What is your moonshot innovation to a global grand challenge that leverages exponential technology and has a potential to impact a billion people in 10 years?
Areas of expertise: Technology/Science, Entrepreneur/Intrapreneur, Energy, Nanotechnology
Winning idea: Green Steps Energy "Bezeo"
Green Steps Energy is an energy generating carpet that generates "green" electricity by stepping, walking, or even jumping on it. Energy is harvested and used to power various equipment and devices, such as electrical doors and lights.
The purpose of the SingularityU MENA Global Impact Challenge is to foster moonshot innovations and startups that positively impact the lives of people living in the MENA region, with an ability to scale and impact a billion people worldwide in 10 years.
This year, we are ideally looking for applicants who have the skills and passion to develop and launch a startup company around a moonshot idea that addresses climate change, although we will also accept outstanding applicants who have other areas of expertise or choose to innovate in other fields.
We selected the climate change theme because it has consequences for every industry, geographic region, and way of life. Even if you don’t consider yourself a climate change authority or innovator, your skill set can probably help mitigate the effects of climate change. If you’re already passionate about impact or working in the impact space, you can create a moonshot innovation to address this urgent global problem.
We will not require participants to innovate in the climate change space, and welcome people from all disciplines to apply, but this theme will inform the program curriculum. We are looking for applicants from ANY technology or science discipline because we know a challenge as huge as climate change can only be solved within the convergence of multiple disciplines and exponential technologies.
What moonshot innovation would you develop to solve a global grand challenge (environment, energy, water, food, health, disaster resilience, governance, learning, space, security, prosperity, and shelter) using exponential technology that would impact the lives of a billion people in the next 10 years?
The winner of this challenge will secure a full sponsorship to attend the transformational Global Solutions Program at Singularity University. The program runs from June 17 to August 17, 2017, on the SU campus at NASA Research Park.
Dates and timeline
Applications open: March 22, 2017
Applications close: April 24, 2017
Finalists announced: April 30, 2017
Winners announced: May 4, 2017
Rules & Criteria
Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- The challenge is open to residents and citizens in any country in the MENA region. MENA countries include Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen
- You must be age 21 or older on the first day of the GSP
- Must be fluent in written and spoken English
- You must be able to participate in the entire GSP17 program from June 17 - August 17, 2017
- Applicants selected as finalists will be interviewed by a panel of judges on May 22, 2017
We look for people from all professional backgrounds, but will be really thrilled to find you if:
- You’re an accomplished entrepreneur, technologist, scientist, or change agent with expertise in your chosen field(s)
- You have a background in or a passion for addressing climate change or are working to address any of the direct or indirect effects of climate change, such as governance, security, sustainable water supplies, and alternative food or energy sources
- You’re already considering how to leverage exponential technologies to create positive impact in the world
- You’re committed to the long-term journey of launching an impact-focused startup
We will evaluate submissions using the following criteria:
- Degree of the solution's relevance to the theme of the challenge
- The regional relevance in solving the challenge in MENA
- Feasibility, viability, and coherence of implementing the idea
- Entrepreneurial and innovative potential, with a focus on technological novelty
- Applicant's leadership experience and quality, profile, achievements, and potential
GIC Organizing Team
SingularityU Dubai Chapter Leader
Frequently Asked Questions
Global Impact Challenges (GICs) are annual incentive competitions held in partnership with sponsor organizations worldwide and organized by geography and theme. These challenges act as a platform to identify outstanding entrepreneurs, leaders, scientists, and engineers with the most innovative ideas for moonshot innovations and startups that can positively impact a billion people in 10 years. The winner of each challenge receives a full sponsorship to attend our transformational Global Solutions Program.
No, there’s no such obligation from either SU or the GIC Sponsor. The GIC winner can elect to recruit fellow GSP classmates to work on his or her winning project or create an entirely new project during the summer.
In all cases where a GIC winner cannot attend GSP, the winner forfeits his or her GSP seat to the first runner-up and would then need to reapply for admission in a future year.
For more information, see the Global Solutions Program.
Still have questions?
Get in touch with us by emailing the Global Impact Challenges team at SU at [email protected].