Global Impact Challenges

Exceptional Ideas, Extraordinary People

Do you have a unique idea that will improve the lives of millions of people? Here’s your opportunity to transform your idea into reality! Apply now to compete in Singularity University’s Global Impact Challenges (GIC) to win a seat at the Global Solutions Program (GSP) where you’ll be empowered with the tools, knowledge, skills and mindset for positively impacting 1 billion people.

Global Impact Challenges are annual 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) free of charge.

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 10-week program
* For specific eligibility requirements, see individual challenge pages.

We are also looking for organizations (corporations, NGOs, foundations and educational institutions) that are passionate about improving the lives of millions of people, and willing to support novel ideas and assist in their implementation through sponsoring Global Impact Challenges (GICs).

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 television, radio, print, online and/or social media
  • Free attendance at the Global Solutions Program opening & closing ceremonies

For more information on becoming a GIC Sponsor, please contact [email protected].

Argentina | Global Impact Challenge

Juan Francisco Llamazares

Background:

Technology/Science; Entrepreneur/Intrapreneur; Digital

Project:

Democratize access to the biotech R&D community by developing micro-factories with standardized bioprocess platforms that will enable users to manufacture biotechnological products in a uniform and low cost manner.

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"Since I started this project I was able to learn a lot and meet incredible people along the way, I realize that if I truly wanted to transform reality I needed to think big, I believe that Singularity University can provide me the best tools for making the world a better place. "

Argentina | Global Impact Challenge

Federico Ast

Background:

Technology; Entrepreneurship; Internet; Blockchain; Governance; Fintech

Project:

Crowdjury, a global crowdsourced online platform for solving disputes and leveraging the blockchain technology to reach quick, inexpensive and transparent verdicts.

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"Crowdjury is a multidisciplinary idea, involving collective intelligence, game theory, blockchain and law. SU is the natural place for such an ambitious and radical idea to take root and grow."

Central and Eastern Europe | Global Impact Challenge

Anna Wojdecka

Background:

Technology/Science; Entrepreneur/Intrapreneur; GGC Domain; Digital Biology, Digital Fabrication

Project:

Develop a small, affordable portable real-time graphic reader for blind and visually impaired people that converts graphics into sound and tactile feedback. LUMO would enable blind and visually impaired people to read shapes, graphs, diagrams and colors directly from paper, a textbook or a sketchbook.

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"I am extremely excited about working together with likeminded people, developing solutions that will make a massive change. I can’t wait to contribute my design skills Within a multidisciplinary and multicultural teams."

Chile | Global Impact Challenge

Carolina Aguila

Background:

Technology/Science, Medicine, Data Science

Project:

Use biotechnology to create AFLOX, a product capable of removing aflatoxin from crops, in a fast, easy to use, eco-friendly way, safe for human and animal consumption.

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"SU summer program focuses on creating startups and producing amazing people for a better future. The most important thing for me after the program ends is the person I'll become when I finish this beautiful experience."

Denmark | Global Impact Challenge

Theodor Lundberg

Background:

Physics, Nanotechnology, Energy, Entrepreneurship

Project:

Sunzyme is a bio-based solar cell that uses CRISPR-CAS genetically modified enzymes and atomic-thick nanomembranes to produce hydrogen. When combined with a fuel cell in the Sunzyme Energy Box, the hydrogen can be used as a clean, cheap and renewable fossil fuel alternative.

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"GSP did not only increase my knowledge on accelerating technologies of global challenges, but also allowed me to connect with fellow participants on a deeper level, establishing lasting friendships and meeting people to collaborate and ideate with now and in the future. "

Finland | Global Impact Challenge

Perttu Pölönen

Background:

Entrepreneur/Intrapreneur

Project:

Studying the basics in music and understanding the structures is very hard, takes lots of time and usually ends up with frustration and quitting the hobby. MusiClock makes learning music theory more approachable for children by transforming the concepts into a concrete, visual and easy-to-use tool, making the learning process more playful, engaging and effective. It’s disrupting a field, music theory, that hasn’t been disrupted for hundreds of years.

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"This summer will be a once in a lifetime possibility to get to know some of the most amazing individuals I’ll ever meet. Happy, humbled and honored for GSP."

France | Global Impact Challenge

Jean-Christophe Quillet

Background:

Technology/Science; Entrepreneur/Intrapreneur; GGC Domain; AI & Machine Learning; Energy; Digital Fabrication

Project:

Develop an artificial intelligence platform to standardize and facilitate social impact measurements. Through data mining the output of the exponential growth of connected devices, the A.I. accurately analyzes near real-time data, and facilitates and improves the social impact measurement process.

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"I want to pursue projects addressing fundamental issues, to create innovative solutions, and achieve large-scale positive impact for humanity."

Italy | Global Impact Challenge

Marta Chiglioni

Background:

Technology/Science; Networks & Computing Systems, Policy, Law & Ethics

Project:

Create an open system for data sharing, with easy access, accuracy and integrity.

