UNICEF Bay Area partners in Corporate Innovation Exchange at Singularity University
Social entrepreneurs for child rights

Challenge Graphic (1)

Have a great idea for disaster response?  Submit your idea for a chance to win $15,000 and a trip to Chile!  Join the Global Innovation Challenge: First 72 Hours.

The Global Innovation Challenge needs your help to find ideas that will help the world respond better to emergencies.  From a rough idea to a finished product, the contest seeks world-changing ideas that will improve how the humanitarian community responds at the early onset of a crisis.  Proposed ideas can be for affected communities or humanitarian actors and should focus around one of four areas:

  • Energy
  • Health
  • Communications and information
  • Food and water

Deadline for the challenge is March 13th, 2014.  All submissions will be judged by a panel of experts across the innovation and humanitarian disciplines.  The winning teams will receive $15,000 in seed funding as well as a paid trip to Chile for two weeks to incubate their ideas.

Interested?  Do you have or know someone with a compelling idea?  See below for more info.

Join at www.first72hours.org or in Spanish at www.primeras72horas.org

Challenge video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JawZLAUYDU

See below for more about the Challenge and more about what you can do.


1.  Submit an idea

Take part in the challenge if you think you or your team has a compelling idea. Login to www.first72hours.org, create a profile, and enter your idea – simple as that.

2.  Identify people you know to participate with ideas.

Everyone can participate in the contest; our goal is as many submissions and great ideas as possible.  Spread the word about the Challenge!

Participants can include, but are not limited to, a community based organisation, a private company, or a creative human.


1. Publicise the Challenge

During the ideation phase of the challenge, December 17, 2013 to March 13th, 2014 our goal is to generate the highest number of ideas from around the world.  Social media can be a great way to do this.

Sample tweets and facebook status updates are available in this googledoc. They are here for copy/paste or to be customised based on personal experience.

2. Create an event for March 13th.

On March 13th we encourage you to have events to educate people about the Challenge, emergencies, and innovation.


1. Be a mentor.

The role of a mentor in the challenge is to provide assistance to contest participants through the online website platform.  Mentors do this by answering questions, and giving subject matter expertise.  This is a great way to use your comparative expertise to empower people.

Time commitment is flexible and up to the mentor.  Based on past competition submission rates, time commitments are of 1-2 hours per week.

2. Recruit mentors:

We are expecting to get a lot of ideas so we need as many qualified mentors as possible. When we look at a mentor we are looking for subject matter (disaster risk reduction humanitarian action, resilience building at the community level etc.) experts who would be open/interested in joining an amazing international community and connecting in with the broader humanitarian community.

Basic requirements: familiarity with technology and human centered processes, and piloting and entrepreneurship are helpful.  Experience in emergency settings is a big plus.

Join the challenge now and save lives!

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UNICEF Bay Area partners in Corporate Innovation Exchange at Singularity University
Social entrepreneurs for child rights