HOW CAN I APPLY?

Complete this online form or send us the attached application form to transformativecities@tni.org   

WHO CAN APPLY?

This initiative is open to collectives not individuals. A collective can have the form of a social movement with recognizable structures and goals- even without a formal legal recognition, a legally existing civil society organization, a citizens platform seeking to gain institutional power at municipal and/or city level via a political candidacy, an established city council, or other forms of collective action that center their practices in a specific location that is not generally recognized as a region, state or similar delimitation and scopes.

We encourage applicants  to showcase a particularly successful local initiative that is  part of their broader work. For example, a local hub that is part of a broader network, whose successful story has become a source of inspiration for others and is being replicated elsewhere.

WHAT IS THE DEADLINE

Please apply before the (extended deadline) 14th of June, 2020.  23.59h CET (GMT+1)

UNDER WHICH CATEGORIES CAN I APPLY?

The third edition of the award (2020) will look at the same four issues as the second edition: Energy, Water, Housing and Food. We expect to keep adding issues in the future editions based on our capacity.

You can also apply to several issues simultaneously under the same application, however you must select the issue your application is focusing on.

WHY SHOULD I APPLY?

By participating in this award you will amplify your local efforts into a global one, and will help others understand what is effective in challenging and transforming the unjust status quo. The world needs inspiring stories, and you might have one that triggers transformation practices in other regions and places. To facilitate this, we have developed a consistent strategy to bring visibility to the Award's applicants.

Being featured in the Atlas of Utopias, or being one of the finalists or winners, not only will  help others to learn from your struggles and successes, but will also strengthen the visibility of your own practice too, locally and internationally.

DO YOU PROVIDE ASSISTANCE FILLING IN THE APPLICTION FORM?

We understand that for those challenging corporate power, authoritarian regimes, environmental degradation, inequality and injustice in all its forms, it is hard to allocate time to sit down and reflect on your political practices. If you have limited capacity to fill in the application form, we have some capacity to assist you in the process. With this support we hope to help those the frontlines with a lot to share, but not much available time. To ask for this support, please do contact us and we will assess your request.

WHO IS BEHIND THIS AWARD?

The Transformative Cities initiative is launched by a group of regional and international organizations (in alphabetical order): European network for community-led initiatives on climate change and sustainability (Ecolise), Friends of the Earth International (FoEI), Global network of continental networks committed to the promotion of Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS), Habitat International Coalition (HIC), the Global Platform for the Right to the City (GPR2C) and the Transnational Institute (TNI). 

You can find out more about them here.

WHAT IS THE PROCESS AFTER APPLYING?

Transformative Cities: The Atlas of Utopias

If you are eligible, your experience will be analyzed based on the information provided in your application form, alongside other candidates, by expert evaluators in different fields to draw out both the strengths and potential of your collective work. At least 4 different evaluators will revise each application form in a peer-reviewed process . 

Three key experiences for each issue (i.e. Water/Energy/Housing/Food) will be chosen for public promotion as we want to share the most inspiring stories with the wider public, adding up to 12 stories in total. 

As a finalist of the 2020 edition your story will be included in the Atlas of Utopias 2020, which this year will feature all finalists from all the three editions so far. An inspiring mosaic of real transformative utopias.  To have a sense of the Atlas, please check out the Atlas of Utopias 2019.  

Telling your story

The three finalists  for each issue  (i.e. Water/Energy/Housing/Food) will be put in contact with a local journalist commissioned by the Transformative Cities Initiative to get their full story, to dig deep and pull out the inspiration, colours, dynamics and people behind your collective action. This will help you to tell your story to others, which can both strengthen your cause and inspire others to follow your example. 

Have a look at the media impact of previous editions.

Popular engagement

To engage the public, the top twelve stories will be voted on during a 4 week period by the global community that we are creating. This includes of course your community and the networks you are part of.

Although the popular vote will technically identify a series of ‘winners’ that receive the  "Transformative Cities People’s Choice Award ", our goal is not to create competition between different political practices, but rather to put a spotlight on transformative practices and encourage their spread internationally.

The Transformative Cities People's Choice Award Finale – Update in light of COVID-19

To close the award cycle, the Transformative Cities partners will organize a unique online event in the first week of December 2020. During the Transformative Cities Finale, we will announce which initiatives received the most popular support, and will thus receive the Transformative Cities 2020 People’s Choice Award.

This event will be live-streamed worldwide, giving an opportunity for those outside Amsterdam to engage and be part of this celebration of collectives.

See the Finale editions in 2019 and 2018.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on international travel, the Transformative Cities 2020 finale will be different than in previous years. The format of the event will focus on digital broadcasting and related outreach. This change is because at this moment we cannot ensure the organisation of a physical event, as we are uncertain if finalists around the world will be able to travel. 

We will build on our experience of successful live streaming, as well as TNI´s expertise in organising well-attended webinars. 

As a consequence of these changes, the Transformative Cities Initiative will not cover the costs for winners to travel to Amsterdam as would be the norm. Nevertheless, we will use that budget to support each of the winning initiatives by providing access to training and capacity building courses for political organising and advocacy. The estimated value will be 1500 euros for each winner. We will liaise with each winner on how they prefer to use this monetary support.  

Furthermore, after the finale the Transformative Cities Initiative will work with the winner of each category to organise a tailored webinar to meet their needs. This can be a public webinar to reach a broader public, or it can be a private one to connect with peers from around the world. The Transformative Cities partners will ensure the usefulness and impact of this webinars by inviting relevant thinkers and practitioners to these events.

