MIT Awards $1 Million to Most Innovative Future of Work Organizations in the World

Four Winners are each awarded $250,000 at MIT’s Inclusive Innovation Challenge Global Grand Prize Gala on November 8

CAMBRIDGE, Mass, Nov. 9, 2018: The MIT Initiative on the Digital Economyhas announced the four global grand prize winners for the 2018 MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge(IIC). The winning organizations were selected by the IIC Champion Committee from 20 Regional Winners in Latin America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. All were vetted after a year-long search for the most innovative, impactful, and scalable future of work solutions on the planet. from more than 1,500 global registrants by in-region experts and chosen by Selection Panels at regional celebrations this summer. These organizations exemplify scalable, working solutions that broaden opportunity and harness technology to include more people in the digital economy.

The four MIT IIC Global Grand Prize winners are:

Income Growth & Job Creation Category

Wefarm:(Africa)

Wefarm is a free, digital, peer-to-peer knowledge sharing network available by SMS for the world’s 500 million small-scale farmers who have no internet. 

Technology Access Category

Solar Freeze: (Africa)

Solar Freeze is a one stop, turnkey, portable off-grid toolkit for localized food production containing a complete ecosystem of smart farm technologies to enhance agricultural productivity.

Skills Development & Opportunity Matching Category

CareAcademy: (North America)

CareAcademy provides online professional development to teach and upskill caregivers. It provides opportunities for millions of workers to prepare for future of healthcare.

Financial Inclusion Category

ftcash: (Asia)

ftcash is one of India’s fastest growing financial inclusion ventures, which aims to empower micro-merchants and small-businesses through loans using digital payments.

The MIT IIC awards $1.6 million globally to organizations that are using technology to reinvent the future of work and create a more equitable economy.

All of the IIC regional winners received an expenses-paid trip to MIT for the Grand Prize Gala where they were honored with receptions, networking opportunities, and workshops with investors, MIT, and industry experts. They also receive global press and media coverage, promotion by MIT, and interaction with their peers.

“The grand challenge of our era is to use digital technologies to create not only prosperity, but shared prosperity,” says Erik Brynjolfsson, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. “We created the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge to recognize and reward the many amazing people and organizations that are working to accomplish this mission.”

“With the MIT IIC, we’re celebrating the entrepreneurs and innovators who are demonstrating many different ways to put powerful technology to use to improve people’s economic prospects,” adds Andrew McAfee, co-director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. “Our winners and other entrants show us that broadly shared prosperity is possible, which makes a great antidote to pessimism and negativity.”

For more on the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge and our mission, please visit: www.MITinclusiveinnovation.com

For more on the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, visit: ide.mit.edu.

 

Press inquiries and requests for interviews can be sent to Shannon Farrelly, Director of Communications & Media Relations, at farrelly@mit.edu.