MacArthur Foundation to Award $100 Million for a Solution to a Global Problem in Competition

By Denisse Moreno, Epoch Times
June 2, 2016 Updated: June 2, 2016

A new competition by the MacArthur Foundation will award $100 million for a solution to a critical global problem, it said on June 2.

The foundation will give a grant to a single proposal designed to help solve an issue that affects people, places, or the world.

The winner of the competition called “100&Change” will take $100 million every 3 years to help fund the solution.

The competition is open to organizations in all types of fields.

Applicants are asked to identify the problem and elaborate on the solution to the issue.

The foundation is asking for proposals that are “meaningful, verifiable, durable, and feasible.”

“Solving society’s most pressing problems isn’t easy, but we believe it can be done,” said MacArthur President Julia Stasch.

“Potential solutions may go unnoticed or under resourced and are waiting to be brought to scale. Every three years, we plan to award $100 million to help make one of these solutions a reality.”

A panel of experts will review the proposals. The method used by judges to evaluate the proposals will be made public on the competition website.

Microsoft’s Jeannette M. Wing will serve as an evaluating judge, the company said in a press release. 

“100&Change is a bold initiative, which I hope by its very existence will inspire people to tackle problems to better humanity,” said Wing, a corporate vice president in charge of the Microsoft’s core research labs.

“The MacArthur Foundation knows how to tap into people’s creative energy, and I’m honored and thrilled to be a judge for its new competition,” she added. 

“We believe that 100&Change can have a ripple effect beyond what a single $100 million grant enables,” said Cecilia Conrad, MacArthur’s managing director leading 100&Change.

“Setting audacious goals is inspiring. Clear evidence of impact can encourage other funders to invest in solvable problems more broadly, and applicants who do not receive the $100 million grant will still receive valuable feedback on and attention to their ideas.”

The competition will consider applications from across the country and around the world, including nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Applications from individuals or government agencies will not be accepted.

Applicants must register by Sept. 2, 2016, and complete an online application identifying the problem, solution, and budget, as well as a video pitch.

Proposals will be accepted until Oct. 3, 2016.

The foundation will announce the semi-finalists in December, and finalists will be chosen in the summer of 2017. The finalists will present their proposals during a live event in the fall of 2017. The MacArthur Foundation board will pick the winner after the event.

Launched in 1970, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has awarded grants to individuals and institutions. Last year, the foundation selected fellows including artist Nicole Eisenman and Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda from the hit-show “Hamilton.”