The Global Grand Challenge Awards

 

Showcasing the world’s most promising social impact tech companies.

At Singularity University, we believe that leveraging the convergence of exponential technologies will advance us along the path to solving our Global Grand Challenges (GGCs), and will shift humanity from an era of scarcity to one of abundance.

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About the Awards

Three organizations participated in each of our 12 tracks. These organizations received dedicated exhibition space in the SU Global Summit EXPO, where they had the opportunity to present their work to 1,400 public and private sector leaders from numerous industries and countries. One participating organization from each track - the one found to have the most potential to positively impact one billion people through exponential technology - was selected as the track winner, and earned recognition and exposure to some of the world’s most influential companies and development organizations.

Tracks and Finalists

We're proud to recognize the following innovators who are actively taking on our 12 Global Grand Challenges:

Disaster Resilience


Disaster Resilience

This track award recipient will help create effective and efficient disaster risk reduction, emergency response, and rehabilitation that saves lives and livelihoods, minimizes economic loss, and builds resilience.

Award Recipient: LuminAID

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LuminAID

When we think of our most basic human needs, we often think of food, water, and shelter. But when architecture graduate students Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta were asked to design a product to assist post-earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, they considered the dangerous conditions at night in the tent cities and turned their attention to another critical need: Light.

Now everyone’s getting the bright idea: hikers in Yosemite, backpackers in Whistler, and emergency workers in Nepal alike use LuminAID to light their way. Even the reality investment show ABC’s Shark Tank saw the LuminAID vision irresistible, and invited Anna and Andrea on the show for a chance to premiere their product on primetime.

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RISE

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RISE

Our mission is to positively impact the lives of unaccompanied refugee and immigrant children by establishing systems of care formed using the highest international standards, that leverage the potential of technology, community, and the power of resilience to transform the landscape of international child protection.

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HumanSurge

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HumanSurge

HumanSurge seeks to improve the quality and timeliness of humanitarian response through enhanced surge capacity of humanitarian responders, professionals and organizations, to the ultimate benefit of affected populations. HumanSurge is driven by social impact, not by profit.

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Energy


Energy

This track award recipient will help create ample, accessible and sustainable energy for the needs of humanity.

Award Recipient: Rafiki Power

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Rafiki Power by E. On Off Grid Solutions

Rafiki Power improves hundreds of lives by providing clean and affordable energy to people and businesses without access to the national grid. To date, we have successfully installed and operate 8 mini grid solutions (solar PV & battery) in Tanzania.

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Sun Exchange

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Sun Exchange

The Sun Exchange is a marketplace where you can purchase solar cells and have them power businesses and communities in the sunniest locations on earth. You lease your solar cells purchased through The Sun Exchange to hospitals, factories, schools and other end-users, earning you decades of solar powered rental income wherever you are in the world.

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TriboTex

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TriboTex

Founded in Pullman, Washington by Pavlo Rudenko, Ph.D. (CTO), TriboTEX offers a clean lubrication alternative. Proprietary nano-structure sheets are designed with specific functional properties on each side to solve important problems for a variety of consumer and industry stakeholders. Current formulations improve mechanical output by utilizing a self-assembling coating that simultaneously reverses wear and enhances lubricity. Having achieved traction through finalists placements in various business plan competitions (WSU, MIT, UW, LES, RICE, INW) and obtained funding from various institutions including the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), Hydropower Research Foundation (HRF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as well as private money from AutoDesk. TriboTEX has grown to develop a sophisticated istacated manufacturing process for scaled up manufacturing and shipping product for research institutions as well as industrial partners. Currently TriboTEX is pursuing industry partnerships that will allow sustained growth and continued success among target consumers markets. With a broad range of applications, smart protective film-forming formulations developed by TriboTEX can be added to currently available lubricating blends to offer valuable solutions for the automotive, industrial, and wind power sectors.

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Environment


Environment

This track award recipient will help establish sustainable and equitable stewardship of Earth's ecosystems for optimal functioning, both globally and locally.

Award Recipient: BreezoMeter

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BreezoMeter

Include air quality in your products and technology easily using our API. Enrich the user experience, educate and engage with your consumers, by offering intuitive and relevant air quality information, color-coded heat maps, health recommendations and more.

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WildAid

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WildAid

WildAid’s mission is to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes. We envision a world where people no longer buy wildlife products such as shark fin, elephant ivory and rhino horn. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products by persuading consumers and strengthening enforcement.

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The Plastic Bank

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The Plastic Bank

By enabling the exchange of plastic for money, items or services, we create new value for old plastic. This empowers recycling ecosystems around the world and stops the flow of plastic into our oceans. All while helping people living in poverty build better futures.

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Food


Food

This track award recipient will help further the consumption of sufficient, safe and nutritious food to maintain healthy and active lives for all people at all times.

Award Recipient: Aspire Food Group

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Aspire Food Group

We believe that insects are the protein of the future, and that technology has the power to bring this extraordinary tradition to the world. Our commitment to relentless innovation, radical rethinking, and superior nutrition is what makes our technology best-in-class.

