IDEAS WANTED: KNIGHT FOUNDATION SEEKS TO MAKE DETROIT A MORE VIBRANT PLACE

What’s your best idea to make Detroit more successful? The first-ever Knight Cities Challenge opens today calling on innovators of all types to answer this question.

The national challenge, which seeks new ideas to make the 26 communities where Knight invests more vibrant places to live and work, is an initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.  Winners will receive a share of $5 million and become part of a network of civic innovators working to make our cities more vibrant places to live and work. Applications will be accepted through Nov. 14 at KnightCities.org.

“No project is too small — so long as your idea is big,” said Carol Coletta, Knight Foundation vice president for community and national initiatives. “Our hope is to inspire people—even those who have not previously thought of themselves as civic innovators—to get involved in shaping the future of their cities.”

[UPDATED: OCT 15 2014] LISTEN NOW: Audio of the Q&A program with Carol Coletta, Knight Foundation VP and Katy Locker, Knight Foundation Program Director for Detroit, October 15th, 2014.

More information:

The 2014 contest is open from 9 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Oct. 1, to 5 p.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 14. You can submit your application on KnightCities.org anytime before the challenge closes, but we encourage you to apply early. You don’t have to be a professional grant writer to apply: The initial application asks for two primary pieces of information about your project in 150 words or less; you don’t even need to give a budget or amount.

What are the rules? There are just two rules:

Your project must take place in or benefit one or more of the 26 Knight communities.

Your idea must focus on one or all of three key drivers of city success: attracting and retaining talent, expanding economic opportunity, and creating a culture of robust civic engagement.

 

The challenge has just two rules:

1) A submission may come from anywhere, but the project must take place in or benefit one or more of 26 Knight communities, in this case, Detroit!

2) The idea should focus on one or more of three key drivers of city success:

  • Talent: Ideas that help cities attract and keep the best and brightest
  • Opportunity: Ideas that create economic prospects and break down divides
  • Engagement: Ideas that spur connection and civic involvement

The challenge is open to anyone from anywhere; neighbors, architects, activists, artists, city planners, entrepreneurs, students, educators, city officials, as well as governments and organizations are encouraged to apply. More information is available on KnightCities.org.

The brief application is designed to make the submission process easier, and asks for two primary pieces of information about your project:

1)    Describe your idea and how it will advance talent, opportunity or engagement.

2)    Describe what you intend to learn.

Join Carol Coletta, Vice President/Community and National Initiatives and Katy Locker, Detroit Program Director for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is hosting a community Q&A session Wednesday, October 15, 2014 to provide an overview of the challenge and answer any questions you may have, including tips on applying.

The application period for the Knight Cities Challenge will close at 5 p.m. ET Nov. 14, 2014. Community members and entrepreneurs, as well as experts in urban planning, design, academia and government will help Knight review entries. Knight will announce finalists and winners in early 2015.

Have an idea? Visit KnightCities.org to apply. The challenge closes on Nov. 14, 2014, at 5 p.m. ET.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.KnightFoundation.org.

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