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The Challenge

Reimagine Challenge 2020

Thanks for participating, submissions are now closed.

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Up to $1 million dollars in scholarships & prizes

Topic 1: Sparking a Global Movement

What is one concrete way that YOU could motivate 1,000,000 people to work in concert to make the world meaningfully better within 10 years?  What would you do, what would be the key steps to grow an effective massive action, and why would this have significant impact?  Why should we have confidence that you will succeed and how would we know that you had succeeded?

Topic 2: Community Impact from COVID

What is the most surprising or unusual insight you have had about your community in the wake of the pandemic?  Given this insight, what is the most important concrete action that YOU and a growing group of others could take to help your community or country better respond to changes resulting from the COVID-19  pandemic? How would you and we know you had succeeded?

Program Details

Round 1 written submission requirements:

Proposals for the first round should be no longer than 1200 words and written in English. Essays must be the original work of the student, inclusive of citations as needed, and not violate any existing copyright, trademark, patent or any other intellectual property right of any other person, organization or entity. The submission must include author names, institutional affiliation, and email.  One entry per individual.

How proposals are judged:

The Challenge will have two rounds of judging. In round 1, expert panels will assess short written proposals and evaluate them based on the criteria stated below. In round 2, a number of participants identified from round 1 will be asked to provide a more extensive proposal, which may be up to 12 pages of text  and be accompanied by a short video or graphical component that explores and dramatizes the idea and explains the origins, details, and implications. Details will be provided when we request fuller submissions in round 2.


All Round 1 proposals must be submitted electronically through by 11:59 pm EST, Friday, September 25th, 2020. Submissions will be accepted starting Wednesday, August 26th. In order to be invited to Round 2, you must submit your Round 1 proposal on time. Invitations to move on to Round 2 are expected to be announced in October. Final winners are expected to be announced in December.

Scholarships and Awards:

Up to 20 final entries will be selected as winners to be published in an online anthology. The authors of each winning entry will receive up to USD $25K as tuition scholarships through their institutions.  The institution where the winner is currently enrolled will also receive USD $25K for each winning idea. When public health permits, all winning authors will be invited to a celebration event hosted by Eric and Wendy Schmidt.

Judging Criteria:

  • Effectiveness: How many people could this help, and how will it help them?
  • Innovation: How is the idea or approach different from what’s already being done? What secondary effects could it unlock? How will technology help you reach scale?
  • Feasibility: What would the pathway be to make the idea real? What would it take to make that pathway plausible?
  • Measurability: How will you know that the idea is working? To what degree of precision? On what scale (local, national, continental, or worldwide)?
  • Inclusion: How is this idea drawn from and capable of benefiting diverse communities?
  • Ethics: What would be required to ensure that people can act upon the suggestion in ethical ways?

Practice Your Pitch:

Participants who would like to engage with a community of other student leaders and hone their pitch prior to submitting their official written entry are invited to download and use the Hello World – Global Community App here.  Within the app, students can upload a 3 minute or less video pitching their idea, and then view others’ submissions and leave peer feedback. In the first stage of the application, participation on the app is completely voluntary and will not be considered during judging and review of written submissions.

License and Right to Use Likeness and Work:

‍By submitting an entry, applicant grants permission and a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free nonexclusive license to the Sponsor and its affiliates to use, reproduce, create derivative works, perform, display, distribute, copy, post and share the entry on any media now known or developed, and in any language in connection with the charitable mission of the Sponsor.  This means the Sponsor and its affiliates can publicly disclose and make available for comment any ideas, suggestions, or concepts included in the entry.  This license does not require the Sponsor and its affiliates to actually use the entry now or in the future for any purpose.  By submitting an entry, applicant agrees that the Sponsor and its affiliates may use your name, likeness, statements, entry, voice, photo, and/or video to promote the results of the Challenge.  Such use may include, but is not limited to use in or on social media, websites and press releases, and in connection with any events of any type Sponsor and its affiliates shall hold.


‍The Challenge is open to all students currently enrolled in a post-secondary degree program (e.g., community colleges, junior colleges, universities, two-year programs, graduate programs, etc.).  All students must be over the age of 18. No employee or Board member of the Sponsor and its affiliates is permitted to participate either directly or indirectly with the submission of an application.  The Challenge is not open to any person appearing on the sanctions lists provided by the United States Treasury Department, Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”), whether, currently listed there, or subsequently listed at any time during the submissions period through announcement of the winners.

Other Terms and Conditions:

General information with respect to the award.  Each winner of the Challenge will receive an award of up to USD $25,000 as tuition scholarships through their qualifying institutions. The winner may use the full $25,000 within the winning academic year for tuition at the institution where the winner is then enrolled, with any unused portion applied toward qualifying tuition expenses at such institution (or another qualifying institution) during the immediately two succeeding consecutive academic years. Any then-unused portion of the $25,000 scholarship will be automatically forfeited unless, before such date of forfeiture, the winner elects to extend the tuition payout date for up to an additional two consecutive years thereafter at the same or different post-secondary institution.  The scholarship intends to qualify as a “qualified scholarship” as defined in Section 117 of the US Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, for US tax purposes; however, the Sponsor and its affiliates do not make any representations or warranties with regards to how this award is treated for U.S. or non-US tax purposes.  The individual winners will be responsible for paying any taxes and filing any necessary returns.  It is advised the individual consult its own tax advisor.

Reservation of rights.   The Sponsor and its affiliates reserves the right to disqualify any participant who violates these rules and any standard of behavior expressed or implied in them, and shall loss all rights to participate in the Challenge, including, but not limited to the receipt of any award or remaining portion of any award and may be required to forfeit any award money obtained.

Indemnification.  By submitting your entry, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless Sponsor and its affiliates with regards to any claims, damages, expenses or losses of any kind (including legal fees) arising out of your participation in the Challenge or your failure to abide by the Challenge rules included on this website.

Void by law.  This Challenge is void where prohibited by law.  Each applicant bears sole responsibility for confirming he or she can legally participate in the Challenge based on the laws of the jurisdictions in which the applicant resides.

Governing Law and Arbitration.  This Challenge shall be governed by the laws of the State of California, United states of America.  Any controversy, claim, or dispute arising out of this Challenge shall be settled solely by binding arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association and conducted in Santa Clara County, California.


‍The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fund for Strategic Innovation, a 501(c)(3) private foundation (“Sponsor”) is the proud Sponsor of the 2020 ReImagine Challenge (“Challenge”)


‍Please contact if you have any additional questions.