NEW YORK, June 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- ideas42, a leading nonprofit innovation lab with expertise in applied behavioral science, and Schmidt Futures, which is working to promote shared prosperity through the use of technology, today joined forces to launch a prize competition designed to identify ideas for future technology-based solutions to tackle one of our most pressing social problems, upward mobility.
For generations, the United States of America has embraced the ideal of being a land of opportunity — a country where everyone has an equal shot at fulfilling their version of the American Dream. Increasingly, the nation is far from achieving this ideal, with factors such as household income, race, gender, and geographic location suppressing opportunities for success and mobility for so many of its people.
"Science and technology can and should be playing a larger role in addressing societal challenges, particularly those challenges related to economic and social mobility," said Tom Kalil, Chief Innovation Officer at Schmidt Futures and former Deputy Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. "My hope is that the call we're issuing will encourage people in academia, civil society, and the private sector to suggest real possibilities."
Recent advances in the fields of behavioral science and computer science represent significant potential to help millions more Americans make the most of their talents, and overcome many of the barriers standing in their way. By utilizing a deep understanding of how people make decisions and act (or not) on those decisions in the real world, combined with the expansive capabilities of modern computing, creative problem-solvers have at their disposal the means to build a new set of tools for promoting economic and social mobility for all.
"We've created a prize competition featuring an open call for ideas to bring together problem-solvers at the intersection of two powerful disciplines to generate innovative solutions for the future," said Josh Wright, Executive Director at ideas42. "A greater understanding of how humans work, coupled with the magnifying potential of computer science, can foster new and even more impactful ways to improve our society and propel humanity forward."
Computer science consistently unlocks new opportunities through a number of groundbreaking advances in information collection, data analysis, automation, predictive capabilities, or scale. With the prize, ideas42 and Schmidt Futures seek to harness this potential, encouraging technologists to submit their best solutions and providing a path to develop them.
Submitted ideas must target a specific problem affecting upward mobility in the United States, and offer a solution addressing the factor(s) of the problem. Proposals should utilize behavioral and computer science tools in a fair, accountable, and transparent way to foster upward mobility for individuals, families, and communities in the United States.
Applications are now being accepted through July 20, 2018. Up to five winning ideas will be announced August 8, 2018. All winners will receive $1,000 in prize money, a ticket to the October ideas42 Behavioral Summit in New York, and an opportunity to pitch their idea to representatives from Schmidt Futures and other investors and philanthropists at the Behavioral Summit.
More information about how to apply and the rules and regulations for the open call can be found here: ideas42.org/public-call
ideas42's mission is to use the power of behavioral science to design scalable solutions to some of society's most difficult problems. ideas42 grew out of research programs in psychology and economics at top academic institutions, and its work draws on decades of experimental scientific research. ideas42 uses these insights to design scalable ways to improve programs, policies and products in the real world. ideas42 works with a wide range of partners, from leading foundations and non-profit organizations, to government bodies and businesses. In short, anyone who wants to make a positive difference to peoples' lives.
About Schmidt Futures
Schmidt Futures is advancing society through technology, inspiring breakthroughs in scientific knowledge, and promoting shared prosperity.
While talent is equally distributed throughout America, opportunity is not. Tech innovation on the coasts may be booming, but outstanding ideas elsewhere often go unheard and undeveloped. Skilled workers in major cities are thriving, but non-college educated workers elsewhere are being left behind. The work of Schmidt Futures in shared prosperity aims to increase America's capacity to adjust to these tectonic shifts – in labor markets, in policy development, and in investment pathways. Prosperity, and competitiveness, will depend on our ability to both stabilize and expand the middle class.