The Milken-Motsepe Innovation Prize program was born out of a deep faith in human ingenuity and innovation, and a belief that global challenges facing humanity today cannot be solved without including the capabilities and voices from around the world. We aim to contribute to a world in which people work across borders and specialties to harness the power of imagination and new technologies to build a better future. We are offering prizes and programming to incentivize new voices—perhaps the unexpected, the bold—to bring fresh ideas for a more resilient, more equitable, and more sustainable future.
Technology has altered virtually every element of our lives at a rapid pace. It offers new challenges and abundant opportunities. Harnessing the power of technology for good allows us to finally break through and scale solutions for the toughest global challenges. Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies—such as artificial intelligence, 3D printing, robotics, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things—can transform Africa into a global powerhouse. However, Africa still lags behind other regions on many indicators of technology, and the global community needs to be intentional and focused on closing this technological divide. Paired with the needed infrastructure and skills for innovation and technology use, the Fourth Industrial Revolution represents a massive opportunity for growth across the continent.
We have structured this program to be beneficial to all who compete. The prize is meant to incentivize action through competition but also collaboration. As soon as someone signs up, they are able to connect with people from around the world with different skills and are given access to free resources to support them on their entrepreneurial journey. Throughout the competition, we provide opportunities to connect, grow, learn, get your ideas seen, and, hopefully, funded!
We have linked our work to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These Global Goals were adopted by all UN Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. The SDGs are articulated through 17 urgent objectives with specific suggested actions to reach each goal. Our work therefore is to determine which pieces of the problem are actionable and solvable, to determine the specific root-cause market failures and opportunities, and then to focus global innovators on solving that specific problem.
Prizes inspire action and reward innovation and data-driven results to inspire, empower, and support new ideas. There is limitless potential ready to be unlocked. Join us as we build a better future, together.