We regret any inconveniences caused by this modification of the Transformative Cities Finale when the Open call has already been published.  We have quickly adapted to the new reality, and are striving hard to deliver a stellar event, despite the enormous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have implemented these changes to ensure people’s safety while still accomplishing the goal of the finale, which is to increase visibility to your initiative and to connect you with peers around the world.

Ongoing mutual learning 

The Transformative Cities Initiative is not just focused on the award, but intends to build a network that allows participants to learn from each other. One of those opportunities for mutual learning could be the Transformative Cities People's Choice Award Finale organised by TNI and its partners.  Specific webinars will also be organized to extract and build upon learnings from the winning initiatives.

All results and lessons will be published under a Creative Commons license. This episode of the Laura Flanders show gives a glimpse of that this looked like in the first edition of the award. 

WHAT WILL IT MEAN TO WIN THE AWARD?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Transformative Cities Initiative will not, as in previous editions, invite finalists to come to Amsterdam to be part of a public event. Instead, we will host a digital event. In lieu of spending our budget on travel and accommodation, we will use that budget to support each of the winning initiatives by providing access to training and capacity building courses for political organising and advocacy. The estimated value will be 1500 euros for each winner. We will liaise with each winner on how they prefer to use this monetary support.

The goal of the Transformative People 's Choice Award process, however, is still not primarily focused on providing a monetary prize. The value of the Peoples Choice Award is in the possibility to give visibility and strength to your experience, facilitating its replicability and scalability.

Our experience from the first and second edition is that the award is an excellent way for the applicants to reach new audiences and garner significant attention. Furthermore, by taking part you will get in contact with transformative experiences from all over the world, and participate in mutual learning processes, whether physically or online.

After the finale, the Transformative Cities Initiative will work with the winner of each category to organize a tailored webinar to meet their needs. This can either be a public webinar to reach a broader public, or it can be a private one to connect with peers from around the world.

We regret any inconveniences caused by this modification of the Transformative Cities Finale when the Open call has already been published., but we must cope as everyone else with the enormous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes are implemented to ensure the goal of the finale, to increase visibility to your initiative and to connect you with peers around the world.

WHAT ARE THE SELECTION CRITERIA?

These are the key elements of a Transformative Practice: 

  • Equity and participation
  • Capacity to inspire collective action 
  • Impact
  • Transferability and replicability
  • Accountability and Transparency
  • Solidarity and Public ethos
  • Ecological transitions
  • Sustainability and efficiency
  • Fairness of labour conditions and the recognition of care and domestic work

CAN I STILL APPLY IF I ALREADY APPLIED FOR THE FIRST OR SECOND EDITION?

Yes. If you did apply and did not get the Peoples Choice Award we encourage you to apply again, probably your initiative has grown stronger and you have more inspiration to share.

If you are not sure about your eligibility, please do contact us. 

IS IT JUST FOR “CITIES "?

The concept of “city” is a highly contested one, scientifically or politically. For the purpose of the award, we define cities in very broad terms as "locations for place-based struggles for basic rights." We understand that cities have certain strategic advantages to advance social, environmental and gender justice - in terms of combining critical masses of people as well as potential for more accountable governance. This will encompass transformative practices happening in urban and rural areas and in areas that could be described as both.

We are deeply aware that struggles in cities cannot be separated from the rural, as the whole political economy of cities is deeply dependent on processes of production and extraction from rural areas. These interconnections must be better understood and analysed if we are to see how transformative these practices really are. Transformation must be local, national and global, but we also believe that transformative efforts within 'cities' are increasingly reflecting these interconnections within their very work and we hope to reflect that in this initiative. 

We encourage applicants that want to showcase a particularly successful local initiative part of their broader work. For example a local hub that is part of a broader network, whose successful story has become a source of inspiration and is being transferred elsewhere.

ISN'T PROBLEMATIC TO COMPARE INITIATIVES FROM THE GLOBAL SOUTH AND THE GLOBAL NORTH IN AN AWARD?

We acknowledge the existing differences between the Global South and the Global North. However we believe that is possible, and politically relevant, to compare them appropriately.  

Access to water, energy, housing or food is as important in the Global South as in the Global North, these are basic human rights. We also witness similar trends worldwide when it comes to limited access to basic human rights, such as global warming, privatisation of natural resources, and dysfunctional formal political systems. 

We are interested on understanding how collectives around the world regardless of their location are ensuring access to these basic rights. How to implement successful public initiatives and policies in different local contexts remains one of the biggest challenges of the transferability of best local practices. The frame of access to basic human rights overcomes some of these difficulties.

We find it important to create a frame where initiatives and collectives from countries depicted as "underdeveloped," are treated on an equal basis with initiatives and collectives implemented in "developed" counties. That way, collectives that are regularly depicted as in need of assistance from the "rich and developed" world show their invaluable capacity, imagination, ingenuity and commitment to address some of the problems we face globally.

DO I NEED TO HAVE A LEGAL FORM TO APPLY?

No, however you need to be a collective with recognizable structures in place and set goals. That usually means to have at least a well-functioning website and a number of examples of your collective actions. If you have doubts please contact us.

If eventually you become a (finalist or) winner and are invited to receive the award in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, please do note that at least one person of your initiative will need a passport to travel. When traveling from certain countries outside the European Union, you will also need to apply for a visa, a bureaucratic process we will support you with.

HOW CAN I CAN GET IN CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS THAT ARE NOT ANSWERED HERE?

Please ask your question(s) by contacting us here:  transformativecities@tni.org