The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Misk Foundation in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, have announced the launch of a $10 million Grand Challenges initiative aimed at empowering, inspiring, and catalyzing young people to transform their communities and change the world.
Announced at the Misk Global Forum last week in Riyadh, the Misk Grand Challenges will award $100,000 each to a hundred young innovators eager to develop fresh, innovative solutions to urgent global challenges. The Gates Foundation and the Misk Foundation, which was established by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, will contribute $5 million each to the effort.
Over the next three years, the initiative will announce new challenges every six months, with the initial round, which is open through May, focused on two areas: global citizenship and education. The global citizenship initiative will seek solutions aimed at engaging young people in efforts to reduce inequality related to the first six Sustainable Development Goals — no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, and clean water and sanitation. The education challenge will focus on reinventing teaching and school leadership, including the transformation of teacher training, recruitment, and professional development; improving resources in support of high-quality learning; and creating new management systems.
"Tackling global issues demands global partnerships," said the Crown Prince Salman in a statement on the Misk Grand Challenges’ website. "This collaboration with the Gates Foundation is an important and essential initiative for the Misk Foundation. Misk Grand Challenges will directly empower young people by providing them with the research grants necessary to give them the chance to innovate new solutions. A positive future can be shaped by the next generation, and the Misk Grand Challenges will act as a vital catalyst in this process."