Living Labs Global and its partners will implement an intelligent process in 30 global cities to accelerate the adoption of new high-impact solutions to meet major challenges. Cities and providers jointly commit to piloting these solutions in real-life to fully evaluate their viability and community, economic, and climate impact before triggering major investment and regulatory decisions.
Living Labs Global will select 30 cities from 360 candidates in all geographic regions according to a dialogue process. Priority will be given to cities committed to improving opportunities for girls and women, promoting accessibility, and mitigating climate change.
Partner cities will open the marketplace for innovations across cities, adhere to a transparent and accountable process, and provide all necessary in-kind support to implement a pilot.
Each city will present its validated challenge in a joint 'Call for Solutions'. Concurrent with a global communications campaign, Living Labs Global researchers will identify 4,500 available solutions and recruit these to submit to the program. All submissions will be accessible to the public in real-time.
Providers will present information about their solutions, expected impact, business, and service models for evaluation. They commit to, if selected by a partner city, implement a pilot at their own cost. In turn, they receive valuable market feedback, recognition, and in-kind support by the cities.
Each city will select the most relevant solutions through its own appointed jury, using common evaluation criteria including relevance, innovation, and impact (including opportunities for girls and women).
In May 2013 cities and providers will meet in a three-day learning, immersion, and matchmaking program in San Francisco where partner cities will announce the selected pilots.
Each pilot will receive significant in-kind support by the cities. Corporate partners will provide further assistance as needed. Pilots will result in evaluation reports signed by providers and cities.
Until 10/01/2012: Selection of 30 Partner Cities
Living Labs Global will select the partner cities through a dialogue with 360 candidates that identifies those most committed to the objectives of the program.
Until 10/15/2012: Articulation and Validation of Challenges
Living Labs Global team will support each city to specify the challenge, assuring that a) it is relevant and promises high impact, b) it is open to new and alternative approaches, c) it is backed by all relevant stakeholders, and d) that it comes with a commitment to pilot it within 18 months.
11/01/2012: Global Call for Solutions
Through a global communications campaign including all partner cities and organisations, the joint Call for Solutions by 30 global cities will be launched to build awareness and reach providers.
10/15/2012 - 1/31/2013: Discovery Process in which solutions apply for selection
Living Labs Global researchers will discover and recruit all relevant and available solutions to meet the challenges, specifically prioritizing opportunities for women and girls. Solutions are presented at Citymart.com Showcases.
1/31/2013: Start of Evaluation Process by 30 Juries
Each city will appoint a jury that represents stakeholders and at least one international juror. Round One will apply seven scoring criteria: innovation, relevance, community impact, climate impact, economic impact, market relevance, and ability to execute. The top five scorers for each city will enter Round Two.
5/28/2013: Three-Day Meeting in San Francisco and Announcement of Selected Pilots
150 nominated providers will be invited to join the 30 cities at a three-day program in training, immersion, and matchmaking in San Francisco, CA. Pilot projects will be announced.
The more than 557,000 local governments and cities around the world spend an estimated $4.5 trillion annually to deliver services that are central to quality of life and opportunity for the majority of the world's population, especially the most vulnerable. Yet the market for solutions that deliver high impact services in a cost efficient manner fails due to a tendency to re-invent solutions and regulations at inflated costs rather than spreading successful technologies, systems, and services. While 80 percent of cities report that they have no process in place to deal with unsolicited solutions to their challenges and 88 percent have no budgets allocated to piloting innovations, 67 percent report that they rely on informal staff contacts to award contracts (Agile Cities Survey of 52 global cities, 2012). Vendors, in turn, report that due to lack of information about community needs, they spend 99 percent of their sales resources locating those communities that are in need of their solutions (Agile Cities Survey of 138 vendors, 2012).
In addition, cities lack common methods to evaluate innovations that could have transformative effects on their communities. As a result, vendors and providers lack predictable market structures according to which they can design their products and services - especially taking account of the economic, social, and climate impact of their services.
This constitutes a failure and lack of accountability in the marketplace that leaves citizens' needs at the periphery of the procurement processes that shape their quality of life and opportunity. For example, few citizens would accept the common practice of locally re-inventing solutions already available in other cities if they were aware of the average 800 percent cost premium and 48-month delay that results from not adapting a readily available solution.
As a result, the accepted societal goals of mitigating climate change, promoting social responsibility, and encouraging economic sustainability (often in times of shrinking budgets) are undermined, and the gap between high-level policy goals and real spending and regulatory change increases.