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"I am thrilled about GSP16 and being an active and dedicated part of a team that will develop a project which could positively impact the life of a billion people."

Mexico | Global Impact Challenge

Plinio Guzmán

Background:

Technology/Science, GGC Domain, Energy

Project:

To understand migration and develop sustainable solutions to immigration, create an AI system for data analysis by combining facial recognition AI with data analysis software to help identify and add illegal migrants or refugees to a database, and create dynamic view on human migratory patterns.

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"I want to come out of SU with a greater understanding of what it means to be human."

Norway | Global Impact Challenge

Isabelle Ringnes

Background:

Entrepreneur/Intrapreneur

Project:

Fight obesity by developing a 3D device to monitor nutritional intake without invasive surgery, while offering tailored dietary guidelines precisely to every individual’s unique body, DNA and metabolism.

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"Nothing has ever felt like a constant in my life, aside from my insatiable curiosity, fearless outlook on failure, relentless drive to succeed and ambition to never stop learning."

Peru | Global Impact Challenge

Nohelia Milagros Merino

Background:

Technology/Science; Entrepreneur/Intrapreneur; GGC Domain; AI & Machine Learning, Robotics, Digital Fabrication, Space, Networks & Computing Systems, Data Science

Project:

Drone-CanSat, a low-cost can-sized device that allows students to learn about satellite principles, and as well build a device that allows monitoring inaccessible places.

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"I’m excited because attending GSP16 as I’ll meet inspiring people, I’ll make great friends and hopefully I’ll meet my future startup partners."

Peru | Global Impact Challenge

Beno Juarez

Background:

Technology/Science; Entrepreneur/Intrapreneur; GGC Domain; Digital Fabrication

Project:

Develop a network of floating labs that will navigate the Amazon river and tributaries to provide local communities access to technological skills and tools to develop their own solutions for daily challenges with water, energy, health, food, education... and also integrating locals with a global network of fablabs, makerspaces, biolabs.

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"As today, digital technologies are hosted in the Silicon Valley, tomorrow Bio-Tech will be hosted in the Amazon rain forest: the Bio-Valley."

Puerto Rico | Global Impact Challenge

Simara Laboy Lopez

Background:

Technology/Science; Medicine; Nanotechnology

Project:

Creating a multifunctional biocomposite using Hydroxyapatite along with Cellulose Nanocrystals and addition of growth promoting factors that stimulate bone regeneration. The material will work as an injectable scaffold for bone density recuperation for astronauts and patients with osteoporosis or osteopenia and as an implant coating functioning as the bioactive intermediate needed to promote adhesion to bone surface and eliminate implant material rejection.

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"Attending the GSP is something completely new, out of my comfort zone and challenging that I wish to explore. I can’t wait to see the person that I will be after the program ends and how I can share the experience and inspire others."

South Africa | Global Impact Challenge

Nicholas Walker

Background:

Technology/Science; Entrepreneur/Intrapreneur; Digital Biology, Medicine

Project:

Based on research from Timothy Ray Brown, an HIV+ man who developed leukemia and received a stem cell transplant which created a rare genetic mutation when the cells were discovered to be immune to HIV- sending his HIV into remission – create a stem cell bank using stem cell-rich umbilical cord blood to isolate the stem cells, edit them to be resistant to HIV and following extensive trials and testing, potentially dispense them to suitable recipients.

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"The thing I am most excited about [attending GSP] is the atmosphere. This belief that anything is possible. That we really can change the world… That atmosphere inspires me to believe that I can make a difference."

Spain | Global Impact Challenge

Juan Monzón

Background:

Entrepreneur/Intrapreneur, Digital Fabrication

Project:

Develop faster fracture recovery through 3D printing and wearables. Allow a patient with a fracture to have a better and a faster recovery using 3d printed splints and wearables, allowing the Patient to be at home almost 80% of the treatment, saving 30% of time and costs.

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"My project Exovite is ready to scale and help more and more people, and I think SU will empower me with the tools and connections to do so."

Spain | Global Impact Challenge

Pablo Orduña

Background:

Computer Science, Software Engineering

Project:

Develop LabsLand, a global network of remote laboratories that simplifies access to expensive equipment and enables educational institutions to foster experimental learning at low or zero cost.

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"Through the experience, knowledge and network acquired at GSP, I expect to push the project much further."

The Netherlands | Global Impact Challenge

Danny Wagemans

Background:

Technology/Science, Energy, Materials Science, Nanotechnology, Space, Data Science, Biotechnology

Project:

Converting abundant urine into energy and clean water by using a biotechnology bacterial fuel cell and a nanotechnology graphene filter to help refugees.

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"Singularity University has expanded my view not just by the content but mainly by meeting 78 other amazing participants who are full of knowledge, innovative ideas and all have a different perspective on what the future will be."

USA | Global Impact Challenge

Christianna Taylor

Background:

Technology/Science: Space

Project:

Augment new satellites with a composite aerogel structural component in the satellite design to protect them from smaller orbital debris.