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eKutir

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eKutir

eKutir is a for-profit social enterprise group that provides economically sustainable solutions anchored with technology, micro-entrepreneurship, and community engagement. Founded in 2009, we have received numerous awards and recognition for our model, which has reached and impacted thousands of people in the low-income communities. As a social enterprise group, our innovation transcends interventions in agriculture, food & nutrition, WASH, and enterprise development using digital technology.

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EntoCube

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EntoCube

EntoCube currently has the ability to produce controlled atmosphere shipping containers of various sizes that can be manually operated to farm food-grade insects. The system is robust but very flexible in terms of layout and the internal climate so that it can be modified to fit different insect species. Automating the process will increase the production while almost removing the need for manual labour. Automating the process will also able EntoCube to grow bigger than the containers. Having our farm in a container basically means having one piece of LEGO. From that onwards the farm is scalable to a big enough factory to please the needs of growing insect-eating population of the world.

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Governance


Governance

This track award recipient will help create equitable participation of all people in formal and societal governance in accordance with principles of justice and individual rights; free from discrimination and identity-based prejudices; and able to meet the needs of an exponentially changing world.

Award Recipient: MakeSense

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MakeSense

We connect Social Entrepreneurs with supercool individuals ready to take up their challenges : spot a Social Entrepreneur, take up his challenge and celebrate with the Sense-Makers accross the globe when it is solved.

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Ethelo

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Ethelo

The concept of democracy is all about collective self-governance. It is about inclusive, disciplined, rich and enjoyable conversation. And it is about community- based decision making and about public buy-in to legislation, which an older generation was far more inclined to accept as edicts from on high.

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Geeks without Frontiers

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Geeks without Frontiers

Our goal is to positively impact the lives of a billion people in the next ten years through the innovative use of technology, connectivity and sustainable social enterprise models. By utilizing state of the art technologies which leverage the benefits of satellite, wireless and fiber based communication solutions and by supporting an ecosystem of related hardware and software tools together with a new approach to social entrepreneurship, Geeks believes that it can contribute to empowering local communities and help to catalyze positive global change.

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Health


Health

This track award recipient will help people gain optimal physical and mental health, including access to cost effective prevention, early diagnosis, and personalized therapy.

Award Recipient: Unima

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Unima

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Braincare Health and Research

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Braincare Health and Research

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Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

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Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

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Janus Choice

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Janus Choice

Janus Choice facilitates informed healthcare transitions between different care settings. With a proven history, we offer an interactive, mobile, and easy-to-use platform for matching patients with the best post-acute care providers. Janus Choice reduces hospital readmission and length of stay, while increasing health system top-line revenue, patient experience, and integration of patients that require post-acute care.

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Prosperity


Prosperity

This track award recipient will help create freedom from poverty and equitable access to economic and other opportunities for self-fulfillment.

Award Recipient: Egalite

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Egalite Special Human Resources

Our mission is to establish with responsibility and security the connection between organizations and people with disabilities through the recruitment, training and monitoring ofagents of this relationship, demonstrating to society the value of equal opportunities.

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Shelter Tech

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ShelterTech

We partner with local internet service providers to offer free WiFi in shelters and low income housing so that people can access the resources, training, and jobs that will help them get back on their feet.

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Credit Dream

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Credit Dream

Credit Dream is developing Blockchain based decentralized applications with the goal of providing Universal Access to Credit. Our proprietary technology aims to connect investors and borrowers, offering lower rates and higher returns. Meu Crédito App is the mobile app for last mile origination of the loans. Swapy is the exchange where investors can buy and sell securities related to the performance of the loans.

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Learning


Learning

This track award recipient will help create access to information and experiences that build knowledge and skills for all people, at all stages of their lives.

Award Recipient: Iris.AI

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Iris.AI

Iris.AI is an Artificial Intelligence that starts out as a Science Assistant; helping you find the science you need. Over time she will learn, slowly but surely becoming a Scientist herself.

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SchoolHouse

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SchoolHouse

We are proposing a technologically-driven and evidence-based solution to the Global Grand Challenge of Universal Education. The needs of billions can now be successfully catered through the convergence of these 3 disruptive educational trends, at zero cost. When students become both the consumers and prosumers of education, not only do they achieve greater learning outcomes, but they grant access to educational abundance to an entire new generation of cloud-connected learners. Welcome to Exponential Education.

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Solve Education

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Solve Education

There are 263 million children who do not attend school. Solve Education! is a not-for-profit organization that is committed to providing an opportunity to receive high-quality education for these children as well as for the millions for whom the traditional means of education are not effective. Leveraging the growing ubiquity of broadband and smartphones, we are experimenting with how to use game mechanics, incentives, and artificial intelligence to provide mass-customization of education. We are determined to ensure the education of the youth around the world who are unable to receive an effective education by traditional means.

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Security


Security

This track award recipient will help ensure the safety of all people from physical and psychological harm, including virtually; and protection of physical, financial and digital systems.

