UGA’s Impact Challenge

How would you improve the standard of living of 1 million people?

The next few decades will witness an emergence of scientific and technological tools with the potential to transform the world. These tools will leverage exponentially advancing technologies like info-, bio- and nano- technologies. Not only do these technologies grow at an exponential rate, but also have an exponential impact in the world and therefore are best suited to address humanity’s global grand challenges.

The UGA Impact Challenge

How can we improve the standard of living – health, education, and the environment – of 1 million people in the next 10 years, in Georgia and the Southeast, through the use of technology?

Global grand challenges, left unaddressed, threaten to undermine future generations in issues of health, education, renewable energy, clean water, food generation and agricultural advancement, space exploration, environmental sustainability and many others. For example, 1 billion people do not have access to clean water today and an additional 2.5 billion don’t have access to sanitation. Almost 3 billion people do not have access to continuous and reliable electricity. The United Nations estimates the world population is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050. Feeding the additional 3 billion people expected by 2050 will require significant advancement in agricultural practices considering that if today’s farming practices continue, 20% more land than is represented by the country of Brazil will be required to grow enough food. Given the magnitude of these issues and that global grand challenges transcend nation-state boundaries, cultures and faith-traditions, innovative solutions that leverage exponentially advancing technologies are required.

Key Dates and Timeline

  1. Competition announcement: March 4, 2016.
  2. Information sessions conducted by GSP12 Alumnus Erico Mattos, GSP15 Alumnus Marshal Mosher, and GSP10 Alumnus, Kausar N. Samli. All sessions will cover similar information; choose the one that is most convenient for you.

    Tuesday, March 8, 2016, 12:00-1:00 pm, C114 Life Sciences
    Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 5:00-6:00 pm, 205S Peabody
    Monday, March 21, 2016, 12:15-1:10 pm, 207 Miller Learning Center

  3. Application submission deadline: April 8, 2016
  4. Finalist presentations: May 11, 2016, 9:00-11:00 am
  5. Recipient announced: May 18, 2016
  6. GSP15: June 18 – August 28, 2016

The Award

One competitively selected UGA graduate student will receive an award to attend the 2016 Global Solutions Program (GSP16) at Singularity University (SU) in California. The value of this award is approximately $38,000, including cost of the program and round trip travel to SU. This 10-week interdisciplinary program brings together entrepreneurial leaders, scientists, technologists, designers, social change agents, and top graduate and postgraduate students from around the globe to explore solutions aimed at solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Competition Sponsors

Ready to apply?