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Help our Refugees: Leverage exponential technologies to help create a better life for refugees.

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Global Impact Competition

The 2016 SingularityU The Netherlands Global Impact Competition is aiming to find the most innovative Dutch entrepreneurs with ideas that leverage exponential technology to create a better life for refugees worldwide.


Singularity University’s Global Impact Competitions are held in partnership with sponsor organizations worldwide and organized by region and theme. These competitions act as a platform to identify outstanding entrepreneurs, leaders, scientists and engineers with the most innovative ideas that could positively impact millions of lives locally and globally within the next 3-5 years. The winner of each competition is invited to attend the Global Solutions Program (GSP) free of charge.

“During my participation in the Global Solutions Program I was greatly inspired by many top entrepreneurs, scientists and my classmates, who all make the world a little bit better in their own way. I learned to think in terms of 'exponential' and 'abundance' from Peter Diamandis, which offers numerous opportunities. Participation has given me a great experience, network and gained me a new way of thinking: something I can recommend everyone!” Maayke-Aimée Damen - GIC12 winner / Co-founder RMMBR

The challenges we face

The world is transforming at an accelerating pace. Technological development has brought tremendous improvements in both health and well-being for billions of people. However, there are still plenty of challenges. Singularity University has identified 11 Global Grand Challenges – worldwide problems that are too big to ignore. At SingularityU The Netherlands we focus on Food, Water, Global Health and Disaster Resilience, which are all addressed in our Global Impact Competition: Help our Refugees.

Think about providing shelter, mobility, security, access to food, water and healthcare, access to information, education and entertainment, minimize waste, language barriers or reuniting refugees with their family.

The prize

The winner will join the Global Solutions Program (GSP), a 10-week educational program held each year from June through August at the Singularity University campus at the NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley.


As a winner you will experience the following benefits:

This prize is made possible by:

How to apply

You can apply for this challenge by sending in your problem solution with our online application form. The challenge will run from 29 March 2016 – 8 May 2016 (23:00 CET).

Application Form

Complete 100% of the online application form, providing your personal information and describing your solution.


Attach your CV/Resume in English and add a 2-3 minute video URL with a personal introduction and pitch of your solution.


When ranked amongst the Top 3 entries, you will be asked to present to our judges during the launch of SingularityU The Netherlands.

Timeline & important dates

29 march 2016
Applications open
8 may 2016
Applications deadline
20 may 2016
Announcement top 3
2 june 2016
Announcement winner


Your solution should be focused creating a better life for refugees and must leverage exponential technologies as a primary method of solving this challenge. Think about providing shelter, mobility, security, access to food, water and healthcare, access to information, education and entertainment, minimize waste, language barriers or reuniting refugees with their family.

Entry Criteria

  • Any resident of the Netherlands with the Dutch nationality
  • You must be over 21 years of age
  • Fluent in written and spoken English
  • Able to participate in the entire GSP16 program (18 June - 28 August, 2016)
  • Applicants selected as finalists must be available to present their projects at the SIngularityU The Netherlands launch on 2 June 2016

Assessment Criteria

  • Degree of solution's relevance to the theme of the competition
  • Potential to impact millions of people in 5 - 10 years.
  • Feasibility, Viability and Coherence of implementing the idea
  • The solution must leverage exponential technologies
  • Applicant must have an excellent academic track record and performance
  • Applicant must have an entrepreneurial track record (additional functions during study, achievements, internships or start-up / company experience)

Help our Refugees

Leverage exponential technologies to help create a better life for refugees.

“The GIC brought me a lot: not only did it ensure my participation in GSP12, but it also challenged me to think creatively with and about technology. SingularityU has tremendous insight into what technologies can contribute to solving the grand challenges we face in the world. Only when you know what's possible with technology you can think about how you can apply this. That’s what I’ve discovered with many great people. An experience that I wish for everyone - so join the GIC!” Yori Kamphuis - GIC12 winner / Co-founder Coblue


Who should apply to a GIC?

Singularity University seeks accomplished innovators with ideas that will positively impact millions of people. Applicants should be fluent in English and have proven entrepreneurial experience, demonstrated global leadership and committed humanitarian passion.

Do ideas have to be at a certain stage to be submitted?

No, ideas do not have to be at a certain stage to be submitted. Judging criteria is based on the grandness of the idea (does it solve a problem with huge potential positive impact on millions of people) with the feasibility of being implemented (does it leverage exponential technology).

Who is the owner of the intellectual property resulting from a GIC?

Intellectual property resulting from a GIC competition belongs to the applicant(s).

What is the GIC review process?

The selection process is two to three phases depending on the competition. The first phase involves a review of all applications to determine 5-10 finalists, and the second phase involves final judging to select the winner — this is usually done remotely, over Skype.

Is there an obligation for the GIC winner to work on their winning project during the GSP?

No, there’s no such obligation from either SU or the GIC Sponsor. The GIC winner can elect to recruit fellow GSP classmates to work on their winning project or create an entirely new project during the summer.

Who pays for the travel expenses for the winner to come to SU?

The winner is responsible for their own travel expenses to/from SU.

What happens if a GIC winner cannot attend GSP for any reason?

In all cases where a winner cannot attend GSP, the winner forfeits their GSP seat to the GIC first runner-up and would have to then re-apply for admission in a future year.


For more information or questions please contact us: