Columbus Named Finalist in Bloomberg Philanthropies 2021 Global Mayors Challenge
Columbus is one of 50 Champion Cities selected today as finalists
in the 2021 Global Mayors
Challenge, a global innovation competition that identifies and
accelerates the most ambitious ideas developed by cities in response to the
COVID-19 pandemic. These 50 urban innovations rose to the top of a competitive
pool of more than 630 applications from 99 countries, in the first-ever Global
As a Mayors Challenge finalist, Columbus now advances to the four-month
Champion Phase of the competition. From June through October, the 50 finalist
cities will refine their ideas with technical assistance from Bloomberg
Philanthropies and its network of leading innovation experts. Fifteen of the 50
cities will ultimately win the grand prize, with each receiving $1 million and
robust multi-year technical assistance to implement and scale their ideas.
Grand Prize Winners will be announced in early 2022.
finalists are showing the world that in the face of the pandemic’s enormous
challenges, cities are rising to meet them with bold, innovative and ambitious
ideas,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg
Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City. “By helping these cities test
their ideas over the coming months, we will have a chance to identify
cutting-edge policies and programs that can allow cities to rebuild in ways
that make them stronger and healthier, and more equal and more just.”
focused its application on bridging the digital divide. Approximately 12,000
students in the Columbus City School district lack affordable internet access.
When the COVID-19 outbreak forced schools to transition to distance learning in
March 2020, as many as 1 in 4 students did not fully engage in their distance
learning opportunities due to lack of access. Families were also impacted by a
lack of access to job markets, healthcare, food sources, home delivery services
and other vital resources that are enabled by a digital economy built via
access to the internet. Low income households make up 25.9% of all households
in Franklin County but account for 68.9% of households without broadband.
Columbus plans to enable every resident to have internet access they can
honored that the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge has chosen us from over 500 other
cities across the world,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “We look forward to
working to find ways to provide affordable internet to our underserved
neighbors, a critical need that is keeping so many of our residents from school
work, doctor’s appointments and jobs.”
Champion Cities submitted ideas addressing four of the most significant
challenges borne of the pandemic: Economic Recovery & Inclusive Growth;
Health & Wellbeing; Climate & Environment; and Good Governance &
Equality. A prestigious selection committee co-chaired by Bloomberg
Philanthropies board member Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO & President, Ariel
Investments, and David Miliband, President & CEO, International Rescue
the applications to determine the Champion City finalists.
“This is always an especially exciting phase of the Mayors Challenge,
helping mayors push their innovations to even greater heights," said James
Anderson, head of Government Innovation at Bloomberg Philanthropies.
"While 15 cities will ultimately take home grand prizes, all 50 cities
receive world class coaching and support to improve their ideas and their
potential to improve lives."
The 2021 Global Mayors Challenge builds on the success of four
previous Bloomberg-sponsored Challenges in the U.S. (2013 and 2018), Europe
(2014), and Latin America and the Caribbean (2016). For more
information, visit mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and
@BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram.
Philanthropies works in over 120 countries around the world to ensure
better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization
focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education,
Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies
encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his
foundation and his personal giving. In 2016, Bloomberg Philanthropies
distributed $600 million. For more information, please visit www.bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat,