Apply Now: World Food Programme Global Impact Challenge (Global Solution Program)

Young pupils enjoying their meals during school hours

Apply Now: World Food Programme Global Impact Challenge (Global Solution Program)

Deadline: March 13, 2017

Call for action

Food in Emergencies: a Global Impact Challenge

This Contest is looking for innovative solutions to emergency food crises.

The World Food Programme and Singularity University are using an innovation prize to help families who have to suddenly worry about hunger

Submit an idea to provide sustainable access to local and nutritious food in emergencies

What moonshot innovation would you develop using exponential technology to provide sustainable access to local and nutritious food in emergencies?


The challenge

You have likely witnessed a scene like this far too many times on the news, from the safety of your home: hundreds, thousands, or even millions of families caught in the grip of conflict or disaster. Chased, burned, or washed out of their homes. Stripped of their belongings, cut off from their fields. Little to eat. Children denied food when they need it most. A life of stunting and underachievement—for those who get to live.

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Fortunately, the World Food Programme (WFP) is there, in every emergency, providing basic food supplies or cash. But no one organization can do it all or ensure that no one gets left behind. People need to be able to support themselves, sustainably. And to stop people in emergency situations from going hungry, we need bold new thinking.

Therefore, we are proud to be working with WFP to host a special Global Impact Challenge aimed at eliminating world hunger by 2030. This partnership offers applicants a unique combination of Silicon Valley exponential thinking and global expertise in food assistance and humanitarian response. It’s time to harness the combined power of exponential technology and innovative thinking to end hunger once and for all!

We need you—your ideas, your vision, your bright bold brainwaves. Do you think you have a solution? A clever concept that allows people living in the most difficult conditions to produce nutritious food? A technology you’ve dreamt up that will quickly restore livelihoods and dignity in the midst of despair?

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We’re challenging you to design a low-cost, scalable solution that enables severely marginalized people to support their (five-member, on average) household food and nutrition needs in a sustainable manner that lowers their dependence on aid.

The prize

Shortlisted winners will be invited to a bootcamp at the WFP Innovation Accelerator in Munich, Germany, where they’ll work on developing their ideas using lean startup and human-centered design methods, combined with WFP field expertise. (That comes with additional funding which is traditionally between $50,000 and $100,000 per project, although the exact amount has yet to be disclosed.) The bootcamp will be hosted April 18-21, 2017.

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Following the bootcamp, one team (with a maximum of two members) will move on and secure a full sponsorship to attend Singularity University’s prestigious Global Solutions Program (GSP) hosted from June 17 to August 17, 2017, on the SU campus at NASA Research Park. (In this case, “big” means thinking really big: The program is designed to magnify concepts that have the potential to “positively impact the lives of a billion people” in a decade or less). To learn more about GSP visit this page.

Rules & Criteria

Solutions should seek to fulfill the following criteria as much as possible:

  • The more portable, the better
  • The faster the solution produces food, the better
  • The smaller the solution, the better
  • The cheaper, the better—for comparison: humanitarian assistance organizations usually spend around $75 per family/per month to provide a family of four with basic food
  • The less dependent on external resources such as materials, water, and electricity, the better
  • The more nutritious the food the solution produces, the better

Applicant Criteria

  • The challenge is open to anyone, anywhere in the world
  • You must be age 21 or older on the first day of the GSP
  • You should be able to conduct yourself professionally in written and spoken English
  • You should be able to participate in the 4-day bootcamp in Munich from April 18-21, 2017
  • You should be able to participate in the entire GSP17 program from June 17 – August 17, 2017

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We’re especially seeking people with the following characteristics:

We’re looking for innovators from all walks of life with proven grit and experience. You’re an ideal candidate if you:

  • Are an experienced entrepreneur who has already turned over at least one successful company, and are ready to do it again in the impact space
  • Are an accomplished technologist, scientist, or change agent and are recognized as a thought leader in your chosen field(s)
  • Have a background in or a passion for solving household food production in a disaster context
  • Are prepared to commit to launching a startup around your innovation and remaining attached to that venture, wherever the journey may lead post-GSP, based on your GSP team project

Assessment Criteria

We will evaluate submissions using the following criteria:

  • Degree of solution’s relevance to this challenge theme
  • Adherence to the key design principles listed above
  • Feasibility, viability, and coherence of implementing the idea
  • Entrepreneurial and innovative potential, with a focus on technological novelty
  • Applicant’s leadership experience and quality, profile, achievements, and potential

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Entry Criteria

  • CV or resume
  • Summary of accomplishments
  • An abstract of the project idea
  • A video URL of the project idea
  • Pitch deck

Important Dates

  • Applications open: January 18, 2017
  • Applications close: March 13, 2017
  • Finalists announced: April 21, 2017
  • Bootcamp: April 18-21, 2017
  • Winners announced: Early May, 2017


Enter this challenge


For more information, click here.

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Kunlere Idowu

Kunlere is an environment and sustainable development strategist with years of active experience in environmental compliance monitoring and enforcement. You may follow him on Twitter via @kunlere_idowu



  1. Bukes 8 months ago February 16, 2017

    Hi Mr Kunlere,
    Thank you for this wonderful site.
    I tried to apply for this : WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME GLOBAL IMPACT CHALLENGE (GLOBAL SOLUTION PROGRAM) but there is no link to d site . pls kindly provide .
    Thank you.

    • Kunlere Idowu 8 months ago February 16, 2017

      Thanks Bukes.
      The application icon was actually there. But we have made it more conspicuous now. You may please, check again.
      All the best with your application.
      Please, don’t hesitate to ask us for help with your application if you need any further clarifications.


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