Launched in June 2016, the competition awards a single multiyear grant of $100 million to a project "that promises real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time." In the second round of the competition, four hundred and seventy-five proposals made it through an initial administrative review, with the hundred highest-rated projects showcased on the Bold Solutions Network, an online platform launched by the foundation in February.
The six finalists for the $100 million grant are the Boston-based Clinton Health Access Initiative and the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, whose joint project is aimed at bringing life-saving oxygen therapy to children worldwide; New York City-based Community Solutions, which proposes to end homelessness in seventy-five U.S. communities over the next five years by leveraging real-time individual-level data; D.C.-based National Geographic Pristine Seas, which partners with governments and local organizations to create well-managed, no-take marine reserves that contribute to the health and productivity of the planet's oceans; Albuquerque-based Project ECHO, which leverages telementoring, collaboration, and case-based learning to democratize life-saving medical knowledge and care in underserved communities; New York City-based Report for America, which works to eliminate news deserts by fielding emerging journalists in local news outlets nationwide; and the World Mosquito Program, which has developed an efficacious, cost-effective, scalable solution that uses a naturally occurring bacteria to prevent the transmission of mosquito-borne disease.
During the project development phase of the competition, the finalists will receive consulting services and technical assistance to help them strengthen their proposals and will then submit a preliminary plan for evaluation. The finalists will present their revised proposals during a live event in the spring of 2021, after which the MacArthur Foundation board will name a single recipient to receive a $100 million grant.
"It is our hope that these creative proposals will benefit from expert feedback, technical assistance, and increased recognition, exposure, and support," said Cecilia Conrad, managing director of 100&Change and CEO of Lever for Change, which administers the competition. "We know from the first round of 100&Change that the competition will produce multiple compelling and fundable ideas to accelerate social change."
"The critical challenges that these six ambitious proposals are tackling existed long before the pandemic," said MacArthur Foundation president John Palfrey. "The extraordinary inequality that has been accentuated by the coronavirus will continue to exist after it subsides, unless we start to reimagine our future and support the reinvention of systems and structures that create a more just, equitable, and resilient world. MacArthur is committed to supporting organizations that think big, because solutions are possible."
(Photo credit: Clinton Health Access initiative)