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XPRIZE Launches New Visioneering Model for Evaluating and Selecting the Next XPRIZE Competition

XPRIZE Launches New Visioneering Model for Evaluating and Selecting the Next XPRIZE Competition

Nine Teams will Present Their Prize Concepts at XPRIZE’s Visioneers 2016 Summit this Fall

LOS ANGELES (August 16, 2016) XPRIZE, the global leader in incentivized prize competitions, today announced that nine international teams have been selected to design the next generation of potential XPRIZEs. These teams of “Visioneers” are comprised of bold innovators, prominent scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs who are passionate about creating exponential impact across a portfolio of grand challenge areas: cancer, ALS, empathy, water, nutrition, housing, and avatars. At the Visioneers Summit 2016, presented by The Roddenberry Foundation, teams will present their prize concepts, in the form of XPRIZE Impact Design Proposals, to over 200 of the world’s leading CEOs, technology innovators, political leaders, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists. Collectively, this audience of mentors will evaluate, critique, and ultimately determine which team’s concept(s) will be selected as the next global XPRIZE competition.

“Today small teams of entrepreneurs, empowered by exponential technologies, can do what was once only possible by governments and large corporations,” said Peter H. Diamandis, executive chairman and founder of XPRIZE. “The Visioneers Summit challenges these exponential entrepreneurs to solve grand challenges, and leverage both technology and the crowd to drive global impact.”

The Visioneering process leading up to the Visioneers Summit 2016 is a key part of XPRIZE’s broader multi-phase approach and strategy to drive impact leveraging crowdsourcing and incentive competition models.

“XPRIZE has grown into the world’s most renowned crowdsourcing organization harnessing the genius of the crowd to solve humanity’s grand challenges through incentivized competition,” said Marcus Shingles, CEO of XPRIZE. “With this new model we are gamifying our own internal prize evaluation process by having nine talented teams share their proposals for how they would craft an XPRIZE to solve the grand challenges that they are passionate about. Through this collaborative process, XPRIZE’s prominent ecosystem will provide feedback, mentorship, and critique, to ultimately select and determine the next XPRIZE.”

The following nine Visioneers teams will present at this fall’s Visioneers Summit:

Limitless Travel Avatar XPRIZE, sponsored by ANA

Led by Dr. Harry Kloor, Ph.D, Ph.D, the Avatar Visioneers Team is focused on creating “limitless travel” by teleporting one's consciousness into a physical Avatar body that will enable people to “instantly be in multiple places at once, literally.”  Kloor is an American scientist, film producer, director, writer and entrepreneur, with experience in robotics, augmented reality, virtual reality, haptic technologies, machine-brain technologies and telepresence.

Affordable Housing XPRIZE, sponsored by Bosa Properties with Leonard Brody

Led by Yaron Schwarcz, the Affordable Housing Visioneers Team is focused on “ensuring everyone has direct access to acceptable and affordable housing,” with the goal of “sparking exponential leaps in construction technologies, speed and safety – ultimately decreasing both the time and cost it takes to make affordable housing available.” Schwarcz, founder and CEO of Tridom: Robotic Construction, is a consultant and thought leader for innovation and accelerating technologies.

Safe Drinking Water XPRIZE, sponsored by Brita®

Led by William Sarni, the Safe Drinking Water Visioneers Team, is focused on “democratizing access to safe drinking water and data” with the goal of providing “universal access to safe drinking water, always.”  Sarni, a managing director at Deloitte Consulting LLP, is an internationally recognized thought leader on water strategy and water technology innovation.

Cat’s Iron Will ALS XPRIZE, sponsored by Caterpillar
Led by Dr. Melanie Leitner, the ALS Visioneers Team is focused on “removing ALS patients from death row” by improving quality of life for those fighting the disease, thus building a bridge to treatments and eventually a cure. Through the development of novel assistive technologies, the ALS Team envisions a world where ALS is no longer a death sentence or even a prison, but where ALS patients can live their lives independently. Dr. Leitner, founder of Accelerating NeuroVentures, is a consultant who advises companies, foundations, and investors interested in translating neuroscience discoveries into breakthroughs for patients.

