Friday, June 13, 2014
Bloomberg Takes Public Innovation Initiative to Europe
Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in Berlin last week to support the European edition of the Mayors Challenge initiative, which encourages municipal officials to come up with fresh ideas that can improve the lives of urban denizens everywhere.
“I believe cities are the solutions to most of mankind’s problems,” Bloomberg told representatives from 21 European cities gathered in the German capital to vie for 9 million euros ($11.8 million) from his philanthropic foundation. “It’s about whether the garbage gets picked up and the kids are educated,” Bloomberg said. “State and federal governments are too far removed from the day-to-day issues.”
After making the cut from an initial 155 cities, the participants of the two-day workshop in Berlin hope to hone their proposals for the final round of a competition designed to spark innovation in the normally stodgy public sector.
“I could say that Europe is more staid or hidebound towards innovation, and you see that perhaps with things like Uber,” Bloomberg said, referring to the popular American ride-sharing app hated by many taxi drivers and regulators. “But then you look at something like energy and it’s way ahead with things like windmills and solar power.”...