XPRIZE Announces Its Next Moonshot: Bringing Literacy to 250 Million Children Around The World

Sep 22 2014


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$15 Million Global Learning XPRIZE will Incentivize Technology Solutions that Enable Children in Developing Countries to Teach Themselves Basic Reading, Writing and Arithmetic

New York (September 22, 2014) — XPRIZE Chairman and CEO, Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, will today announce the launch of the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE during a presentation at the Social Good Summit. Diamandis will be joined on-stage by technology entrepreneur, Anousheh Ansari, and Senior Advisor in the Executive Office of the President of Kenya, Ruth Kagia. The Global Learning XPRIZE is a five-year competition challenging teams to develop open source and scalable software that will enable children in developing countries to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic.

At the same time, XPRIZE will launch an online crowdfunding campaign to mobilize a global street team of supporters to get involved with the Global Learning XPRIZE. Every dollar pledged will go towards optimizing the success of the prize, specifically focusing on supporting team recruitment globally and expanding field testing.

“With the awarding of the Ansari XPRIZE 10 years ago, we catalyzed the commercial spaceflight industry, which has now grown to become a multi-billion-dollar industry,” said Diamandis. “Today, we are thrilled to launch our next world-changing competition to revolutionize global literacy. We will never build enough schools or train enough teachers to meet demand, which brings us to a pivotal moment where an alternative, radical approach is needed. This open source solution can be iterated upon, scaled and deployed around the world, bringing quality learning experiences to children no matter where they live.”

The Global Learning XPRIZE will launch with a six-month team registration period. Registered teams will then have 18 months to develop their solutions, at which point, a panel of third-party expert judges will evaluate and select the top five teams to proceed in the competition, each receiving a $1M award. Solutions will be tested in the field across a minimum of 100 villages, reaching thousands of children in the developing world, over an 18-month period. The testing will take place in a country where English is a primary language of instruction. The $10M top prize will ultimately be awarded to the team that develops a technology solution demonstrating the greatest levels of proficiency gains in reading, writing and arithmetic.

The Global Learning XPRIZE is funded by a group of donors, including the Dick & Betsy DeVos Foundation, the Anthony Robbins Foundation, the Econet Foundation, the Merkin Family Foundation, Scott Hassan, John Raymonds and Suzanne West.

For more information, visit http://learning.xprize.org.


Founded in 1995, XPRIZE is the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prizes in five areas: Learning; Exploration; Energy & Environment; Global Development; and Life Sciences. Active prizes include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, the $2.25M Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE and the $2M Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE. For more information, go to www.xprize.org.

Media Contact:

Eric Desatnik: [email protected]