Press Release

Josh Talks in partnership with Omidyar Network India launches City Champions, a multi-media campaign

~ The platform aims to identify, recognise and reward urban grassroot organisations working to improve our cities

*Registrations are open till 31st March, 2023*

Josh Talks, a regional content and upskilling platform launched City Champions, a program that is supported by Omidyar Network India (ONI), an investment firm focused on impact. Through a multi-media campaign, the program aims to identify, recognize, and reward urban changemakers and grassroots organizations that work to improve Indian cities and is inviting applications until the 31st of March 2023.

Through this collaborative effort, Josh Talks and ONI aim to align with the Sustainable Development Goal of building sustainable cities and communities and the G20 priorities of “One Earth, One Family, One Future”.

According to WUS (World Urbanization Prospects, 2018), by 2050 urban areas are expected to accommodate more than 50% of India’s population. Cities are also engines of economic growth. The City Champions campaign focuses on eight thematic sectors which are at the cornerstone of holistic development of our cities – transportation, waste management, water & sanitation, service delivery, healthcare, disaster management and public commons, to empower changemakers and organizations with limited resources to expand their impact and drive change in our communities.

The campaign, guided by an expert panel of leaders from organizations such as SEWA Bharat, Piramal Foundation, Goonj, Doctors for You, Charities Aid Foundation, Reap Benefit, Transportation Research Group, and Praja, invites applications from urban grassroots organizations working on the eight thematic sectors mentioned above. Applicants can access the registration forms here.

Commenting on the conceptualization of the campaign, Supriya Paul, Co-Founder & CEO, Josh Talks said, “Josh Talks’ goal is to showcase stories of relatable role models who can inspire the youth to take action. City Champions is a leap forward in that direction. We are excited to partner with ONI to celebrate changemakers from the grassroots of India and hope that their journeys can mobilise the next generation to become agents of change in their own cities and communities.”

“By recognising change-makers working on urban issues, City Champions aims to create a network of sustainable support for entrepreneurs working in this space. The missions of these entrepreneurs, which is to improve cities, is also critical to positively impacting the lives of the Next Half Billion who form about 35% percent of the urban population. We look forward to supporting Josh Talks to build a platform that we hope will continue to spotlight Champions for a long time to come” said Shilpa Kumar (Partner), ONI.

About Josh Talks:

Josh Talks was founded in 2015 by Shobhit Banga and Supriya Paul to give the youth of India access to stories of relatable role models. It is now one of India’s largest regional content distribution networks available in 10 regional languages, 6 content categories, states and districts. In 2020, they launched the Josh Talks English Speaking App to help their audience speak in English without hesitation. The course has generated strong user feedback with industry-leading retention rates, unlocking new employment opportunities for its users. As of December 2022, their content has garnered over 2.5 Billion lifetime views with an average of 180+ Million monthly views across platforms. The Josh Talks English Speaking app has more than 5 Million downloads with 260,000+ paid users.

About Omidyar Network India (ONI):

Omidyar Network India invests in bold entrepreneurs who help create a meaningful life for every Indian, especially the hundreds of millions of Indians in low-income and lower-middle-income populations, ranging from the poorest among us to the existing middle class. To drive empowerment and impact at scale, we work with entrepreneurs in the private, nonprofit and public sectors, who are tackling India’s hardest and most chronic problems. We invest in the areas of Digital Society, Education, Emerging Tech, Financial Inclusion, Advancing Cities and Property Inclusivity.

Omidyar Network India is part of the Omidyar Group, a diverse collection of companies, organisations and initiatives, supported by philanthropists Pam and Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay.

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