and Microsoft Launch Generative AI Skills Grant Challenge

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New York, NY | June 28, 2023 –, a platform for partnerships to advance data for social impact, with support from Microsoft Corp., today launched the Generative AI Skills Grant Challenge, a global grant to explore, develop, and implement ways for organizations to train, upskill, and reskill the workforce to use generative AI. This global grant will support organizations driving skilling and economic growth, especially those focusing on fair and community-led implementations of generative AI skills programs, with historically marginalized populations around the world.

“Generative AI has the potential to revolutionize how we tackle global challenges thanks to its unparalleled ability to scale — but only if applied with awareness of its limitations and a strong emphasis on community-led solutions informed by local context,” said Danil Mikhailov, Executive Director of “That’s why we are pleased to partner with Microsoft to help upskill and reskill the social impact workforce using generative AI effectively and responsibly. Together, we are taking a significant stride towards fulfilling’s commitment to train one million purpose-driven data practitioners by 2032.”

As part of the company’s new AI Skills Initiative, Microsoft is providing funding for the Generative AI Skills Grant Challenge, with awards expected for five organizations. In addition to financial support, the awardees will receive access to cloud computing resources, technical guidance from Microsoft AI experts, and data training. Nonprofit organizations, social enterprises, and academic / research institutions strongly dedicated to creating upskilling opportunities in generative AI are encouraged to apply. Submissions are welcome from organizations with extensive technical experience, as well those with an emerging and locally unique idea for advancing the workforce and closing the digital divide through the use of generative AI. and Microsoft will share with the broader community the rubrics and best practices used to judge the applications and select the eventual awardees.

“AI offers great potential to empower workers around the world, but only if everyone, everywhere has the skills to use it,” said Kate Behncken, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Philanthropies. “By launching this grant challenge with, we can help develop new ways organizations can deliver skilling opportunities and drive inclusive economic growth, especially in historically marginalized populations around the world.”

By engaging a diverse range of communities – and a particular focus on AI’s fair and community-led integration in low- and middle-income countries and contexts (LMICs) —  this Challenge will work to accelerate digital inclusion, socioeconomic mobility, and skills advancement and acquisition for workers from historically marginalized populations around the world.

The Generative AI Skills Grant Challenge is now accepting applications. The deadline for initial proposals to the Challenge will be August 15, 2023. To learn more and participate, visit

About is accelerating the power of data to solve some of our greatest global challenges. Launched in 2020 by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and The Rockefeller Foundation, serves as a platform for partnerships to build the field of data for social impact by widening access to the tools, resources, and talent needed to make sustainable and equitable change.    

A global organization, convenes and coordinates across sectors and is committed to supporting and amplifying visionary — but also practical — solutions to drive greater impact, through data.

Media Contact Emma Marty |