Going Boldly, Better.

Launched in 2016, the $1M Roddenberry Prize is a global competition to crowdsource innovative solutions to issues that demand audacious, far-reaching, and scalable responses.

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The Roddenberry Prize

The $1M Roddenberry Prize is a call for big, bold solutions from anyone, anywhere that address the challenges of an unpredictable and fast-changing global landscape. Four game-changing and innovative solutions will each receive $250,000 for their work in one of the following fields: Education, Science, Environment, and Humanity. We invite anyone — individuals, for-profits, teams, non-profits, and B-corps — to apply. The deadline is April 10, 2020.

Please note: in response to Covid-19, we want to strongly encourage applications that address the range of societal, health, and economic repercussions of the pandemic.

Issue Areas


Education has been and is a pathway out of poverty for countless families regardless of income or geography. Students with even a basic education fare better and have greater opportunities than those who don’t. Schooling improves the overall health of a community, supports economic growth, empowers women and girls, and even combats climate change.

And yet access to quality, affordable education is unattainable for too many. Overcrowded and dilapidated classrooms, lack of textbooks and school supplies, and too few or poorly trained teachers is often the norm. Gender and racial segregation, insufficient accountability and measurement, and inadequate government funding are far too common.

Key topics to address in Education include but are certainly not limited to:

  • Literacy and numeracy
  • Early childhood education
  • Access and distance to home
  • Affordability
  • Technology in the classroom
  • Teacher training


Global temperatures are climbing, ice caps are melting, and droughts, wildfires, and super hurricanes are tearing their way across the planet. We must protect the oceans, reduce pollution, lower the emission of greenhouse gasses, and mitigate the human destruction of the environment.

We must also curb the disproportionate burden of climate change and corporate action on vulnerable communities. Ample evidence suggests that poorer communities are routinely affected more severely by extreme weather or are targeted by policies and efforts that have negative and social environmental impact.

Key topics to address in Environment include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Climate change: ozone depletion, global warming, greenhouse gases
  • Biodiversity
  • Plant-based diets
  • Deforestation
  • Clean Water
  • Pollution


Remarkable progress in science, health, and medicine in the past 10 years, has vastly expanded our understanding of the human body, our planet, and the environment. And yet, 1.6 billion people do not have access to basic healthcare. Over 40% of the world is at risk of Dengue fever and nearly 1 million people die of HIV/AIDS every year.

As the global population ages and grows, mass migration continues, and conflict, drought, and famine create more acute challenges, the pace and scope of health related innovations and scientific efforts must not abate.

Key topics to address in Science include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Malnutrition
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Immunization and global vaccinations
  • Health care
  • Family planning
  • Diabetes
  • Covid-19 treatment and prevention


Humanity has made remarkable progress over the past 100 years. Average life expectancy has risen from 50 years to 72. Infant mortality rates have fallen 10-fold; and advances in computing, communications, transport, energy, and agriculture have transformed the ways in which we live, work, and play.

As this progress continues we must ensure it is inclusive, transparent, and equitable. For too many, the gains and benefits of these advances have not been accrued equally. Hundreds of millions of people suffer from economic and social disruption, displacement, mass incarceration, unclean water, and large scale conflict — all major challenges that have arisen from our own progress and innovation.

Key topics to address in Humanity include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Covid-19
  • Population growth
  • Income inequality and poverty
  • Conflict and war
  • LGBTQIA rights
  • Nationalism and white supremacy
  • Online privacy
  • Refugees and migration


Four game-changing and innovative solutions each received $250,000 for their work in one of the following fields: Education, Science, Environment, and Humanity

Timeline and Applications

The period to apply is currently closed.

Prize Launch

March 4, 2020

Between March 4 and April 10, you are invited to learn about the Prize, register for an account in our system, review the application, and apply.

Round One Deadline

April 10, 2020 by 5:00 PM Pacific

Complete your registration and submit your application no later than Friday, April 10, at 5:00 PM Pacific. Applications cannot be submitted after the deadline and will not be considered.

Round One Review

April 13, 2020 – May 8, 2020

The Roddenberry Foundation reviews submissions to ensure they comply with Prize eligibility and rules. Advisors provide specialized expertise to reviewers, and Round One applications are evaluated against a scoring rubric.

Round Two Opens

May 11, 2020

A select number of applications will be invited to submit application for Round Two of the Prize. Only those who are invited to Round Two will remain in consideration for the Prize. Invited applicants will have four weeks to submit their Round Two application.

