Throwback Thursday: The XPRIZE Foundation

On November 3rd, 2014, The Sustainable Investor examined the XPRIZE Foundation.


XPRIZE: Surpassing the Boundaries of Human Potential

“The brainchild of entrepreneur and space enthusiast Peter Diamandis, XPRIZE was formed on the premise that competition empowers breakthroughs and solutions once deemed impossible.  Unthinkable.  That highly leveraged incentives can encourage actions that surpass the boundaries of human potential – to change the world for the better.” – The Sustainable Investor, 11-03-2014

Let’s rewind to October 13th, 2014.

On October 13th, 2014, The XPRIZE Foundation, comprised of the likes of Elon Musk (Tesla), Larry Page (Google), and James Cameron (screenwriter of Titanic, Terminator, & Avatar) introduced the Global Learning XPrize: a $15 million competition striving to change the future of education. Specifically, XPRIZE challenged the world to develop open-source software capable of enabling children in developing countries to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic skills.

Fast-forward to present day.


Be part of a ground breaking competition that aims to democratize learning and empower young minds everywhere.

Today, there are approximately 57 million children who lack access to any kind of primary school, and 250 million children who receive minimal schooling, but do not learn basic literacy and arithmetic.

“The gap between the rich and the poor will continue to increase unabated without a radical new approach to bringing quality education to those who are currently being left behind.” – XPRIZE

The competition officially launched on September 22nd, 2014, but the registration deadline is March 31st, 2015. (Get cracking!) In typical XPRIZE fashion, the length of the competition spans over multiple years; the grand prize winner will not be announced until 1Q 2019. A panel of third-party judges will evaluate and select the top five teams, who will each receive $1 million, and $10 million will be awarded to the team able to develop technology allowing for the greatest proficiency gains in reading, writing, and arithmetic.

The Global Learning XPRIZE is, in some ways, fundamentally disrupting education as we know it.  For starters, the advent of autonomous-teaching through technology strays from the traditional teacher-classroom model.  Open-source software is more scalable than hardware – students can learn anywhere they go.  Gone is the need for a classroom. “The Global Learning XPRIZE is the first effort of its kind and scale where the public is asked to develop original content and applications for tablets that will be put directly into the hands of children, empowering them to teach themselves and each other.” – Matt Keller, Senior Director, Global Learning XPRIZE

In other news…


That’s right.  XPRIZE is bringing its talents to India. On December 11th, XPRIZE announced its plan to launch numerous prizes in India over the next few years.  The first IPRIZE, backed by the support of Coca-Cola India, is anticipated to launch in the latter half of 2015, and will target water sustainability. XPRIZE’s vision is to address areas of water, energy, waste management, food and nutrition.

“We chose India as the first geographic location outside of the U.S. to launch our global development prizes because we believe India has a technological and entrepreneurial capacity like no other country in the world.” – Zenia Tata, program director, global expansion, XPRIZE

To my non-U.S. readers, XPRIZE may be coming soon to a location near you.  Stay tuned.

Categories Company Case Studies, ESG Vigilantes

2 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: The XPRIZE Foundation

  1. India! Just proves the potential is virtually unlimited!


  2. While China’s cities have great educational systems, the rural countryside is a different matter entirely. Would be fertile area for an X-Prze


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