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“I think the most important role that SU will play is putting me around like-minded people, in an entrepreneurial setting that will help me push through my own challenges and help other push through theirs.”

USA | Global Impact Challenge

Muriel Clauson

Background:

Entrepreneur/Intrapreneur, Technology/Science

Project:

Unlock maximum human potential by using AI decision modeling and VR to create an accurate, current assessment of human performance.

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"Attending Singularity will fuel me to think with an even larger scope on how to change the world for the better. I’m excited to learn from the incredible people brought together from all of the corners of the Earth! "

We held 20 Global Impact Challenges that sponsored 25 winners to attend the 2015 Global Solutions Program.
Learn more about each GIC winner’s unique background and extraordinary ideas to solve global grand challenges.

Argentina | ImpacTec

Federico Marque

Background:

Engineering & Biotechnology

Project:

Home device that transforms organic waste into gas, for slums with no infrastructure for waste collection, sewer system, gas network and other basic needs.

federico

“Singularity University removed all the limits in my mind.”

Brazil | Call to Innovation

Mariana Vasconcelos

Background:

Business Administration

Project:

Agrosmart is a smart farming solution that connects the farmer to his crops. In order to improve productivity and optimize the use of resources in agriculture, we monitor more than 10 environmental conditions and provide growers with relevant data for a better decision-making regarding irrigation, crop development, diseases and pests.

mariana

“Singularity University is place that makes you discover your passions and empower you to change the world through entrepreneurship and exponential technologies. I learned a lot and it totally changed the way I see things.”

Canada | CANIMPACT

Andrea Palmer

Background:

Mechatronics, robotics, radio networks

Project:

Awake Labs is using wearable devices to track physiological indicators of anxiety in order to predict and prevent behaviour meltdowns for individuals on the autism spectrum.

andrea

"Thinking is a terrible way to think. Doing is the best way of thinking." - Tom Chi

Chile | Her Global Impact

Emilia Diaz

Background:

Engineering, biotechnology and computer science

Project:

In situ red tide detection kit “RTDK” indicates by a simple color change whether or not a certain sample has been contaminated by red tide. This is done by generating a genetically engineered cell culture known as a biosensor that measures the amount of certain toxins present in the sample. The test is easy to apply, and displays results in no longer than an hour.

emilia

“Singularity gave me hope for technology and its importance in humanity's future. Above all, it made me realise the impact a single individual can have in changing people's lives. As we heard during our opening ceremony, "Don't try to go right away for a billion people. Solve for one. Repeat, repeat, repeat."

China | Call to Innovation

Qian Li

Background:

Signal processing & Entrepreneurship

Project:

Bionic cough simulator is an innovative device to help millions of desperate patients in ICU who can’t cough and then can’t clean their deep lung by themselves. 41% of them will develop ventilator associated pneumonia. Our device can simulate human cough and make the patient’s cough like normal person thus save a lot of patients.

qian li

“I can’t stay for long in the areas not related to life.”

Colombia | Call for Innovation

Carlos Castellanos

Background:

Agriculture & Supply Chain

Project:

Cultivando Futuro (Growing Future) use technology to collect information about supply & demand in the agriculture industry. Using operators and a web platform we can use this big data to coordinate the efforts of producers with high-volume food customers, so farmers can access to better and fairer market opportunities, improving the efficiency of food production and reducing waste.

carlos

“After the Graduate Studies Program I have a clearer vision of the future, so I feel more able to coordinate my projects with the timing of technology development.”

Denmark | Danske iDéer

Habib Frost

Background:

Medicine, Engineering and Entrepreneurship

Project:

Neurescue™ is developing a new class of medical devices for the treatment of cardiac arrest, the leading cause of death in the world. This new treatment will greatly improve the current rates of resuscitation and survival, using a combination of novel medical technology, AI and robotics.

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"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” - Maya Angelou

Finland | Call for Innovation

Anni Laurila

Background:

Architecture & Design

Project:

Water Quality Index aims to improve people's health and the quality of water in China, with a smartphone app that shows both the local tap water quality and the correct way to filter the water. The purpose is to give people means to consume healthy water sustainably, and also to raise awareness of serious, widespread and often unseen issues in water treatment and pollution.

Anni

"For better or worse, from the local to the global - the present situation is bound to change towards something. But the true question is: will you merely watch it unfold, or will you be one who shapes it towards the best it could be?"

Kazakhstan | Call for Innovation

Artur Saudabayev

Background:

Computing/Healthcare

Project:

ChibiFace aims at leveraging high computational power, plethora of sensors and communication capacity of tablet computers. ChibiFace is an intelligent assistive and monitoring system which can give second life to outdated tablet computers. It will reutilize them to create versatile agent customizable to perform certain social tasks. These include assistance and monitoring for children, elderly and people with special needs; both in in-home and portable options.

artur

“Graduate Studies Program welcomes and facilitates the change for Good at global scale. There are numerous things Singularity University brings together during the summer to enable impactful action and deliver exceptional, life-changing experience. Surely, the people, and especially the friends you make there, is what makes it priceless.”

