The Mayor’s Challenge Cabinet

In the past year, Kansas City has continually been recognized as a growing hub for entrepreneurship and innovation. This paradigm shift in how our city is perceived is in large part due to the hard work, dedication, and talent of our creative industries and young professional community. This group is increasingly and significantly transforming the ecosystem in Kansas City for the better. It is important now, more than ever, that our city government parallel the vision of our entrepreneurial community and be an engine for growth and support, not a barrier to development.

In an effort to take advantage of these growing opportunities, Mayor Sly James is seeking a cross-sector group of young professionals to serve as a creative advisory panel, with the goal of formulating forward-thinking civic policies that reflect the needs and wants of emerging leaders. Dubbed the Mayor’s Challenge Cabinet, the group will work directly with the City’s recently hired Chief Innovation Officer and the Code for America fellows, both of whom arrive next Monday. The goal is to fundamentally transform the way City Hall approaches problems, working strategically to develop efficient, effective, and enhanced municipal operations.

The Challenge Cabinet will have access to a wide range of resources in Kansas City’s entrepreneurial ecosystem including UMKC’s Proof of Concept Lab, the Kauffman Foundation, Google’s new ultra high-speed gigabit Internet, the Bloch School of Management, and extensive mentorship networks of business and innovation experts. Utilizing these resources and entities, the Challenge Cabinet will have an opportunity to work with premiere institutions and will be trained to use cutting-edge business principles, such as design thinking, proof of concept labs, and rigorous evaluation tools.

Applications are due by February 27, 2013. The Challenge Cabinet will be selected prior to the Mayor’s State of the City Address.