Mayor’s Resilience Fund: Call for challenge partners

  • Kathy Nothstine

    Kathy Nothstine

    Head, Future Cities

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Helping London bounce forward

There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has changed London—indeed, cities the world over—forever. As the pandemic swept the world this year, shops and restaurants have closed (some temporarily, but some forever), workers have lost their livelihoods, entire industries have been revamped, vulnerable individuals have seen their futures become increasingly more precarious, and people everywhere have reconsidered their conceptions of community and relationships with their cities.

There are reasons to believe that life will slowly return to normal in the next year, but the impact to our communities, our businesses and our society will remain. That is why London Mayor Sadiq Khan has launched the Mayor’s Resilience Fund, a £1 million innovation programme to help London’s businesses and community groups emerge stronger from COVID-19 and to ensure the capital is prepared for future disruptive challenges.

What is the Resilience Fund?

The Resilience Fund, established by the Mayor of London and managed by Nesta Challenges, will identify specific challenges in partnership with resilience partners – groups that are making positive differences in London and working for the greater societal good, addressing things like inequality, ageing infrastructure, food insecurity, poor health and well-being. These are likely to be local authorities, public agencies, social enterprises, charities or community groups.

Once these challenges are identified, innovators will be invited to present how they plan to address and solve these challenges through new technologies or by applying creative and innovative ideas. In February, innovators will join resilience partners in a series of co-creation workshops to begin iterating solutions. In March, we will launch a stage-gate competition to select innovators and provide them with financial support of up to £40,000 to develop their solution, along with mentoring and expert guidance.

The resilience partner will benefit from having some of the UK’s best innovators working to solve their problem, and will be positioned to take advantage of a unique co-design process that could improve or transform their product or service delivery. Further, resilience partners will gain access to the knowledge, expertise and insights of the network of resilience partners, problem-solvers, and capacity-building organisations working across London.

How to get involved

The first step in this process is to identify the challenges, so we are seeking problem-owners to submit challenges online  by 14th December at 11:59 am GMT. 

Ten challenges will be selected in January 2021, and we will work with each resilience partner behind those challenges to sharpen their challenge definition and create a call to innovators. 

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