Kazakhstan | Call for Innovation

Sabina Ismailova

Background:

Telecommunications Engineering

Project:

Online learning system for people with disabilities and special education needs. This distance learning web platform will be used in universities in order to encourage those people to get undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate degrees. The platform will have special features that will make it easy to use by people with different disabilities. The platform will reduce the sensory, physical or cognitive skills necessary to operate it.

sabina

“Future is first an idea.”

Malaysia | Call for Innovation

Dhesi Raja

Background:

Medicine, Public Health, Epidemiology, Big Data Analytics, Machine Learning

Project:

I have created a model for predicting dengue outbreak, using Weather Variability, Population Density, Residential Building Types and Construction Sites as predictor variables incorporating advanced statistics & artificial intelligence. The results achieved have proven that the proposed model is a viable model in the context of combating a public health risk.

dhesi

"Billions are more likely to die in the next few decades not due to missiles or wars but the emergence of deadly microbes. We are not sure if our action in predicting deadly outbreaks of diseases will save life, but we are certainly sure inaction kills.”

Peru | Call for Innovation

Monica Abarca

Background:

Mechatronics, Robotics, Design & Space

Project:

My project proposes the implementation of UAV with a measuring system of gases SO2,NO2,H2S, CO, O3, dust particles, ionizing radiations alpha, beta and gamma. The applications of this UAV are: detection and measurements of contamination from the mining industry, industrial factories, power plants, oil refineries, agricultural areas, automobiles in the cities, and so on. The proposed UAV is a dynamic vehicle that can move to different areas and altitudes, that can find by itself the source of contamination and elaborate a contamination map.

monica2

“We care about your health, we keep clean the air you breathe.”

Peru | Call for Innovation

Adolfo Valdivieso Quiroz

Background:

Education

Project:

Tullpi is a platform of educational games to help kids at the beginning of primary school to develop crucial math skills.Tullpi combines the use of physical elements such as bottle caps, a digital interface that provides feedback and interactivity and our vision technology that interconnects both of them allowing to play beyond the screen.

adolfo

“Singularity University is a place to fall in love with possibilities.”

Spain | Call for Innovation

Jacobo Elosua

Background:

Finance, Law and Economics

Project:

Co-founder of Civio, a non-for-profit organization that fights for a stronger democracy. At Civio we combine the deployment of digital technology, data journalism and civic activism to develop projects relating, among others, to budget transparency, influence networks, public procurement or governmental pardons. We aim to provide relevant context, empowering citizens in their relationship with government and the broad political process.

jacobo

"Transparency, accountability and responsible civic engagement are crucial ingredients of strong democracies anywhere in the world.”

Spain | Call for Innovation

Nicolas Alcala

Background:

Storytelling & Marketing

Project:

What if we were able to create new languages with a new technology? To create new worlds to place ourselves within. Something magical to immerse ourselves in different places, to be wondered, to learn about historical events and places actually being there, living it in first person. What if we could create a new and better future… and transport people into it to experience it? That’s what Virtual Reality is capable of and why my project is about creating such content for this new medium, with the ultimate goal of transforming the way we look at ourselves and the people surrounding us.

nicolas

"Stories talk to you, but doesn't listen to you. That should change. Content should be reactive."

Taiwan | Call for Innovation

Meng-Tien

Background:

Sport Medicine & Gerontology

Project:

Sensory Gloves aims to build the bridge of communication between elderly people and their loved ones. Sensory gloves across the physical dysfunction and the distance, elderly people can express feelings by the emotional detection from gloves and their relatives can transfer their concerns by the vibration from gloves.

meng tien

“Singularity University is the window opening my mind to touch the exponential technology and to see the abundance of the world.”

Taiwan | Call for Innovation

Justin Wu

Background:

Interaction Design & Mechanical Engineering

Project:

Safeat knife is a smart knife that would analyze the food you are eating. With built-in sensor that detects substances like pesticides or antibiotics, Safeat knife would gather the data and manage through data analysis to present the user with his or her personal diet information.

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Best quote from Singularity University, "Fall in love with the problem, not the solution."

UK | Access to Opportunity

Chris Natt

Background:

Industrial Design and Engineering

Project:

Landmines remain one of the most enduring barriers to development in post-war territories worldwide. The focus of Blastproof is to develop a scalable multi-level injury prevention strategy (including new innovations based on existing technology) that has the potential to reduce injuries to mine removal teams and be implemented within 12 months.

Chris

“Perspective shifting"

USA | University of Georgia Innovation and Impact Competition

Marshall Mosher

Background:

Healthcare Administration, Entrepreneurship

Project:

Vestigo strives to encourage a greater level of mental and physical wellbeing by creating easily accessible opportunities for guided outdoor recreation. We’re challenging the conventional concept of gym-driven fitness by pairing local adventure seekers with local experts to encourage an active lifestyle through outdoor recreation.

marshall

“The incredible people that formed my Singularity University experience challenged me to push past the limits of linear minds, think 10 times bigger, and change the way I see the world.”

