About Global Impact Challenges
Global Impact Challenges are annual competitions held in partnership with sponsor organizations worldwide and organized by geography and theme. These challenges 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.
Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements*:
- Must be at least 21 years of age
- Must be fluent in spoken and written English
- Must be able to attend the entire Global Solutions Program
* For specific eligibility requirements, see individual challenge pages.
“Through the experience, knowledge and network acquired at GSP, I expect to push the project much further.”
— Pablo Orduña
2016 GIC Winner
SingularityU Japan GIC
“Singularity University is a place that makes you discover your passions and empower you to change the world.”
— Mariana Vasconcelos
Brazil, 2015 GIC Winner
Here are some of the challenges we've held in the past.
Become a GIC Sponsor
We welcome organizations (corporations, NGOs, foundations, and educational institutions) that are passionate about improving the lives of millions of people to sponsor GICs. By sponsoring GICs, your organization will demonstrate a strong commitment to creating positive impact, and helping implement novel ideas that have the potential to make significant progress in addressing serious global problems.
GIC sponsor benefits include:
- Recognition as an innovative leader within a region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem
- Incredible insights on innovation with the opportunity to capitalize on new ideas
- Valuable goodwill coverage in print, online, and/or in social media
- Invitation to GSP events (opening and closing) and Summits in your region
For more information on becoming a GIC Sponsor, please contact [email protected].
Sign Up for Updates
You'll be the first one to know about new challenges as they're added.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the most commonly 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 positively impacting millions of lives locally and globally within the next 3-5 years. The winner of each challenge is invited to attend the Global Solutions Program (GSP) on a full sponsorship.
For information on open challenges, you can sign up to receive updates on new GICs as they’re announced
The schedule varies from one challenge to another. For more information, please consult the individual challenge listings above.
The precise desired impact, such as the number of people and years, is specific to each challenge. However, all challenges are typically framed by the following standards:
“How would you solve _____’s greatest challenges (name the challenges) and impact / improve the lives of a billion people in 10 years by leveraging exponential technology?”
- Must be at least 21 years of age
- Must speak fluent English
- Must be able to attend the entire Global Solutions Program (see GSP overview for program dates)
For specific eligibility requirements, see the individual challenge pages.
No, ideas do not have to be at a certain stage to be submitted. Judging criteria take into account the grandness of the idea (i.e., whether it solves a problem with huge potential for positive impact on millions of people) with the feasibility of being implemented (whether it leverages exponential technology).
The selection process has two to three phases, depending on the challenge. 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—this is either done remotely via video call, or at a pitch event.
- Degree of solution's relevance to the theme of the challenge
- Feasibility, viability and coherence of implementing the idea
- Entrepreneurial and innovative potential, with a focus on technological novelty
- Applicant’s leadership experience, profile, potential, and achievements
Note: Selection criteria may vary from one challenge to another.
GIC winners are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas required for their attendance at GSP. Most of our non-US passport holding participants have attended on a ESTA waiver program, tourist visa, or a B-1 or B-2 business visa. Despite having “University” in its name, SU is not an accredited, degree-granting institution and therefore does not sponsor student visas. SU will provide a letter clarifying that the winner is invited to attend GSP, which the winner may use in support of a visa application at his or her home country’s US Embassy or Consulate.
In all cases where a winner cannot attend GSP, the winner forfeits his or her GSP seat to the GIC first runner-up and would have to then reapply for admission in a future year. For more information, see the Global Solutions Program overview.