Award Recipient: Hala Systems

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Hala Systems

Hala Systems, Inc. is a social enterprise focused on developing effective, technology-driven solutions to the world's toughest humanitarian challenges. Hala is currently focused on civilian protection, accountability, and the prevention of violent extremism before, during, and after conflict. Ultimately, Hala aims to transform the nature of civilian defense during warfare, as well as to reduce casualties and trauma during post-conflict recovery, natural disasters, and other major crises.

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Trulioo

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Trulioo

Trulioo is a leading global ID verification company providing advanced analytics based on traditional information such as public records, credit files and government data as well as alternative sources including social login providers, ad networks, mobile applications, e-commerce websites and social networks.

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Iota Security

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Iota Security

Iota Security provides advanced cyber threat defenses for mobility and the Internet of Things (IoT). Our social and business mission is to make the world more secure by enabling people, organizations, and governments to safely realize the benefits of emerging technologies.

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Shelter


Shelter

This track award recipient will help create secure, safe and sustainable shelter for residence, recreation and industry for all people at all times.

Award Recipient: Billion Bricks

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Billion Bricks

We design and provide shelter and infrastructure solutions for the homeless and vulnerable which are scalable, sustainable, and able to create opportunities for communities to emerge out of poverty. Our approach empowers communities to replicate our solutions on their own, and reduce dependencies on support, creating ownership and pride, and unlocking untapped potential for change. We operate two design studios, in Singapore and Mumbai, and create high quality women focused design solutions for the poorest of communities.

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blökalöks

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blökalöks

blökalöks is a modular building system of “blöks” that are interlocked and glued together to create structural walls for any building need. Unlike traditional frame building with hundreds of 2x4s and lots of expertise and tools required, the blökalök system offers a simple stack-and-glue process that allows anyone at any skill level to be successful.

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JustFix

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JustFix

New York City is currently experiencing a period of unprecedented development combined with heightened inequality. These changes have brought new levels of harassment and neglect from landlords seeking to displace longstanding communities from their neighborhoods. As a result, tenants in these communities are left to rent apartments in a state of shocking disrepair: without adequate heating, exposed to wind and weather, infested with mold and vermin.

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Space


Space

This track award recipient will establish safe and equitable use, and stewardship of, space resources and technologies for the benefit of humanity and our future as a multi-planetary species.

Award Recipient: TellusLabs

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TellusLabs

Getting insights from satellite data is harder than it should be. Critical emerging challenges like food security, water scarcity, and sustainable urban and industrial systems depend on a view from above. The challenge is that these key Earth data assets are stranded. They are not analytics-ready, critical questions go unasked, and the answers that do arrive are not sufficient to drive meaningful change.

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D-Orbit

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D-Orbit

D-Orbit is a first-mover in the market of decommissioning devices and a disruptor in next-generation commissioning solutions. We are leading the future in satellite fleet management by developing state-of-the-art technology to be integrated on satellites and launcher stages to streamline the initial and the final phase of the mission, reducing system complexity and cost of operation, and increasing lifetime, reliability, and revenues.

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EnduroSat

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EnduroSat

EnduroSat team has designed, engineered and built next-gen CubeSat platforms that provide the user with the automation and intuitive experience of a high-performance satellite at a significantly lower cost. Our platforms were created with the mission to accelerate space research and applications and enable easy access to Earth orbit and beyond to new players.

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Water


Water

This track award recipient will help provide ample safe water for consumption, sanitation, industry, and recreation for all people at all times.

Award Recipient: Loowatt

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Loowatt

Our mission is to build odorless toilets with a high usability standard, in systems that maximize the value generated from human waste. We have teams working in the UK and in Madagascar.

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Offgridbox

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Offgridbox

Our core purpose is to build life-changing and resilient communities.

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TenKiv, Inc.

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TenKiv, Inc.

The Tenkiv Nexus is a fully modular renewable energy system. It uses heat from the sun in order to power anything for 1/13th the cost of existing solar panels and 1/5th the cost of fossil fuels without any subsidies. It’s the breakthrough the world’s been waiting for that finally enables us to truly utilize the most abundant source of power available on earth: the sun. We’ve already started deployment of the Tenkiv Nexus for water purification, but over time we’ll replace more and more of the world's dying energy infrastructure with this new, more powerful, cost-effective, and completely clean energy nexus.

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EXPO

The EXPO is where SU Global Summit's estimated 1,500 event attendees will learn about and interact with the technology and leaders who are actively shaping our world. The EXPO area will feature 35+ Global Grand Challenge Award participant organizations, ongoing programming from the SU Lounge stage, and partner exhibits including virtual reality, robotics, smart sensors, and other interactive exponential technologies.

Expo Participants

While not participating in the Global Grand Challenge Awards, the following companies will have a booth in our Expo. Be sure to check them out.


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Thank you to our Global Grand Challenge Awards Partners:

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Interested in Becoming a Global Grand Challenge Awards Partner?

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