USA| Gender Equality

Natasha Tsakos

Background:

Entertainment & Technology

Project:

Why couldn’t walking have multiple functionalities? Why not harness and own our walking energy? Inactivity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., second to tobacco use. Steppers motivates people to take a walk on the wise side by creating an accessory that attaches to people’s shoes and harnesses the energy generated when walking. Steppers have the potential of dramatically improving and empowering the lives of millions and will be moderately priced so that everyone can walk the talk.

natasha

“Steppers: The Sole-r Power Shoe”

USA| Miami Global Impact Competition

Ana Benatuil

Background:

Architecture and Urban Planning

Project:

Cut Fill City is an urban master plan for South Florida to adapt to the challenges of Sea Level Rise at the regional, city and building scale. Cut Fill City uses data visualization for risk assessment and planning strategies, engineered solutions for smart infrastructure and sustainable technologies for healthier living buildings.

Ana

“We are the architects of our own future, not its victims.” -Buckminster Fuller

We held 20 Global Impact Challenges that sponsored 25 winners to attend the 2014 Global Solutions Program.
Learn more about each GIC winner’s unique background and extraordinary ideas to solve global grand challenges.

Argentina | Call to Innovation

Leonardo Valente

Background:

Economics & Business

Project:

SocialPos is a platform that integrates local businesses to a "Social Cards" ecosystem and improves trade between neighbors.

Leonardo Valente-L

“Addressing the regressive status quo of the financial, tax and trade systems is the simplest and most powerful way to fight poverty.”

Australia | Call to Innovation

Susan Graham

Background:

Biomedical Engineering, Entrepreneur

Project:

BioCarbon Engineering - industrial scale reforestation to combat industrial scale deforestation. We are leveraging the latest developments in technologies such as unmnaned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and AI, to conduct large scale reforestation projects.

2014 Susan Graham a_long

"This is the year that counts." By following this philosophy, together with the high pace of Singularity University life, extraordinary things can happen.

Brazil | Call to Innovation

Breno Assis

Background:

Information Systems, Mobile & Web Technologies, Programming & Architecture

Project:

Transit Service is a cloud-based platform that integrates all of São Paulo's public transit data in a totally real time and integrated experience for trains, subways and buses.

Breno Assis

“To make cities more sustainable, transportation systems must be optimized to allow the mindset to be shifted to public transit instead of cars.”

Bulgaria | Global Impact Competition CEE

Stefan Ivanov

Background:

Media Informatics, Computer Systems & Informatics

Project:

Stepsss is a thin, yet smart wearable layer for your shoes that tracks your walking and running behavior to help you stay safe when training and identify problems early on. The hardware can also be used to tailor and improve your recovery process after a surgery on the lower limbs.

StefanIvanov_photo

“The rapid advance of technology and recent inception of wearables provide the necessary affordances for designing the future of health.”

Chile | Gender Equality GIC

Sofia Ramirez

Background:

Management, Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Project:

Boostmachine connects unused assets from companies with the assets needs of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) through a BCorp business-to-business digital platform. This leads to companies recycling their unused assets and MSEs accessing reduced prices for assets in good conditions.

Sofia Ramirez

“I truly believe that technology and entrepreneurship together are the most scalable and disruptive bottom-up solution to poverty.”

Denmark | Call to Innovation

Søren Therkelsen

Background:

Business & Entrepreneurship

Project:

CrowdCare is a smartphone based system using crowd collaboration between individuals to provide first aid in the case of a heart attack.

Soren Therkelsen

“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” — Leonardo da Vinci

Indonesia | Call to Innovation

Rizky Ario

Background:

Informatic Technology & Engineering

Project:

EUIS, Electricity Usage Intelligent System, is a cloud-based application that helps users to keep an eye on the usage of each individual appliance in the home using only one sensor called SmarterMeter. Using artificial intelligence, SmarterMeter is able to decompose a power signal made of overlapping on/off events on multiple appliances. It evaluates the signature in their power signal to recognize them.

Rizky Ario

“Singularity University is a place that can transform people as if it is an inflection point. Exponential growth seems linear in the beginning, but when it reaches an inflection point, suddenly the pace of change becomes like an explosion.”

Israel | Ramon Breakthrough

Eran Maimon

Background:

Mechanical Engineering, Physics & International Relations

Project:

We develop a solar paint that can harvest solar energy and convert it to electricity. The paint is made with solution-processed scalable techniques and abundant, affordable materials. While it alleviates high installation costs for domestic PV panels, application on roads may dramatically reduce solar exclusive real-estate and total energy cost.

Eran Maimon

“By applying our solar paint, we aim to turn practically any surface into an environment friendly solar panel, cheaply, easily and aesthetically.”

Israel | Ramon Breakthrough

Yaron Schwarcz

Background:

Entrepreneur, Sales Expert, Educator

Project:

We are building a center for disruptive hardware innovation, including a state-of-the-art digital manufacturing facility for entrepreneurs, engineers, artists and designers who aim to create the aesthetics, solutions and technologies of the future. Tela Labs offer affordable R&D and rapid prototyping to hardware entrepreneurs and to established companies globally.

