Official Roster Of Teams And Advisory Board Announced In The $7m Adult Literacy XPRIZE
Over 100 Teams in the Running; World’s Leading Education Technology and Policy Experts Will Advise Global Competition to Empower Adult Learners
LOS ANGELES (February 3, 2016) — XPRIZE, the world’s leader in designing and managing incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges, today announced 109 teams from 15 countries competing for the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE presented by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. This global competition challenges teams to develop mobile software for adult learners that result in the greatest increase in literacy skills. An Advisory Board of eight leading experts in the fields of adult literacy, education technology and government policy, also announced today, will advise the Adult Literacy XPRIZE.
The Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE launched in June 2015 to address the educational, economic and social obstacles to solving the Grand Challenge of adult low literacy by proving the feasibility of autonomous mobile learning for some of the most underserved members of society. Among competing teams are leading education technology companies, top-tier academic institutions, non-profits, newly founded startups, and teams formed by middle and high school students.
“These teams and our Advisory Board represent an exciting mix of talent with expertise in both education and technology,” said Shlomy Kattan, senior director of prize operations at XPRIZE. “The engagement from such a broad group of individuals is a testament to the importance of this prize and its potential to positively impact the world.”
“These innovative technology solutions have the potential to change the lives of the 36 million Americans—90 percent of whom are parents—who struggle with low-literacy,” said Liza McFadden, president and CEO of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. “Nearly two-thirds of Americans are now smartphone owners, and among those with relatively low income and educational levels, younger adults are very likely to be smart phone-dependent. This will give us the opportunity to put educational tools directly into their hands.”
Competing teams have until December 2016 to turn in their final submissions. Up to 15 of those submissions will be selected by an independent judging panel to participate in a field test with thousands of adult learners in three cities across the United States.
The $3M Grand Prize will be awarded to the team with the best performance across all adult learners, over the 12-month field test. Two $1M Achievement Prizes will also be awarded to the two teams with the best performance in each of the two key demographic groups: native English speakers and English language learners. All five final teams will share an additional $500,000 in prizes, while another $500,000 prize purse will be split among all finalist teams that meet a minimum performance benchmark.
Following the awarding of the Grand Prize, cities across the U.S. will compete to encourage their adult learners to download and use the winning applications. A $1M prize will be awarded to the city that encourages the greatest percentage of its adult learners to download and use any of the finalist solutions over a six-month period.
In addition to the competitor pool, the Adult Literacy XPRIZE announced the formation of an Advisory Board of academic and industry experts. The Advisory Board includes:
- Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier, the former Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education at the United States Department of Education;
- Michael Horn, co-founder of and a distinguished fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute;
- Dr. Sally E. Shaywitz, M.D., the Audrey G. Ratner professor in Learning Development at Yale University and co-director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity;
- John Danner, co-Founder and CEO of Zeal Learning;
- Dr. Karen D. Lincoln, associate professor in the USC School of Social Work and director of the USC Hartford Center of Excellence in Geriatric Social Work;
- Mari Riddle, former president and CEO of Centro Latino for Literacy;
- Dr. Bennett A. Shaywitz, M.D., the Charles and Helen Schwab professor in Dyslexia and Learning Development at Yale University and co-director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity; and
- Emily Dalton Smith, strategic partnerships manager for Social Good at Facebook.
“Education technology can propel adult education further than we’ve ever imagined,” said Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier, former Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education at the United States Department of Education. “I am proud to participate in an XPRIZE that sparks necessary innovation and investment in the power of literacy to transform lives today and for generations to come.”
Founded in 1995, XPRIZE is the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prizes in five areas: Learning; Exploration; Energy & Environment; Global Development; and Life Sciences. Active prizes include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $20M NRG Cosia Carbon XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, the $7M Adult Literacy XPRIZE and the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE. For more information, visit www.xprize.org.
About the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy
The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy is the nation’s leading advocate for family literacy. Founded by former First Lady Barbara Bush, the mission of the Foundation is to advocate for and establish literacy as a value in every home. The goals of the Foundation are simple: We want children to start school ready to excel and help parents improve their literacy skills. Mrs. Bush’s guiding belief was simple – if you helped a person learn to read, their opportunities in life were endless. To learn more about the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy’s commitment to promote family literacy in homes across America, please visit www.BarbaraBush.org/.
About the Dollar General Literacy Foundation
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $110 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping nearly six million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education. For more information about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and its grant programs, visit www.dgliteracy.org.