NYC announced a challenge program this week that is aimed at getting innovators, designers, technologists, entrepreneurs, etc focused on solving some of NYC’s most interesting problems. It is called NYCx and you can learn more about it here.

The first three challenges are up and are here.

They are:

The Governors Island Connectivity Challenge

Increasing Recycling In Brownsville Public Housing

Creating Safe Nightime Corridors In Brownsville

The City will continue to roll out these NYCx challenges in the coming months and years.

If you think you can solve one of the three existing challenges, you can apply on the links above.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    NIce.They should study the history of recycling and what drove market adoption.Completely counterintuitive with first attempts appealing to the why of it and education and the obvious things we do with food, wine and the rest.The tipping points came when they simply marketed the trend that was about the people learning to jump on board and do what all of your friends and neighbors are doing.Goodness was there. Momentum came as people imitated others that were doing it.

    1. Matt Breuer

      Reputational incentives are powerful for encouraging prosocial behavior.I recommend the 2006 paper “Incentives and Prosocial Behavior” (R Benabou, J Tirole), which is available for free online. As someone with no background in economics beyond undergraduate econ 101, I found it to be accessible and it provides a powerful framework for understanding human motivations. The authors divide incentives into three types: extrinsic, intrinsic, and reputational. Within each type, there are sub-divisions – for example, what you refer to is “avoidance of stigma” (or, shame), which is a different type of reputational incentive than “pursuit of distinction” (or, heroism)!

      1. awaldstein

        Human nature is the most important understanding for all marketing efforts.100x if it is a community platform for success.

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          Tried to see first if you have this on your blog, but didn’t find it: do you have a favorite book or two on this topic? Thx 🙂

          1. awaldstein

            traveling and will get back to you.

    2. sigmaalgebra

      Apparently all a special case of a much more general, simpler, and more solid effect:For humans, the fundamental problem in life is getting security in the face of the anxiety from their realization that alone they are vulnerable to the hostile forces of nature and society.Only four solutions have been found effective: (A) Love of spouse. (B) Love of God. (C) Membership in a group where are devoted to the goals of the group and, then, get praise, support, and approval from the group. (D) One that helped Harvey Weinstein, Hugh Hefner, …, Caligula, etc. get into trouble, let syphilis devastate much of Europe for 100+ years, has given us anti-biotic resistant gonorrhea, etc. A loose quote, paraphrase, from memory from an old source; extra credit for recognizing the source.So, from (C), in NYC there are groups with the goals (1) fight the threat to NYC of rising sea levels from melting ice caps and expanding ocean volume from climate change from sinful human use of fossil fuels, (2) stop sinful human use of fossil fuels causing dangerous climate change, (3) stop cars burning fossil fuels in NYC, (4) stop use of chlorinated fluorocarbon gasses that are destroying the ozone high over Antarctica during the winter there, (5) save the polar bears from the melting of the Arctic ice cap from climate change from sinful human use of fossil fuels, (6) stop too much salt in restaurant food, (7) to reduce fossil fuels used for generation of electricity, put wind turbines on the tops of the tallest building in NYC, (8) stop the sale of the public health threat of large sizes of soft drinks, (9) legalize marijuana, (10) regulate residential rents so that people on low and/or fixed incomes won’t have to move, (11) get rid of private transportation and convert everyone to public transportation, e.g., high speed trains between major cities, (12) solve the unemployment problem and the shortage of software developers by teaching computer science to all students in K-12, including ones who have a tough time paying enough attention to learn to read Dick and Jane, (13) save the good food discarded by high end NYC restaurants, (14) save the still edible food discarded by NYC grocery stores, (15) save on waste disposal costs by recycling bottles and cans, (16) stop the growing volume of trash that threatens to bury us, (17) import as many people from poor, backward countries as possible, (18) have single-payer, free health care for everyone, (19) support Hillary, Chucky, and Nancy, (20) worship the NYT and the rest of the MSM, (21) borrow as much as possible from European socialism, everything would be great if only the fly-over states would be like NYC, SF, and DC, (22) immigrants are the noble people needed to save the US, (23) to each accordingto their needs and from each according to their abilities, (24) cancel the election of Trump due to the illegal help he got from the Russians, (25) get rid of AG Sessions and get back to true justice for all with Lynch, Mueller, Comey, and Hillary, (26) hate Trump, etc.That the goals of the groups are often right at or over the border of wack-o doesn’t matter because what the people want is, still, just the praise, acceptance, and approval of other members of the, maybe admittedly wack-o, group.Uh, IIRC, at times lemmings do some similar things!