YaronSchwarcz_photo1_gray (1)

"The more people interact with problem X, the greater the chance of finding the optimal solution"

Italy | Call for Disruptors

Selene Biffi

Background:

Economics Finance, Social Entrepreneurship & International Humanitarian Action

Project:

Spillover is a purpose-driven company with the mission of turning the latest scientific research and breakthroughs into video games for children ages 8 and up.

Selene Biffi

“You don’t have to be extraordinary to do extraordinary things. An average Joe with a passion is all that it takes to change the world.”

Kazakhstan | Call to Innovation

Damel Mektepbayeva

Background:

Biotechnology & Chemistry

Project:

Abnormal cell cycle is one of the characteristics of cancer cells. The natural molecule melatonin, which is secreted by the pineal gland, can restore the normal cell cycle and upregulate its protective abilities. The vital requirement for production of melatonin is complete darkness during sleep. Most of cancer patients and elderly people unfortunately do not have proper sleep and lose the ability to control cell cycle.

Damel Mektepbayeva

“I believe that a cure from cancer will not come from killing those cells, but from precise reprogramming as cancer cells are not invaders, they are our cells going wild.”

Malaysia | Global Impact Competition Malaysia

Faisal Ariff

Background:

Law & Asset Management

Project:

BorderPass aims to make travel more secure and convenient by expediting low-risk passengers through airport security through advance disclosure of the immigration form and passport information.

Optimized-Faisal Ariff

“Singularity University is a very special place and I feel extremely lucky to have participated in the Graduate Studies Program.”

Mexico | Call to Innovation

Roberto Saint Martin Suarez

Background:

Engineering Sciences & Mechatronics

Project:

Traditional schools and learning systems are not preparing students for the world they will live in. I'm committed to build a new educational platform empowering our children on positively impacting the world with the use of technology and social entrepreneurship skills.

Roberto Saint Martyin

“Things can change so much in the years to come. We can all play a great role for those changes to be positive in our society.”

Netherlands | Global Impact Competition

Jelte de Jongh

Background:

International Law & Business

Project:

25% of European and American 12 year olds are still unable to read and spell fluently when leaving primary school. Leeruniek ("LearnUnique") enables schools who have introduced tablet education to combat low-literacy. We do this by first analyzing learner's literacy progress. Next we generate real-time insights for parents and educators, which allows them to give the learner extra personalized literacy support. Leeruniek is founding member of Samsungs Smart Education initiative. We work with researchers from MIT's MediaLab and the University of Amsterdam.

Jelte de Jongh

“I can't think of any other place that is so motivating and empowering as SU. Occasionally SU may seem detached from today's reality, but that's what allows us to build ideas that no one would initially believe to be feasible within the next 5 years.”

Poland | Global Impact Competition CEE

Pawel Jarmolkowicz

Background:

Computer Science

Project:

Harimata is a gamification diagnosis platform for detecting and tracking autism, ADHD and learning disabilities in children using mobile games.

Pawel Jarmolkowicz-L

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” — Frederick Douglass

Spain | Call to Innovation

Ignacio Hernandez-Medrano

Background:

Medicine

Project:

Savana is a support system for medical decision making based on the instant reuse of the big data contained in all clinical records. It is like consulting all specialists in one area at the same time, therefore the incorrect recommendations or the wrong decisions remain minimized. It is as if we were able to enter a room where all specialists on one topic were present and asked for their collective opinion about one specific problem.

IgnacioHernandezMedrano_photo

“An instant consult to all medical specialists.”

Spain | Call to Innovation

Karen Marquez

Background:

Economics, Journalism & Neuroscience

Project:

Infantium is building the world's smartest tutor for children using brain science, cognitive technology and big data to personalize and maximize learning of young kids between 0-7 years old.

KarenMarquez_photo

“Creating the world’s most advanced computational cognitive architecture to personalize and maximize learning for each individual person and to change and improve education worldwide—first for children and then for everyone else!”

Sweden | Call to Innovation

Virpal Singh

Background:

Biomedical Engineering, Electrical & Computer Science, Entrepreneurship & Project Management

Project:

RoboSweeper is an autonomous vehicle for the collection and processing of waste. This democratic machine would allow every child to play in a clean environment and every citizen to live in an environment free of pollutants.The result would be less garbage on the streets, and waste processed into energy and other useful raw material. This would finance the business model while maintaining a clean environment.

Virpal SinghL

“It always seems impossible until its done.” — Nelson Mandela

Turkey | Call to Innovation

Sahin Caglayan

Background:

Physics & Electrical Engineering

Project:

GridIQ is a modular smart grid platform that combines wireless sensor networks and big data analytics in order to help utilities in developing countries manage and optimize their infrastructure better.

Sahin Caglayan

“From now on, the electricity grid is much more transparent. It is time to democratize the access to energy.”

