The Rockefeller Foundation has launched the 2012 Innovation Challenges to source innovative ideas that will have the potential to create long-term impact in an increasingly dynamic and complex world. The Innovation Challenges, which run through May 25, expect to gather ideas from around the globe in three issue areas: data, irrigation, and farming.
Seven billion people are now living—some barely surviving—on our planet, magnifying the challenges and creating new opportunities to tackle them. As The Rockefeller Foundation marks its centennial, the search has begun for innovative ideas that will solve problems for the next 100 years. The Innovation Challenges are designed to discover and reward ideas that show unique promise for addressing global needs from a variety of geographies, perspectives, and contexts.
Fifteen finalists, five in each category, will be selected by a distinguished panel of judges and recognized at the 2012 Innovation Forum on June 28, 2012. They may be invited to collaborate with The Rockefeller Foundation as it builds the Global Engagement Network, a network of problem solvers focused on key global problems. As many as nine out of 15 finalists will be selected by the Foundation to apply for up to $100,000 in grant support to further develop or implement their ideas.
“The Rockefeller Foundation’s centennial occurs at a time of great dynamism, change, and uncertainty in the world. We are challenging the on-the-ground thinkers and doers to offer their most innovative thinking for addressing the challenges facing humanity in the 21st century,” said Michael Myers, Director of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Centennial Initiative. “The ideas that can become the next killer app for these issues, we want to know about them, we want to let others learn from them, and we want to support them.”
The Rockefeller Foundation looks to attract global changemakers whose ideas could lead to new services, tools, and choices in the following three issue areas:
DECODING DATA: Ideas that create better ways to address urban challenges through the application of data.
IRRIGATING EFFICIENCY: Ideas that help reduce barriers—such as lack of investment, incentives, or political will and capacity—to implementing and scaling agricultural water use efficiency.
FARMING NOW: Ideas that encourage and help young farmers to become more productive, more resilient, and more profitable by addressing cultural perceptions, economic conditions, and/or climate change.
The 2012 Innovation Challenges are the second in an annual series, which began in 2011 and are designed to source cutting-edge ideas to some of the most pressing challenges around the world. The first Innovation Challenges sought innovative uses in mobile technology to improve health systems and outcomes. The second annual 2012 Innovation Challenges will accept entries until May 25, 2012. For more information or to participate, visit http://centennial.rockefellerfoundation.org/challenge.