'Audacious Project' Announces Grants Totaling $280 Million

'Audacious Project' Announces Grants Totaling $280 Million

The Audacious Project, a philanthropic collaborative launched in April 2018 by TED, a nonprofit devoted to disseminating "ideas worth spreading," has announced grants totaling more than $280 million in support of eight initiatives.

Seeded with $250 million from the Dalio and ELMA philanthropies, the Gates and Skoll foundations, Virgin Unite, and Giving Pledgers Laura and John Arnold and Scott Cook and Signe Ostby, and in partnership with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Bridgespan Group, the Audacious Project awards grants of up to $50 million to social entrepreneurs and nonprofits working to address some of the world's toughest challenges.  

Announced this week at the annual TED Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, this year's recipients include the Center for Policing Equity, which was awarded $30 million to enhance its COMPSTAT for Justice initiative, which is focused on helping law enforcement agencies reduce racial disparities in policing; the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, which will receive more than $35 million to fight climate change with cutting-edge technologies that boost the ability of plants to capture and store carbon from the atmosphere; and the Nature Conservancy, which was awarded more than $23 million to help ensure the protection of up to 1.5 million square miles of the most biodiversity-critical ocean habitats through the issuance of Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation in as many as twenty countries. 

Other recipients include Educate Girls, which will use its grant to partner with village-based volunteers to influence local norms and persuade parents and elders in remote, rural communities of India to enroll girls in school and help them stay there; the Institute for Protein Design, which will use its grant to advance Rosetta, a protein design software, and invest in the equipment, supplies, and lab space needed to design and test millions of synthetic proteins, with the goal of creating new medicines and materials; and the END Fund, which plans to bring de-worming treatment to a hundred million people and support partnerships focused on increasing access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene education. Grants also were awarded to Thorn, which will work to address child sexual abuse by driving data collaboration so that critical information is shared as widely as possible in the best interest of the child, and Waterford UPSTART, which is working to provide access to early education to two hundred and fifty thousand children.

"I'm thrilled to introduce another class of social entrepreneurs with jaw-dropping visions of a better future and vetted blueprints for the successful execution of their ideas," said Chris Anderson, the head of TED. "At a time when many people are fearful about humanity's prospects, these projects offer a beautiful counter-narrative of ingenuity, determination, and hope."

"Eight New Audacious Projects Revealed Live from the TED Conference." Audacious Project Press Release 04/16/2019. "Center for Policing Equity Revealed as a 2019 Audacious Project." Center for Policing Equity Press Release 04/16/2019. "Salk Institute Initiative to Receive More Than $35 Million to Fight Climate Change." Salk Institute for Biological Studies Press Release 04/16/2019. "The Nature Conservancy’s Audacious Plan to Save the World's Oceans." Nature Conservancy Press Release 04/16/2019.