City Champions Summit 2023 honours 15 organisations improving Indian cities

Summit was organised by Josh Talks, with support from Omidyar Network India


New Delhi: The inaugural City Champions Summit identified and rewarded 15 outstanding Indian enterprises promoting urban development. A panel of nine people from throughout the nation decided the 15 innovators acknowledged during the occasion. The conference also brought together academics, grassroots innovators, funders, and CSR leaders in the field of sustainable urban development.

The event was organised by Josh Talks, a regional content and upskilling platform, and supported by Omidyar Network India, an impact investment firm. It was the culmination of the overarching City Champions campaign, which Josh Talks launched earlier this year, and was aligned with both the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and India’s G20 priorities focused on unity and a shared future.

The conference also served as a forum for smart city talks, new urban development ideas, and climate action. “Initiatives such as the City Champions give an opportunity to all citizens, particularly youth, to take the lead in solving the last-mile problems,” said Anna Roy, Senior Adviser, NITI Aayog, in her introductory speech. This not only generates role models, but also pushes other people to innovate and tackle grassroot concerns at scale. It is wonderful to see the passion and inventiveness shown by all contestants, not just the winners. I convey my sincere congratulations to them.”

“Since we launched the City Champions campaign earlier this year, it has reached more than 3 million people across 121 cities in India,” stated Supriya Paul, CEO & Co-founder of Josh Talks. The culmination of efforts over the previous six months has brought us to this exceptional crossroads when we award 15 companies operating in areas such as transportation, urban waste management, healthcare, and urban disaster management, among others. The City Champions Summit is more than simply an event; it is a movement aimed at establishing inclusive and sustainable cities for everyone.”

“The City Champions Summit is a celebration of change agents who have a vision for the cities of the future and are working to build better cities.” We hope that by showcasing their work and its impact, we can inspire a community of like-minded individuals, organisations, and citizens to shape and support inclusive city development, as well as mobilise capital for this emerging yet critical sector,” said Shilpa Kumar, Partner, Omidyar Network India.

The summit featured notable leaders from the urban development sector on its multiple panels, including Anjali Bansal, Founder, Avaana Capital; Ashish Kundra, Principal Secretary & Commissioner, Department of Transport, Government of Delhi NCT; Anoop Poddar, Managing Director, Eversource Capital; Dr. Nidhi Pundir, Vice President, Global CSR, HCL Foundation; and Kanta Singh, Deputy Country Representative, UN Women India.

Full list of winners:

  1. Best Youth-Led Changemaker: Climec Lab
  2. Lead Innovator of the Year: Waste is Gold Technologies
  3. Local Data Mitr: Red Dot Foundation – Safecity
  4. Best Women-Led Initiative: Baeru
  5. Urban Service Delivery: National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI)
  6. Urban Transport Solutions: Parisar Sanrakshan Sanvardhan Sanstha
  7. Urban Healthcare Excellence: Glad Bharat Foundation
  8. Inclusivity Champion: HIVE India
  9. Excellence in Water and Sanitation: TechXcl India Private Limited
  10. Excellence in Ecosystem Preservation: Respirer Living Sciences
  11. Excellence in Swacchta: EcoWrap
  12. Social Edge Award: Aadiwasi Janjagruti
  13. City Welfare Award: Vrikshit Foundation
  14. Urban Finance Solutions: Institute of Social Responsibility and Accountability (ISRA)
  15. City Suraksha Award: Eternal Bliss