Rapid advances in technology and shifting world dynamics are transforming the global economy and nature of jobs. As global migration reaches an all-time high, the digital economy grows, and an increasing number of services move towards automation, the “Future of Work” will prove to be a massive disruption that will serve as both opportunity and challenge to the world economy. The skills required by today’s workers are different and more varied than they were even a decade ago, and future labor markets will demand a modernized and highly-skilled workforce with the ability to swiftly adapt to rapid changes. Meeting employers’ needs will require new approaches, tools, and partnerships—whether through collaborating with educational institutions, establishing workforce efforts built for scale, or piloting and investing in innovations focused on scalable employment solutions.

The Challenge

This track challenges students to develop workforce solutions that provide individuals with the technical knowledge, practical skills and readiness necessary to secure employment and become self-sufficient. Additionally, proposals may be focused on strategies to develop the capacity of individuals, corporations and governments to meet the challenges and demands of the 21st century economy and its workforce.

Examples of proposals that would fit into this track include (but are not limited to):

  • Remote training programs that provides continuation learning and job transition programs to specific populations of displaced workers, domestically or internationally.
  • A web application that provides individuals with information and assistance to transition their benefits from job to job.
  • A novel job training and assistance program that supports populations that routinely face barriers to opportunity, such as youth, veterans, and refugees.
  • An entrepreneurship accelerator that provides underskilled individuals in remote locations with a viable career path.
  • A public policy solution that combats “short-termism” — the current concentration on short-term projects or objectives for immediate profit at the expense of long-term security.


The “Workforce Development” track is open to all matriculated students across the 10-campus University of California system, as well all matriculated students from Makerere University and Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Multidisciplinary teams are strongly encouraged.   For additional information about general contest rules, timing and how to apply, please refer to the Contest Application Requirements.

Past Winners

Somo Project

Somo Project

Mak (UC Berkeley)

2. MÄk



More Winners

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