The Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC) is the flagship initiative of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE). We award over one million dollars in prizes each year to Inclusive Innovators: entrepreneurs around the world that are using technology to reinvent the future of work. Why? To create greater shared prosperity, a grand challenge of our time.
We live in the greatest age of technological innovation in human history. Yet many people are not experiencing the benefits of this progress, despite actively seeking to more fully participate in and profit from new educational, financial, and work opportunities. The IIC believes that Inclusive Innovation is an economic and moral imperative, and that the key question of our era isn’t what technology is going to do to our economy and society, but what we will do with technology.
By identifying and promoting the powerful global community of future of work visionaries, the IIC proactively accelerates the technology-driven solutions enabling greater economic opportunity for working people around the world facing the challenge of rapidly advancing digital progress. The IIC supports entrepreneurs by recognizing and rewarding their technological solutions that are creating greater shared prosperity today. In the first two years, over 1,500 organizations responded to the IIC, illustrating the momentum behind the global future of work movement. Over 230 Judges have reviewed applications and more than $2 million has been awarded to entrepreneurs and innovators who are demonstrating different ways to put powerful new technologies to work to improve people’s economic opportunity. To date, forty entrepreneurs have been celebrated and rewarded at gala celebrations. We aim to drive the growing global movement of entrepreneurs focused on creating viable, scalable solutions that generate valuable jobs.
In 2018, the IIC launched a global tournament, expanding our impact on the future of work and the entrepreneurs who are reinventing it. By collaborating with like-minded partners in five global regions — North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia — we will broaden our reach to deserving applicant organizations around the world, derive lessons from the global community, and accelerate the Inclusive Innovation movement.
The North American Challenge is presented by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation;
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. Hosting the Challenge in Detroit provides an unprecedented opportunity to showcase the economic and workforce revitalization taking place across Southeast Michigan and demonstrate the ways that the region is growing inclusively.