Round Two Deadline

June 5, 2020 by 5:00 PM Pacific

All Round Two applications are due by Friday, June 5 at 5:00 PM Pacific. Applications cannot be submitted after the deadline and incomplete applications will not be considered.

Round Two Evaluation

June 8, 2020 – July 13, 2020

The Roddenberry Foundation team evaluates applications using the scoring criteria, with consultations from Advisors. The top-scoring applications in each category are then selected for an award.

Prize Awardees Announced

August 2020

The four 2020 Prize awardees are announced on this website, The Roddenberry Foundation social media, and via press release.

Evaluation and Criteria

Prize Criteria

We’re looking for a well-thought-out plan with clear goals, specific metrics, and measurable impact. We’re also looking for solutions that are:

  1. Innovative: Approaches or strategies that innovate on existing models — What makes this different from and better than other solutions? What are you building on?
  2. Impactful: Solutions that have potential for outsized, tangible impact — What will you achieve? Will it affect a significant percentage of people?
  3. Visionary: Solutions that are ambitious in terms of their potential for impact and growth — Is the scope of the vision “big and bold”?
  4. And where the applicant has a Track Record: Applicant has demonstrated success and achieved tangible impact in a relevant field — Can you point to achieving goals? Do you have a deep understanding of the issues?

Learn More


The Roddenberry Foundation welcomes Prize applications from individuals, non-profits, social enterprises, and B-corps who meet all of the following:

  • Individuals who are 18 years of age or older
  • Organizations or institutions with a budget of $10mil or less
    • ** Please note: given the extraordinary demands placed on communities worldwide because of COVID-19 the Foundation is lifting the $10mil organizational budget restriction. Organizations of any size may now apply.
  • Organizations whose work focuses on Education, Science, the Environment, or Humanity
  • Have submitted an application in English
  • Complete responses to all required application questions
  • Agree to all legal terms and conditions of the Prize grant program
  • Be able to legally receive grant funding

Questions & Answers

What are the Prize Awards?

Four awardees will receive $250,000 each. Awards will be announced in August 2020. The top organizations in each issue area that are not awarded a prize will be recognized publicly as Finalists.

Who can apply?

The Roddenberry Foundation sources ideas from all corners of the globe. Eligible candidates for the Prize may be individuals, teams of individuals, non-profit organizations, or social enterprises. To be eligible, all applicants must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Submit an application in English
  • Include completed responses to all required application questions
  • Agree to all legal terms and conditions of the Prize grant program
  • Be able to legally receive grant funding

How do I apply?

If you did not register for our new application system in 2019, or if you submitted an application in 2018 or earlier, you can create an account here.

If you did create an account, simply sign in here and click the “Apply” button on the right next to “Prize”.

There is no deadline for registration. Simply register and complete the application before the Round One deadline.

Can I apply if I am not a 501c3 or registered non-profit organization?

Yes, applicants can be individuals, for-profits, B-corps, or non-profits. But regardless of non-profit status, all granted funds must be designated for charitable purposes.

Past Roddenberry Prize Awardees

WRAP Global

Branbury, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

2018 Awardee

WRAP’s work in food waste prevention is underpinned by ground-breaking, evidence-based research, helping develop methods for understanding and tackling food waste. As a founding member of the Champions 12.3 network, we work with businesses, governments and consumers to reduce food waste and deliver UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3.


New York, New York, United States

2018 Awardee

VoteRunLead will train hundreds of current elected officials and thousands of future policymakers on innovative climate change policy. These diverse women will share new legislation in public office, expanding partnerships to affect change on a grand scale — ultimately shaping new behaviors/policies in climate change, gender equality, and education.


Fort Portugal, Uganda

2018 Awardee

KadAfrica uses passion fruit farming to empower out-of-school girls in Uganda through a proprietary life-skills, reproductive health, and agriculture training program. By equipping girls with land, knowledge, skills and assets to begin their own sustainable passion fruit farms, previously unemployed young women become financially literate, entrepreneurial leaders in their communities.

Green Monday Foundation

Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong

2018 Awardee

Green Monday Foundation takes on climate change, food insecurity, health issues and animal welfare with an innovative and diverse social venture platform that shifts individuals, communities, and corporations towards sustainable, healthy and mindful living.


Berkeley, California, United States

2016 Awardee

Converts industrial CO2 emissions into valuable chemicals and fuels, reducing the carbon footprint of the world’s heaviest emitters while creating a new revenue stream from what is discarded today as a waste product. At commercial scale, the technology will have the CO2-converting power of 37,000 trees, but in the volume of a suitcase.

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