SCCANZ in action: Counting down to the inaugural Australia/New Zealand Smart Cities Readiness Challenge

In just over a week's time, we launch the Smart Cities Readiness Challenge in Australia and New Zealand, marking the first major expansion of the program outside North America.

The Readiness Challenge is a global program of the Smart Cities Council, and features a two-day intensive incubator, and supporting post-incubator mentoring, which helps government organisations build the leadership conditions and technical capacity necessary for delivering smart cities investments now, and into the future.

Participants in the ANZ Readiness Challenge will join a cohort of cities which include the likes of Austin, Philadelphia and Orlando in the United States, which completed the Readiness Challenge in 2017. They will also interact with the latest 2018 North America cohort of Birmingham, Alabama; The city of Cary in North Carolina, The city of Las Vegas; Louisville/Jefferson County and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Readiness Incubator is at the core of the Challenge, which comprises a two-day in-person intensive training session based on our acclaimed Smart Cities Readiness Guide, where a ‘team' of up to 6-8 staff from a local authority or state agency participate in numerous rounds of structured learning. Incubators are proposed for Sydney, Perth and New Zealand, and will be facilitated throughout July and August.

For the 2018 ANZ Readiness Challenge, a competitive application process will be facilitated to identify a qualified group of 10-12 cities and agencies who will be invited to participate in the incubator. The application process is based on a rigorous assessment of the organisation's readiness to take their smart cities journey to the next level, ensuring that they are moving from ‘confusion’ to ‘clarity’ in terms of becoming investment ready.

Successful teams will comprise key internal department leads, along with other senior staff critical to the successful delivery of smart cities investments.

The two-day agenda includes conference style presentations, mobile workshops and facilitated workshop sessions and report-outs. A dedicated facilitator is provided to each team for the duration of the incubator, also acting as a mentor.

The Readiness Incubator is designed for deep peer exchange and learning, supported by a select number of more 'social networking' forums built into the agenda to help build relationships. These social forums also provide more intimate settings for project teams to spend quality time with guest speakers and content specialists.

We look forward to hearing from potential applicants in the coming weeks, as we mobilise for a critical capacity building program of government organisations across the region.

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