SingularityU Norway Global Impact Challenge

What moonshot idea would you develop that would impact the lives of a billion people in the next 10 years by applying exponential technology to address a global grand challenge?

Endre Elvestad

2017 Winner
Endre Elvestad

Areas of expertise: Technology/Science, Entrepreneurship/Intrapreneurship, AI & Machine Learning, Networks & Computing, Data Science

Winning idea: SignLab Ai

Endre’s idea centers around building a global platform for learning sign languages.

Marques Anderson

2017 Winner
Marques Anderson

Areas of expertise: Technology/Science, Entrepreneurship/Intrapreneurship, AI & Machine Learning, Energy

Winning idea: SignLab Ai

Marques’s platform idea incorporates smart solutions for architecture, irrigation, farming, healthcare, surveillance, and education systems that aim to extend advancements in the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, building a global ‘digital nervous system’ connecting villages and cities at scale.


The purpose of the SingularityU Norway Global Impact Challenge is to foster moonshot innovations and startups that positively impact the lives of people living in Norway, with an ability to scale and impact a billion people worldwide in 10 years.

This year, for the first time, we are ideally looking for applicants who have the skills and passion to develop a moonshot idea and launch a startup company that addresses climate change, although we will also accept outstanding applicants who have other areas of expertise or choose to innovate in other global grand challenges areas such as health, education, environment, energy, water, food, disaster resilience, and governance.

Climate change is a broad focus area that includes many areas ripe for innovation. For example, if you’re developing sustainable food sources or alternative energy sources, developing governance models for policy, or focused on issues such as biodiversity or water access, you already fall within the climate change theme and should definitely apply.

Again, we welcome entrepreneurs, technologists, scientists, and other experts from all disciplines to apply, and we will not require participants to only innovate in the climate change space.

What moonshot innovation would you develop to solve a global grand challenge (environment, energy, water, food, health, disaster resilience, governance, learning, space, security, prosperity, or shelter) using exponential technology that would impact the lives of a billion people in the next 10 years?

New for 2017

This year, the GSP has two big changes: (1) climate change is the overarching theme, and (2) we have a new collaboration with XPRIZE.

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.

The prize

The winner of this challenge will secure a full sponsorship to attend the prestigious Global Solutions Program at Singularity University. The program runs from June 17 to August 17, 2017, on the SU campus at NASA Research Park. The winner will also be awarded stage time to speak about his or her idea and/or experiences at SU at Aftenpostens Teknologikonferanse in the fall.

Shortlisted finalists will be invited to a tech bootcamp in Copenhagen from March 14-18. All costs will be covered and the camp is mandatory.

Finalists will be encouraged to participate in sponsors’ internal events and/or have the opportunity to publicly communicate their ideas and learnings, as provided by separate agreements with sponsors.

Dates and timeline

Applications open: January 13, 2017
Information session: February 20, 2017,
Sentralen (Øvre Slottsgate 3), Oslo room P3 at 18:30-19:30
Applications close: February 25, 2017
Notification upon approval: March 3, 2017
Finalist bootcamp: Copenhagan, March 14-18, 2017
Pitch event & winners announced: March 30, 2017,
Teknologihuset (Pilestredet 56), Oslo at 18:30-22:30

Sponsored by:

DNB logoAftenposten logoWilhelmsen logo

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Rules & Criteria

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • The challenge is open to residents and citizens of Norway
  • You must be age 21 or older on the first day of the GSP
  • You must be fluent in written and spoken English
  • You must be able to participate in the entire duration of the tech bootcamp in Copenhagen from March 14-18, 2017 (all costs will be covered)
  • You must be able to participate in the entire GSP17 program from June 17 – August 17, 2017
  • Applicants selected as finalists will pitch in front of an audience and be interviewed by a panel of judges between March 28-31, 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 Norway
  • 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
  • CV or resume
  • Summary of accomplishments
  • An abstract of the project idea
  • A video URL of the project idea (can be filmed with a smartphone)
  • Applications open: January 13, 2017
  • Information session: February 20, 2017
  • Applications close: February 25, 2017
  • Notification upon approval: March 3, 2017,
    Sentralen (Øvre Slottsgate 3)  in Oslo room P3 at 18:30-19:30
  • Finalist bootcamp: Copenhagan, March 14-18, 2017
  • Pitch event & winners announced: March 30, 2017,
    Teknologihuset (Pilestredet 56) in Oslo at 18:30-22:30

GIC Organizing Team

Isabelle Ringnes

Isabelle Ringnes

Co-founder, TENK: Tech-nettverket for Kvinner

GSP 2016

Anders Lier

Anders Lier

Nordic Impact AS, Seema AS, Naandi Foundation

EP July 2016

Anita Schjøll Brede

Anita Schjøll Brede


GSP 2015

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, ideas do not have to be at a certain stage to be submitted.

Intellectual property resulting from a GIC belongs to the applicant(s).

The selection process has 2-3 phases, depending on the GIC. The first phase involves a review of all applications to determine 5-10 finalists, and the second phase involves final judging to select the winner at a pitch event.

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.

GIC winners are responsible for their own travel expenses to/from SU.

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.


Still have questions?

Get in touch with the Norway GIC organizers by emailing them at [email protected], or contact the Global Impact Challenges team at SU at [email protected].