Josh Talks launches City Champions 2024 to accelerate grassroot urban development

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Kolkata, 17 April 2024: Josh Talks, a regional content and upskilling platform announced the launch for City Champions 2024. Since its inaugural launch in 2023, City Champions has been dedicated to identifying, championing, and supporting organisations working towards sustainable urban development.

According to a report by the World Bank released in 2022, 600 million people will be living in urban cities in India by 2036, representing 40 percent of the population. This is likely to put additional pressure on the already stretched urban infrastructure and services of Indian cities – with more demand for clean drinking water, reliable power supply, efficient and safe road transport amongst others.

Building the necessary infrastructure is key for creating livable, climate-resilient and inclusive cities that drive the economy forward. There are organisations working towards achieving this and thus, making it crucial to acknowledge, fund and support their work.

With support from Omidyar Network India, the program aims to identify selected organisations across eight thematic areas of Public Safety, Climate Action, Water and Sanitation, City Planning, City Welfare, Youth and Children Welfare, Urban Public Transport, and Sustainable Infrastructure. City Champions 2024 is set to empower 16 impact-driven organisations with enhanced capabilities, market readiness, investment readiness and accelerated growth and expansion over a 12-week capacity building program with IIM Calcutta Innovation Park as the accelerator partner.

Expressing her enthusiasm for this year’s program, Supriya Paul, CEO & Co-founder of Josh Talks said, “City Champions reached more than 3 million people in 121 cities last year and we are hopeful to reach more people this year. This initiative is a testament to our commitment to building livable, sustainable, and safe cities for all citizens. Through this, we aim to provide social organisations with the necessary tools and resources to scale their efforts effectively and create lasting impact.”

Shilpa Kumar, Partner at Omidyar Network India said, “We are proud to support City Champions 2024 in fostering a vibrant ecosystem of changemakers dedicated to addressing the pressing challenges faced by urban communities. By providing strategic mentorship, networking opportunities, and access to funding, we are confident that this program will drive meaningful change.”

Dr. Subhrangshu Sanyal, CEO at IIM Calcutta Innovation Park added, “At IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, we believe in actively fostering innovation and entrepreneurship that addresses big social challenges and catalyses livelihood opportunities. This collaboration aligns perfectly with our mission to support and nurture businesses that leverage technology and impact the sustainable development goals. Through this partnership, we look forward to providing valuable resources, mentorship and opportunities for growth to the selected organisations, ultimately empowering them to drive positive change in the country at large.”

Josh Talks has also partnered with Prasiddhi Forest Foundation to plant a tree for each application that is received for City Champions 2024. Organisations interested in applying can check the details and access the application form here: Applications are open till 20th May 2024.