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A Great Idea Can Change Everything

An Innovation Challenge inspires people from around the world to focus their talent and creativity to compete for a prize purse while unlocking new ideas and innovations that can address a global issue that needs to be solved.  
For many problems facing our world, we need a variety of solvers — these problems affect all of us. Vulnerable communities are often the most affected, and have some of the most innovative ideas and solutions. The democratized nature of a challenge is designed to bring the very best ideas to light.






WhAt We Want

A Diverse Universe of Problem Solvers

For 131 years, the National Geographic Society has supported exploration by innovative people using innovative approaches. We believe that people and communities have the power to identify, develop, and scale solutions to help solve our biggest global issues. An Innovation Challenge is open to problem solvers from around the globe, and we expect to see a diversity of solutions and innovative ideas. Your idea might just be the solution the world needs.





Current Challenge

Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge

The Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge, a key component of National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures’ partnership to reduce plastic waste, asks problem solvers from around the globe to develop novel solutions to tackle the world’s plastic waste crisis. This Innovation Challenge seeks to identify solutions in three strategic areas of impact: designing alternatives to single-use plastics, identifying opportunities for industries to address plastic waste throughout supply chains, and effectively communicating the need for action through data visualization.

 Teams from around the world are encouraged to submit their solutions beginning February 11, 2019. Teams will compete for aggregate prize purses of up to $500,000, and qualified participating teams may have the opportunity to receive a minimum of $1 million in aggregate investment from Sky Ocean Ventures.

Learn More




Photograph By Maskot, Getty Images (Top Image) ; Glenn Barit, National Geographic (Diverse Universe of Problem Solvers) ; Justin Hofman, National Geographic (Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge)