Who is eligible to form a Local Team and enter a challenge?

Only a representative of a local authority – a city, village or city district – can form a Local Team and submit a challenge. The size of the municipality does not matter; what counts is the willingness to try out and test an innovative process.

Is there a participation fee?

No, participation is free of charge.

What are the participation requirements for a Local Team?

Participants must be prepared to engage in a novel solution-finding process, submit a local challenge, assemble a diverse team, and provide the necessary space and staff (a Municipal Contact).

The team should consist of 5-10 people from various backgrounds


  • 2-3 young people (18-30 years of age)
  • Balanced representation of at least 40% of each gender
  • The mayor of the participating municipality should be part of the team. If this is not possible, they should appoint a deputy and act as the official patron.

Representatives of

  • the local administration
  • local businesses
  • civil society
  • stakeholder groups relevant to the challenge

As a team, you need the following resources to manage the Local Lab:

Time: Friday 12 Nov 2021, 3 pm until Sunday 14 Nov 2021, 4 pm
Space: Meeting room for at least 10 people
Technical requirements:

  • Strong and stable internet connection, screen, post-its, writing materials.
  • We will use Hopin and Zoom as event platforms. Please check with your IT department in advance to find out whether this is supported within your security settings. Please contact us in good time if you have any questions.

Does our mayor have to be present throughout the Local Lab?

No, they are only required to assume the patronage of the Local Team and support communication activities.

What is classified as a local challenge?
  • It has to solve a problem which is covered by the SDGs.
  • It has to be a specific, manageable project.
    Bad example: “We want to be a zero-emission municipality where everybody gets along.”
    Good examples:
    “We want to promote sustainable modes of transport in our municipality.”
    “We want our shopping street to become a more welcoming meeting place”
What exactly does a Sprint Mentor do?
  • Guides the team through the Sprint (moderation)
  • Introduces steps and methods
What skills does a Sprint Mentor need?
  • Extroverted, experience in meeting moderation and facilitation, basic understanding of design thinking
  • We will provide designated Sprint Mentors with a detailed briefing including a playbook and training sessions
What is the role of a municipal contact?
  • Your local project lead from preparation through to project implementation
  • Liaises between your Local Team and the ACT NOW Team
  • Manages all organisational matters for your Local Team (technical set-up, catering, writing materials, passing on information, etc.)
What happens if we don’t find a solution during the Local Lab?

You will have until the end of 2021 to submit your final project. So you can finish your presentation after the official Sprint is over.

What happens with our project after the Local Lab?
  • You submit it to the ACT NOW team
  • You receive professional feedback from experts
  • We will support implementation through monthly check-in calls until the ACT NOW Mayors’ Conference in spring 2022
  • If the project is on course for implementation, your Local Team and your mayor can present it at the ACT NOW Mayors’ Conference in spring 2022
Who is invited to the ACT NOW Mayors’ Conference?
  • Members of the ACT NOW Mayors’ Network
  • Innovative mayors and their staff
  • Every Local Team can send a delegation of team members to the conference
  • Young people also have the opportunity to participate through the ACT NOW Youth Network. Find out more here.
Will we need to cover our own travel expenses?

Generally, yes. Young participants’ travel expenses can be reimbursed through their involvement in the ACT NOW Youth Network. In addition, participants who do not have the resources to pay for their own travel can apply for compensation or support. Please contact Martina Fürrutter at mf@innovationinpolitics.eu for further details.

What happens with our project after the ACT NOW Mayors’ Conference?

After the project has been implemented, it will be included in our Showroom for Best Practice in Politics and published on The Innovation in Politics Institute’s social media and digital channels. Additionally, it can be submitted for the next edition of the Innovation in Politics Awards. Participants are invited to join our global network of political innovators.

I still have some questions.

No problem! Please write to Martina Fürrutter at mf@innovationinpolitics.eu.

This is amazing! I want to tell everyone about the Local Lab and ACT NOW Mayors’ Conference.

That’s wonderful, thank you!

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