With support from the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and The Rockefeller Foundation, the data.org Challenge called for breakthrough ideas that harness the power of data to help people and communities thrive, especially in the wake of COVID-19’s health and economic impact. In early 2021, we awarded $10 million in funding and technical assistance to eight exemplary awardees from a pool of over 1,200 applications. The Paul Ramsay Foundation, focused on philanthropy in Australia, funded a ninth award.
Areas of Focus
The Challenge invited proposals in the focus areas named below, but also welcomed submissions for using data to advance shared prosperity, and help ensure inclusive recovery.
Leave no worker behind
Low wage workers are among the most vulnerable in today’s economy. In times of economic stress, current trends toward automation and job displacement could accelerate. How can we use data to help workers remain secure in precarious times? Can data insights predict trends in the labor market and connect and prepare workers for the jobs of tomorrow?
Leave no entrepreneur behind
Unleashing the spirit of grassroots entrepreneurs can help communities rebound by creating much-needed jobs and growing local economies. Yet, in times of recession, the flow of credit to micro and small businesses tends to slow down. How can data enable microentrepreneurs to gain access to capital? How can data help us identify micro and small businesses with the potential to grow? How can data insights rethink creditworthiness and unlock capital for high potential business owners?
Leave no place behind
An economic recession will hit some places harder than others. As public and private sector investments flow into cities and towns to stimulate the economy, how can leaders use data-driven insights to make the right decisions to ensure economic security in underserved communities? How can data and analytics help connect neighborhoods to the resources and networks they need to access opportunity, including quality education, affordable housing and childcare, decent jobs, and transportation? We see opportunities for data to fuel economic growth and empower communities to thrive without further exacerbating inequality.
Harnessing the Power of Data
Inclusive Growth and Recovery Challenge Impact Report
These awardees show the range of opportunities that exist to use data to drive social impact for workers, entrepreneurs, and communities.
Learnings from the Inclusive Growth and Recovery Challenge
Ginger Zielinksie, former Chief Strategy Officer at data.org, led a discussion on key findings & learnings that came out of the Inclusive Growth and Recovery Challenge Report and features perspectives of both Challenge creation and participation.
Bayo (Olubayo) Adekanmbi combines over 19 years of cognate industry experience in Strategy, Marketing, Analytics, and Business Transformation from the two largest economies in Africa (Nigeria and South Africa).
Raj Chetty is the William A. Ackman Professor of Economics at Harvard University. He is also the Director of Opportunity Insights (formerly the Equality of Opportunity Project), which uses “big data” to understand how we can give children from disadvantaged backgrounds better chances of succeeding.
Mike Froman serves as vice chairman and president, Strategic Growth for Mastercard. In that role he is responsible for growing strategic partnerships, scaling new business opportunities, and advancing the company’s efforts to partner with governments and other institutions to address major societal and economic issues. He and his team drive financial inclusion and inclusive growth efforts and work to develop new businesses key to the company’s strategic growth.
Panthea Lee is the co-founder and Executive Director of Reboot. She is a pioneer in designing and guiding multi-stakeholder processes to address complex social challenges, with experience doing so in 30+ countries, with partners including CIVICUS, Wikimedia Foundation, Open Government Partnership, MacArthur Foundation, and governments at the national, state, and…
Lead on tech social impact and ethical AI development, Laura Montoya is the founder and Managing Partner of Accel Impact Organizations, including Accel AI Institute, Latinx in AI (LXAI), and Research Colab.
Himanshu Nagpal leads The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation‘s efforts towards utilizing digital infrastructure and digital tools to eradicate malaria. Prior to joining the global health team in 2020, Himanshu was the deputy director, Financial Services for the Poor (FSP), manages the financial inclusion work in India, and leads the team…
Enrica Porcari is the Head Of Information Technology Department at CERN. Prior to this, she was the UN World Food Programme’s Chief Information Officer and Director of Technology. She was also instrumental in creating WFP’s Fast IT and Telecommunications Emergency and Support Team (FITTEST) to support global humanitarian operations. Enrica…
Jake Porway loves seeing the good values in bad data. As a frustrated corporate data scientist, Porway co-founded DataKind, a nonprofit that harnesses the power of Data Science and AI in the service of humanity by providing pro bono data science services to mission-driven organizations.
Cassie is Associate Director at Paul Hamlyn Foundation. She served as the senior head of the UK Portfolio for the National Lottery Community Fund, co-founded the Point People, and was a Fellow at The Institute of Innovation and Public Purpose at UCL. Previously she was Strategic Design Director at Doteveryone, has worked in the Cabinet…
Bruno Sánchez-Andrade Nuño has led the creation of Microsoft “Planetary Computer”, and Big Data innovation at the World Bank Innovation Labs served as VP Social Impact at the satellite company Satellogic and Chief Scientist at Mapbox.
David Sangokoya is Head of Civil Society Impact at the World Economic Forum in Geneva. Previously, he was the Project Lead, Society and Innovation. He is responsible for the Forum’s engagement and inclusion of nonprofits, marginalized communities, labour unions, activists, religious and faith-based organizations, indigenous leaders, social movements and others…
Dr. Shah serves as President of The Rockefeller Foundation, a global institution with a mission to promote the well-being of humanity around the world. The Foundation applies data, science, and innovation to improve health for women and children, create nutritious and sustainable food systems, end energy poverty for more than a billion people worldwide, and enable meaningful economic mobility in the United States and around the world.
Vera Songwe is a nonresident senior fellow in the Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution. She is currently Chair of the Board of the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility. Before that, she was an Under-Secretary-General at the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa,…
Drew Zachary is Deputy Chief Data Officer for Innovation at the U.S. Department of Commerce. She was Managing Director of Census Open Innovation Labs and Director/Co-founder of The Opportunity Project at the US Census Bureau. Previously, Drew was a Policy Advisor at the White House Domestic Policy Council and senior…
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