XPRIZE launches $15m contest to bring literacy and numeracy to 250m kids in the developing world

XPRIZE launches $15m contest to bring literacy and numeracy to 250m kids in the developing world

XPRIZE has announced its latest initiative to fix our planet’s biggest problems – a $15 million private-sector led challenge to revolutionize global education through technology.

To recap, XPRIZE launched back in 1995 with a view towards “solving the world’s Grand Challenges” through establishing high-profile incentive-based prizes. This covers Learning, Exploration, Energy & Environment, Global Development, and Life Sciences.

Announced today by XPRIZE Chairman and CEO, Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, at the Social Good Summit, the latest competition aims to bring literacy and arithmetic to 250 million kids around the world.

The five-year competition challenges teams to develop “open source and scalable software that will enable children in developing countries to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic.”


Just last month, a Star Trek-style medical ‘tricorder’ moved a step closer as 10 XPRIZE finalists are unveiled. That particular contest was launched initially back in 2012 with a view towards creating a consumer-centric mobile device capable of diagnosing and interpreting 15 medical conditions. Indeed, XPRIZE challenges are typically long-term projects designed to encourage genuine innovation.

The Global Learning XPRIZE will roll out with a six-month registration period for teams, after which 18 months is given to develop their propositions. A panel of judges then selects the top five teams to proceed to the next stage and receive $1 million each.

Over this 18 month period, the solutions will be tested in-situ across at least 100 villages in the developing world, in places where English is a primary language of teaching.

The final winning solution will be awarded the $10 million grand prize.

Global Learning XPRIZE

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