Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, February 19, 2020 — The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today unveiled WISE was one of the highest-scoring proposals, designated as the Top 100, in its 100&Change competition for a single $100 million grant to help solve one of the world's most critical social challenges.
The proposal by WISE, entitled ‘Mending Broken Lives Through Clean Energy Solutions’, seeks to end the vicious cycle of poverty fed by lack of access to energy. The ambition is to accelerate the deployment of clean distributed energy solutions, on a massive scale in order to reach more than a billion people globally, who otherwise would have no access.
The comprehensive technical plan combines reliable support of energy with community self-sufficiency and self-determination.
Income for livelihood, skills development at all educational levels, learning through play and empowerment of women are all central aspects of the proposal to create a positive pathway out of humanitarian crises. Energy access is the first step: a launch pad for education and a path out of extreme poverty.
The Top 100 represent proposals that were rigorously vetted, undergoing MacArthur’s initial administrative review, a Peer-to-Peer review, an evaluation by an external panel of judges, and a technical review by specialists whose expertise was matched to the project.
Each proposal was evaluated using four criteria: impactful, evidence-based, feasible, and durable. MacArthur’s Board of Directors will select up to 10 finalists from these high-scoring proposals this spring.
“Our solution provides energy services to the world’s poorest communities that go beyond minimal access to a higher level of reliable and sustainable energy services in ways that create income, reinforce social well-being and economic stability. The proposal is a test case for advancing global sustainability. Within the scope of $100 million funding, we will meet the energy needs of at least half a million people in refugee settlements in East Africa.”
– Professor Jatin Nathwani, Founding Executive Director, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy
“MacArthur seeks to generate increased recognition, exposure, and support for the high-impact ideas designated as the Top 100,” said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change and MacArthur Managing Director, 100&Change. “Based on our experience in the first round of 100&Change, we know the competition will produce multiple compelling and fundable ideas. We are committed to matching philanthropists with powerful solutions and problem solvers to accelerate social change.”
Since the inaugural competition, other funders and philanthropists have committed an additional $419 million to date to support bold solutions by 100&Change applicants. Building on the success of 100&Change, MacArthur created Lever for Change to unlock significant philanthropic capital by helping donors find and fund vetted, high-impact opportunities through the design and management of customized competitions. In addition to 100&Change, Lever for Change is managing the Chicago Prize, the Economic Opportunity Challenge, and the Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award.
Bold Solutions Network Launches
The Bold Solutions Network launched today, featuring University of Waterloo’s Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE) as one of the Top 100 from 100&Change. The searchable online online collection of submissions contains a project overview, 90-second video, and two-page factsheet for each proposal. Visitors can sort by subject, location, Sustainable Development Goal, or beneficiary population to view proposals based on area of interest.
The Bold Solutions Network will showcase the highest-rated proposals that emerge from the competitions Lever for Change manages. Proposals in the Bold Solutions Network undergo extensive evaluation and due diligence to ensure each solution promises real and measurable progress to accelerate social change.
The Bold Solutions Network was designed to provide an innovative approach to identifying the most effective, enduring solutions aligned with donors’ philanthropic goals and to help top applicants gain visibility and funding from a wide array of funders. Organizations that are part of the network will have continued access to a variety of technical support and learning opportunities focused on strengthening their proposals and increasing the impact of their work.
More About 100&Change
100&Change is a distinctive competition that is open to organizations and collaborations working in any field, anywhere in the world. Proposals must identify a problem and offer a solution that promises significant and durable change.
The second round of the competition had a promising start: 3,690 competition registrants submitted 755 proposals. Of those, 475 passed an initial administrative review. 100&Change was designed to be fair, open, and transparent. The identity of the judges and the methodology used to assess initial proposals are public. Applicants received comments and feedback from the peers, judges, and technical reviewers. Key issues in the competition are discussed in a blog on MacArthur's website.
Media contact: Jatin Nathwani, email@example.com, 519-888-4567 x48252