United Kingdom | Gender Equality GIC

Cosima Gretton

Background:

Neurology & Psychiatry

Project:

Web and mobile based app which uses image processing technology to categorize and monitor chronic wounds, and enables the suggestion and assessment of appropriate treatments.

Cosima Gretton

“Improving access to reliable specialist care for patients suffering from chronic wounds and ulcers.”

United Kingdom | London Grand Challenge

Wolfgang Merkt

Background:

Mechanical Engineering, Management & Computer Science, Machine Learning & Robotics

Project:

SimpleIdent offers lean, seamless biometrical authentication. Current remote identity verification systems often require a second factor of authentication, such as SMS verification, and suffer from a lack of continuous user authentication. SimpleIdent is an advanced biometric facial recognition service, which is the first solution to provide unequivocal identification along with continuous authentication. SimpleIdent can be integrated into products in less than five minutes, preventing fraud and enabling full protection of sensitive data.

Optimized-Wolfgang Merkt

"Experience is the grain from which wisdom sprouts." — Konrad Adenauer

United States | Access to Opportunity GIC

Andrew Amis

Background:

Chemical Engineering & History

Project:

Village Innovators invests in makers to build homegrown technologies in rural Africa. We provide seed capital and open-source blueprints for local manufacturing, so the poor can build their own world.

Optimized-Andrew Amis

“Technology, gracefully crafted, should serve everyone, and it is a rare privilege to be part of the Singularity University community.”

We held 20 Global Impact Challenges that sponsored 25 winners to attend the 2013 Global Solutions Program.
Learn more about each GIC winner’s unique background and extraordinary ideas to solve global grand challenges.

Argentina | Call to Innovation

Pablo Veltri

Background:

Bs in Electrical Engineering and Masters in Business Administration.

Project:

Marketplace to help people with disabilities find jobs.

PabloVeltri_photo

"I'm really proud of representing my country at Singularity University. I will do everything I can to contribute."

Australia | Call to Innovation

Zezan Tam

Background:

Micro-economist and Actuary

Project:

I want to improve the environment by encouraging carpooling to reduce pollution and congestion. "Carpooler" is an application that solves the information co-ordination issues that inhibit the adoption of carpooling.

ZezanTam_Photo

"I want to learn more about how I can contribute to making the world a better place."

Brazil | Call to Innovation

João Paulo Oliveira

Background:

Computer Engineering & Entrepreneur

Project:

ProDeaf is focused on breaking the barrier between deaf and hearing persons, through an online translation platform for deaf people.

joaoOliveira_photo

"I am very excited about this opportunity to improve our current services and offer them around the world."

Greece | Call to Innovation

John Mourgis

Background:

Business Administration

Project:

"Organery" - a new approach to recycling that combines intelligent composting bins and gamification to transform and broaden organic waste management.

profile

Israel | Call to Innovation

Gilad Gome

Background:

Graduate student at Tel-Aviv University focused on biotechnology and molecular biology.

Project:

An environmentally sustainable and cost-efficient solution for extracting precious metals from soil using genetically modified microorganisms.

GiladGome_photo

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. (Charles Darwin)"

Israel | Call to Innovation

Assaf Kindler

Background:

Business and Entrepreneurship

Project:

Search Angel is a socially responsible search engine that donates its revenue, approximately 10 cents per search, to global charities designated by its users.

profile

"I believe that new business models can address the world's biggest problems. My company is serving as a role model for this approach by working for peace."

Israel| Call to Innovation

Itai Hayut

Background:

M.Sc in physics and neuroscience

Project:

The NG Needle improves an invasive medical procedure by converting any needle into a sensor, which can "feel" its environment and allow a physician to know what tissues surround the different parts of the needle.

ItaiHayut_photo

"Professional cross-disciplinary collaboration will create the most important technological breakthroughs."

Italy | Call to Innovation

Alessandro Innocenti

Background:

Industrial Designer specializing in ceramics and advanced materials.

Project:

ALIKA Technology provides a next-generation ceramic material for water purification and active filtering that can be used in personal health, wellbeing, and environmental applications.

VLUU L310 W  / Samsung L310 W

"Human creativity has no boundaries. Feed it with imagination, and you will bring dreams to life."

Mexico | Call to Innovation

Alejandro Abarca Blanco

Background:

B.S. in Engineering Physics and a Minor in Bio MicroElectroMechanical Systems.

Project:

Semka's first product is a CTC Isolator Chip & ControlUnit focused on cancer detection and monitoring of MTCs cells before metastasis begins.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

"I have wanted to be an inventor all my life. This dream started when I was a child and wanted to be an alchemist."

Netherlands| Call to Innovation

Remco Bloemen

Background:

Master of Science in Applied Math, Theoretical Physics and Management.

Project:

arly diagnosis is very important for many illnesses, yet early symptoms rarely warrant a visit to the doctor. My idea is for people to to do early diagnosis with their cell phones - a P2P solution for healthcare.

RemcoBloemen_photo

"Winning the Dutch GIC is my golden ticket to innovation paradise. I am incredibly thrilled and honored!"

Poland | Call to Innovation

Aleksandra Orchowska

Background:

Project:

An adventure game for children with insulin-dependent diabetes. The game combines action and simulation to educate and entertain. The app provides knowledge about diabetes, its symptoms and self-care. A player can explore virtual world filled with information and at the same time care for health of the main character.

AleksandraOrchowska_photo

Russia | Call to Innovation

Alexandr Borgul

Background:

Master of Systems Modeling in Mechatronics

Project:

Human-machine interface to address the everyday life of disabled people’s. The main purpose of the project is producing the system which allows people with absolutely different degrees of locomotorium damages, up to total diamelia or complete paralysis, to use without any assistance different devices as active prostheses, electrical wheel-chairs, rehabilitation complexes etc.

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"It is a big honor to represent Russia, Skolkovo Foundation and OpUS on the international level; it means that I do really important thing and there is an ability for the idea to be fully realized and to help a lot of people."

Russia | Call to Innovation

Maxim Alekhin

Background:

PhD Physics and Technology.

Project:

The ambitious goal of SynBioM Project is creating a novel personalized medicine platform on the base of microbiome data analysis and selection of "smart" probiotics, engineered applying synthetic biology approach, for significant improvement of human health.

MaxAlekhin_Photo

"Winning in My Idea for Russia 2013 Contest is a great joy and a unique opportunity to implement the most exciting ideas at the cutting edge of science and technology in the heart of Silicon Valley together with congenial people from all corners of the world and a responsibility for the bright Future of my country."

Spain | Call to Innovation

Diego Soroa

Background:

Entrepreneur, Architect, Artist, Biomimic, and Creative consultant.

Project:

Whossapp is an app that assists organizations by visualizing the potential within, fostering meaningful interactions to ease empowerment, and the emergence of self-organization.

DiegoSoroa_photo

"I want to fill the gap between the actual and the potential."

Spain | Call to Innovation

Pablo de Manuel

Background:

Co-founder, investor and CEO of five award-winning start-ups.

Project:

We offer a complementary method for solving regional challenges and accelerating innovation by identifying, attracting, and adapting existing profitable and successful solutions from around the globe.

profile

"I want to help Society respond better to present and future challenges."

US State of Georgia | Call to Innovation

Mike Klodnicki

Background:

Masters in Poultry Science, Biotechnology

Project:

MichaelKlodnicki_photo

ABOUT THE CHALLENGE

What is a GIC?

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) free of charge or receive a reduced program fee.

Who should apply to a GIC?

Singularity University seeks accomplished innovators with ideas that will positively impact millions of people. Applicants should be fluent in English and have proven entrepreneurial experience, demonstrated global leadership and committed humanitarian passion.

Are you hosting a GIC in my country?

For information on open challenges, visit the GIC homepage http://global.singularityu.org/gic/ and sign up to receive updates on new ones.

What is the GIC schedule?

The schedule varies from one challenge to another. For more information, please visit the GIC homepage http://global.singularityu.org/gic/

How many people and/or years should a GIC project impact?

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 XXX’s greatest challenges (name the challenges) and impact / improve the lives of XXX millions in 3-5 years by leveraging exponential technology?”

APPLICATION BASICS

What are the eligibility requirements for an applicant?

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must speak fluent English
  • Must be able to attend the entire 10-week program (See GSP website for program dates)

For specific eligibility requirements, see individual challenge pages.

Do ideas have to be at a certain stage to be submitted?

No, ideas do not have to be at a certain stage to be submitted. Judging criteria is based on the grandness of the idea (does it solve a problem with huge potential positive impact on millions of people) with the feasibility of being implemented (does it leverage exponential technology).

Who is the owner of the intellectual property resulting from a GIC?

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

What is the GIC review process?

The selection process is 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, over Skype or at a pitch event.

What is the selection criteria for the winner?

  • 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.

THE WINNER

Is there an obligation for the GIC winner to work on their winning project during the GSP?

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 their winning project or create an entirely new project during the summer.

Who comes to SU if a member of an existing team wins a GIC?

If the challenge winner is part of an existing team — the team is not eligible — only the individual who applied.

Who pays for the travel expenses for the winner to come to SU?

The winner is responsible for their own travel expenses to/from SU.

Who is tasked with organizing a visa for a GIC winner?

GIC winners are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas required for their attendance at the 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 “Univeristy” 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 Global Solutions Program, which the winner may use in support of a visa application at their home country’s US Embassy or Consulate.

What happens if a visa is denied to a GIC winner?

In the rare case where a GIC winner is denied a visa, the winner forfeits their GSP seat to the GIC first runner-up and would have to then re-apply for admission in a future year.

What happens if a GIC winner cannot attend GSP for any reason?

In all cases where a winner cannot attend GSP, the winner forfeits their GSP seat to the GIC first runner-up and would have to then re-apply for admission in a future year.

For more information, see the Global Solutions Program website.