8 80 Cities Emerging City Champions Fellowship Program 2017 for young civic innovators

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Application Deadline:

8 80 Cities, a nonprofit dedicated to transforming cities, is currently accepting applications for the 2017 Emerging City Champions fellowship program, supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The program aims to advance creative solutions to complex urban challenges and support civic innovators in the 26 cities where Knight invests.

Emerging City Champions is a fellowship program for young civic innovators with transformative ideas. We are looking for future city leaders with creative solutions to enhance civic engagement, improve mobility, and activate public life in public spaces.

You provide the vision, drive, and determination. We’ll provide guidance and some funds to get you started. Other Emerging City Champions include:

  • Connections to a diverse and inspiring network of their peers from across the country.
  • Ongoing support from city building experts.
  • Professional training in media,
  • Opportunities to be publicly recognized and promoted by 8 80 Cities and the Knight Foundation.

Your ideas should:

  • Be implementable in the short term (under 12 months)
  • Be innovative with an emphasis on addressing existing community needs
  • Be managed and led by you, but developed through community collaboration
  • Be affordable to implement and free for the public to enjoy

Who Should Apply?

The Emerging City Champions is open to anyone with an innovative project idea and the drive to see it through. Applicants may be activists, tactical urbanists, designers, artists, planning professionals, hackers, or architects; everyone is welcome. We want diverse voices with the passion, the talent and the commitment to improve their neighborhood or city.


Successful applicants must:

  • Be between the ages 19-35
  • Have a project idea that takes place in or benefits one of the 26 communities where the Knight Foundation invests:
  • The 26 communities are:

    he 26 communities are:

    Akron, Ohio

    Charlotte, N.C.


    Macon, Ga.

    Milledgeville, Ga.

    Wichita, Kan.



    San Jose, Calif.

    St. Paul, Minn.

    Myrtle Beach, S.C.

    Aberdeen, S.D.

    Biloxi, Miss.

    Boulder, Colo.

    Bradenton, Fla.

    Palm Beach Co., Fla.

    Columbia, S.C.

    Columbus, Ga.

    Duluth, Minn.

    Fort Wayne, Ind.

    State College, Pa.

    Gary, Ind.

    Grand Forks, N.D.

    Lexington, Ky.

    Long Beach, Calif.

    Tallahassee, Fla.

    Here’s how it works:

    • Apply online with a new project or program that will make your city more successful.
    • 20 Champions will be selected by a review panel of city building experts
    • Successful applicants will be enrolled in the Emerging City Champions Studio, hosted in Toronto from June 24-27, 2017 (all travel expenses covered)
    • Champions receive $5,000 in seed funding to implement their project in one year


For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Emerging City Champions Fellowship Program 2017 

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