  2. Erin

    God, I love New York.

    1. awaldstein

      Factoids:Governor’s Island is part of ManhattanOpen space in Central Park is far greater than on the island I believe

      1. jason wright

        I speak as an islander. I see sea.

        1. awaldstein

          Governor’s Island is in the East River btw a long way from the Atlantic.I live in Manhattan and consider myself an islander as I watch the tug boats move up and down the Hudson.

          1. jason wright

            If it’s salty… :)Try aspirin.

          2. awaldstein

            ha!These rivers were literally cess pools growing up here and now–kayaking and jetskis and even otters are back on the Hudson.Too cool.

          3. Jeremy Robinson

            Thank Pete Seeger for the changes to the Hudson. I thought he was crazy with his nutty Clearwater boat back in the day. Turned out Pete was not only a wonderful folk singer but a practical altruist. Who knew?

  3. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:3. Creating a safe Nighttime corridors in Brownsville. (Solution: gainful employment)Excuse our NYC cynicism but when did gentrification come to Brownsville and when did City Government begin to care about safety in Brownsville? (A little perspective for those with no idea of this section in the Borough of Brooklyn, The birth place of Mike Tyson and fifty thousand like him currently roaming) There has to be some economic interests being played here.Captain Obvious!

  4. Miguel A. Gamiño Jr.

    Fred – Thank you for all of the tremendous support from the start, and helping spread the word about NYCx and the various elements of the program, including the Moonshot and Co-Lab Challenges. And special thank you for joining our Technology Leadership Council to help shape the program as it moves forward!To the commenters below, some thoughts.1. @erinm1:disqus I love New York too! :)2. @creative_group:disqus I can assure you that both challenges for Brownsville surfaced from many hours by many people (City staff and community leaders/members) as priorities of the neighborhood. The Administration supports positive progress for Brownsville that is driven by the perspective of people who live there, many of them life-long residents. We had a packed-house town hall with Mayor de Blasio in Brownsville last night that engaged directly with many residents. Check it out: me know if you have ideas or would like to get involved directly. These challenges are intended to invite people from Brownsville, and every part of the world, to offer contributions to addressing these concerns.3. @jasonpwright:disqus Absolutely! Gov Island is a beautiful oasis surrounded by beautiful urban life. Refer to #1 :)4. @awaldstein:disqus recycling, as well as human behavior (and education) is a big part of the thinking on this issue. Again, the challenge is designed to invite all of these insights into the process of finding real solutions!I invite each of you to help spread the word about the great work being done by the partnership between the Brownsville community, individuals and organizations, and several city departments and some brilliant young minds on my team.Cheers!MiguelCTO – City of New York.Find me on Twitter @MiguelGamino

  5. LE

    NYC announced a challenge program this weekThis will fall on deaf ears but I think there is a business idea here for a startup (maybe even kickstarter) [1] to develop a concept whereby they work with municipalities to foster competitions like this for prizes. So the municipality posts projects with prizes and people and or teams (from all over the world) compete to win the prizes and/or get accolades. There would be a cost to post a project that would be born by the municipality. That’s important in order to restrict and governor the amount of postings and also to raise some revenue.[1] Several twists on this perhaps people could support the proposals in some way that they thought were of benefit plus Kickstarter has a very wide existing customer base that is supportive and involved.

  6. jason wright

    What are “TGI” questions?

  7. jason wright

    Governors Island needs a ‘Project Noah’ solution. Tethered nodes that sit on the ground but can float in floods, are low profile to stay under high winds, and have artistic merit.