profit association based in Copenhagen working with 40 cities and 450 companies around the world to promote service innovation in cities.

The Award Ceremony was attended by 200 participants from 20 countries in Stockholm as part of the Stockholm Summit for Service Innovation in Cities.

The Living Labs Global Award 2011 is a unique global process providing full accountability in the evaluation through independent experts. The Award was carried out in partnership with Oracle Corporation, Farglory and supporting organisations from around the world.

About the Living Labs Global Award

Living Labs Global is a non-profit association based in Copenhagen (Denmark), working with 40 cities and 450 companies and research centres in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas with a mission to open the market for service innovation in cities and overcoming key technology, organisation and trade barriers.

The Living Labs Global Award is an annual process over 8 months in which cities present their challenges and provide guidance to the business and technology community on future investment plans and needs. Solution providers respond by submitting existing technologies as entries for evaluation by an international jury.

Follow results and the upcoming Living Labs Global Award 2012 on Twitter. Facts: More than 557,000 local governments provide services to more than 50% of the world’s population with an annual spending of 3.5 Trillion Euros per year. New technologies can radically improve transport and mobility systems, access to finance, media distribution, social services and other key areas of urban life.

Eight Cities Announce Winners to Solve Major Urban Challenges at LLGA2011

The cities of Barcelona, Cape Town, Eindhoven, Lagos, San Francisco, Sant Cugat, Stockholm and Taipei announce the winners of the Living Labs Global Award 2011.

The Award presented the major challenges faced by these cities in the coming years, to which 245 companies from 30 countries responded by presenting their solutions. With rapidly growing populations, budget pressures due to the financial crisis and increasing international competition for investment, talent and tourists cities are looking for innovative approaches to remain competitive. Cities represent a major, yet complex market, spending an annual EUR 3.5 trillion in public procurement alone

The cities of Barcelona, Cape Town, Eindhoven, Lagos, San Francisco, Sant Cugat, Stockholm and Taipei have announced eight winning solutions that were selected by 45 international users out of 245 submissions from 30 countries. Winning solutions will now be piloted in the participating cities, to evaluate their impact to meet the challenges.

In a unique global effort, eight cities joined forces with Living Labs Global to present their pressing challenges to the global business and technology community.

Challenges put forward by cities include the need to provide more efficient and sustainable urban services such as lighting using latest LED technologies; to rethink city services in the light of open data and apps developed by interest groups; to overcome media piracy undermining native film industries through digital distribution systems; or the need to provide financing and support to social entrepreneurs in African cities. The winning solutions are:

City of Barcelona: Citysolver, by Bitcarrier

City of Cape Town:  Venture Capital Cultivator Fund, by PoweredbyVC

City of Eindhoven: Integral Solution for Urban Infrastructures (SIIUR), by bdigital

City of Lagos: Eggup | Sell your films while preventing piracy, by Eggup.com

City of San Francisco: Open Data as a Platform for Citizen Service Delivery, by Socrata Inc.

City of Sant Cugat: Smart Parking for Smart Urban Living, by Worldsensing

City of Stockholm: Spotscout, by Spotscout Inc.

City of Taipei: A+ Care: Smart Autonomous TeleHealth Care Service, by Netown

Winners were announced after an international two-round jury process under auspices of Living Labs Global, a non-profit association based in Copenhagen working with 40 cities and 450 companies around the world to promote service innovation in cities.

The Award Ceremony was attended by 200 participants from 20 countries in Stockholm as part of the Stockholm Summit for Service Innovation in Cities.

The Living Labs Global Award 2011 is a unique global process providing full accountability in the evaluation through independent experts. The Award was carried out in partnership with Oracle Corporation, Farglory and supporting organisations from around the world.

About the Living Labs Global Award

Living Labs Global is a non-profit association based in Copenhagen (Denmark), working with 40 cities and 450 companies and research centres in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas with a mission to open the market for service innovation in cities and overcoming key technology, organisation and trade barriers.

The Living Labs Global Award is an annual process over 8 months in which cities present their challenges and provide guidance to the business and technology community on future investment plans and needs. Solution providers respond by submitting existing technologies as entries for evaluation by an international jury.

Follow results and the upcoming Living Labs Global Award 2012 on Twitter. Facts: More than 557,000 local governments provide services to more than 50% of the world’s population with an annual spending of 3.5 Trillion Euros per year. New technologies can radically improve transport and mobility systems, access to finance, media distribution, social services and other key areas of urban life.