The pandemic has exacerbated the need to be connected in order to access jobs, training, and markets. However, the digital economy excludes over half of the world’s population who remain disconnected from the web, with more than half of Africa still offline, and 37 percent of rural US households with no access to broadband. This is an enormous missed opportunity: connecting the rest of the world could add $6.7 trillion to the economy and lift 500 million people out of poverty.
Building an inclusive digital economy that affords everyone the opportunity to lead a dignified and productive life will require access to digital services for everyone. It will also require reliable infrastructure, devices, and affordable data plans for all, particularly for those who do not have access in remote and rural areas. Further, access to commerce, credit lines, safety nets, and saving mechanisms are key for a global economy where nearly 2 billion people remain unbanked, and more than 60 percent of the workforce is informal.
The MIT Solve community is looking for technology-based solutions that ensure everyone has access to the digital economy. To that end, Solve seeks solutions that:
All solutions selected for Solve’s five current Global Challenges will receive a $10,000 grant funded by Solve. Solver teams will be selected by a panel of cross-sector judges.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Prize
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Prize is open to solutions that directly address the health and well-being of people in the US. The prize is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which aims to raise the health of everyone in the United States by using a health equity lens to place well-being at the center of every aspect of life. Up to $150,000 will be granted to up to four eligible teams from the Antiracist Tech Challenge, the Indigenous Communities Fellowship, and the Health Security & Pandemics Challenge.
The ASA Prize for Equitable Education
The ASA Prize for Equitable Education will award a prize for digital solutions tailored to U.S.-based primary and secondary classrooms that provide career exploration or experimentation. Solutions that are embedded as part of core curriculum, utilize project based learning, ensure equitable access, and have an emphasis on teacher professional development are preferred. American Student Assistance® (ASA) is committed to helping students know themselves, know their options, and make informed decisions to achieve their education and career goals. Up to $250,000 will be granted to or invested in solutions from the Equitable Classrooms Challenge, the Digital Inclusion Challenge, the Antiracist Technology in the US Challenge, and/or Indigenous Communities Fellowship.
The Elevate Prize for Antiracist Technology
The Elevate Prize for Antiracist Technology is open to nonprofit leaders who are helping to create an antiracist and equitable future in the US. This prize is funded by the Elevate Prize Foundation, which aims to elevate humanity on a global scale by funding, guiding, and scaling the platforms of social entrepreneurs. A minimum of $300,000 will be granted to 1 nonprofit Solver from the Antiracist Technology in the US Challenge. This exemplar leader will take part in both the MIT Solver program and the Elevate Prize winners program and receive ongoing support from MIT Solve and the Elevate Prize Foundation. Learn more about the Elevate Prize here.
The GM Prize
The GM Prize is open to solutions that help create smart, safe, and sustainable communities around the world. The Prize is funded by General Motors, which is working toward becoming the most inclusive company in the world, and dedicated to making STEM education more accessible and equitable. Up to $150,000 will be granted to up to six recipients from the Antiracist Technology in the US, Equitable Classrooms, and Resilient Ecosystems Challenges.
The HP Prize for Advancing Digital Equity
The HP Prize for Advancing Digital Equity is open to solutions that advance inclusion, digital literacy, and economic opportunity in communities across the US and globally. Up to $100,000 will be granted to up to four recipients from the Antiracist Technology in the US and Digital Inclusion Challenges.
Innovation for Women Prize
Solutions that use innovative technology to improve quality of life for women and girls are eligible for the Innovation for Women Prize. This prize is funded by the Vodafone Americas Foundation, which supports technology-focused projects that advance the needs of women and girls, and that promote a world where women’s voices can be celebrated. Up to $75,000 will be granted across up to three Solver teams from any of Solve’s current Global Challenges.
The AI For Humanity Prize
The AI for Humanity Prize is open to solutions leveraging data science, artificial intelligence, and/or machine learning to benefit humanity, as well as to those planning to utilize these technologies to amplify their impact. The prize is made possible by The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, a philanthropy committed to advancing AI and data solutions to create a thriving, equitable, and sustainable future for all. Up to $200,000 in funding will be awarded across several Solver teams from any of Solve’s Global Challenges and the Indigenous Communities Fellowship
Solve is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that advances solutions from tech entrepreneurs to address the world's most pressing problems. Solve issues four Challenges each year to find the most promising Solver teams that will drive lasting, transformational change. Solve then deploys its global community of private, public, and nonprofit leaders to form the partnerships these Solver teams need to scale their impact.