Conquering Cancer XPRIZE, sponsored by Deloitte

Led by Dr. Daniel Kraft and Deloitte, the Conquering Cancer Visioneers Team is focused on “conquering cancer,” with the goal of “eliminating preventable cancer deaths.” Dr. Kraft is a Stanford and Harvard trained physician-scientist, inventor, entrepreneur and innovator, who is also the founder and Executive Director of Exponential Medicine, a program that explores convergent, rapidly developing technologies and their potential in biomedicine and health care. Deloitte brings its full arsenal of tools, alliances and in-depth knowledge of the health care ecosystem to accelerate existing initiatives and uncover unexpected insights to conquering cancer.

Healthy & Safe Homes XPRIZE, sponsored by Lowe’s

Led by architect Eric Corey Freed, the Healthy & Safe Homes Visioneers Team is focused on disrupting traditional toxic construction methods with the goal of “growing living and adaptable buildings that make us well.” Freed has dedicated his career to fostering sustainable, healthy buildings and is author of 11 books. He is also a frequent guest commentator on CNN, FoxNews, PBS and HGTV.

Nutritious Abundance XPRIZE, sponsored by the Nutritious Abundance Collaborative

Led by Ignacio Peña, the Nutritious Abundance Visioneers Team is focused on “access to a healthy diet for all” with the goal of “developing sustainable solutions that offer our expanding population access to affordable and freshly grown nutritious food.” Peña is a social entrepreneur, innovator and strategist trained at Wharton-Lauder who is dedicated to catalyzing abundance, inclusion and regeneration through high impact ideas, initiatives and startups. He was Partner and Managing Director at The Boston Consulting Group and his passion for creating an abundance of fresh, natural food grew out of his work with food banks and schools.

Desalination XPRIZE, sponsored by National Research Foundation Singapore

Led by Alisa Ferguson, the Desalination Visioneers Team is focused on “bringing water abundance to communities around the globe,” with the goal of “making the world’s water sources accessible and sustainable—for human development, economic growth, and the health and biodiversity of the planet.”  Ferguson has spent more than 15 years working at the intersection of technology, business and policy to force strategies that accelerate innovation.

Experiential Empathy XPRIZE, sponsored by The Roddenberry Foundation

The Empathy Visioneers Team is focusing on “experiential empathy” and will challenge teams to develop innovative technologies for teaching empathy and compassion and scaling the untapped and exponentially unifying power of human empathy and compassion to address global challenges. Supported by Dr. Dan Cordaro, Dr. Alexandra Ivanovitch, and Fuji Lai, the team is exploring ways to leverage exponential technologies to democratize the teaching and learning of empathy and compassion, critical skills in our increasingly connected and yet divided world.

For more information about Visioneers, visit


XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. XPRIZE utilizes a unique combination of gamification, crowd-sourcing, incentive prize theory, and exponential technologies as a formula to make 10x (vs. 10%) impact in the grand challenge domains facing our world.  XPRIZE’s philosophy is that—under the right circumstances— igniting rapid experimentation from a variety of diverse lenses is the most efficient and effective method to driving exponential impact and solutions to grand challenges.  Active competitions include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, the $7M Adult Literacy XPRIZE, the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE and the $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE. For more information, visit

About The Roddenberry Foundation

The Roddenberry Foundation supports and inspires efforts that create and expand new frontiers for the benefit of humanity. It funds innovative solutions to critical global issues in the areas of science and technology, the environment, education and humanitarian advances. In celebration of the 50 years of impact on the world that Star Trek has had, we are committed to advancing Gene Roddenberry’s faith in humanity by finding and supporting remarkable people and organizations who can disrupt existing dynamics, challenge old patterns of thought, and discover new ways to help us move towards a better future.  For more information, visit www.

Media Contact:
Eric Desatnik 

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