Sponsors & Partners
In 2015, the innovationXchange (iXc) at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was launched as part of the Australian Aid Program to address the growing need for innovative and transformative solutions for intractable problems facing people living in developing countries. The iXc aims to foster a culture of innovation in our aid program by harnessing new technologies, methodologies, and partnerships. It understands collaboration is pivotal, partnering with other government agencies, the private sector, NGOs, and academics to source new ideas for piloting and experimentation.
Each of the iXc’s development portfolios – health and water, economic growth and humanitarian – challenge convention, seeking new ways to multiply the impact of Australian aid in the Indo-Pacific. The iXc has led a variety of open innovation processes to help improve humanitarian responses in the Pacific, aquaculture in the Indian Ocean, and food choices to reduce worsening malnutrition levels in our region. It is also initiating an ambitious social entrepreneurship and financing agenda to equip local innovators and entrepreneurs with the skills, networks, capital, and access to markets required to make their businesses viable, attractive to investment, and scalable.
With global partners the iXc supports an online platform to allow hundreds of organisations across the world to share information on innovations and seek finance for them where necessary. It will seek to invest in a range of debt, equity and grant funding initiatives that enable new technologies, behavioural science approaches, and business models to be explored. The iXc believes it is crucial for all contributors to share lessons learned on development innovations being trialled and will continue to seek opportunities to scale successful pilots.
For more information, you can visit: to https://innovationxchange.dfat.gov.au/
The Barbara Bush Foundation is the nation’s leading advocate for family literacy. Founded by former First Lady Barbara Bush, the mission of the Foundation is to advocate for and establish literacy as a value in every home.
The goals of the Foundation are simple: We want children to start school ready to excel and help parents improve their literacy skills. Mrs. Bush’s guiding belief was simple – if you helped a person learn to read, their opportunities in life were endless.
To learn more about the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy’s commitment to promote family literacy in homes across America, please visit www.BarbaraBush.org.
COSIA (Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance) is an alliance of Canada’s largest oil sands producers, collaborating on innovations to accelerate the pace of environmental performance improvement in Canada’s oil sands. Since its formation in 2012, COSIA has shared 936 distinct environmental technologies and innovations that cost over $1.3 billion to develop. COSIA has some of the best minds on the planet working on technologies to enable the responsible and sustainable development of oil sands in the areas of water, land, tailings and greenhouse gases. For more information, please visit www.cosia.ca.
Betsy and Dick DeVos are, respectively, chairman and president of the Windquest Group, an enterprise and investment management firm based in Michigan with diversified projects in technology, manufacturing, clean technology, and nonprofit solutions. Betsy is a national leader of school choice education reform. She was a presidential appointee to the board of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and currently serves as a member of a number of local and national boards, including the American Federation for Children, ArtPrize, Kids Hope USA and the Foundation for Excellence in Education. Dick is the former president of Amway Corporation and the NBA’s Orlando Magic. In addition to business roles, he is an active leader in a wide range of initiatives in his local community of West Michigan, including Grand Action Foundation and West Michigan Aviation Academy. Dick and Betsy have been married for over 30 years and have seven children and two granddaughters. The Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation serves as a catalyst for partner organizations that position communities for growth and viability.
Founded in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation (DGLF) has helped advance the literacy skills of over 6 million individuals and donated more than $100 million to nonprofit, library and school-based literacy programs. The Foundation’s funding focuses on helping programs deliver quality literacy instruction and increasing access to literacy services. The DGLF believes learning to read is an investment that opens doorways for personal, professional and economic success. It is a gift that no one can take away – a gift that lasts a lifetime.
Econet Wireless is a diversified telecommunications group with operations and investments in Africa, Europe, North America, Latin America and the Asia Pacific.
Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google's targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit the Google website.
Scott Hassan created Suitable Technologies with the goal of redefining presence, by giving people the power to choose when and where to be present, regardless of geographic location. Prior to Suitable, Scott founded Willow Garage, combining his belief in open source technology and his passion for bringing robotics into everyday life. Scott has been a driving force behind some of the most influential Internet companies and projects. He was the founder of eGroups (now Yahoo! Groups) and was the key software architect and developer of Google, Alexa Internet and the Stanford Digital Library. Scott invests in start-ups that aim to make fundamental quality of life improvements for citizens around the world.
HeroX exists at the intersection of crowdsourcing, competition and collaboration, using each to drive positive change. HeroX is a platform where you can support a cause you believe in, help fund a prize, or post challenges to inspire others. We offer the tools to help spark brilliant new solutions and we spread the word to people passionate about change. For more information, visit HeroX.com.
Watson represents a new era in computing called cognitive computing, where systems understand the world the way humans do: through senses, learning, and experience. Watson continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions. With the help of Watson, organizations are leveraging cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.
To advance Watson, IBM has three dedicated business units: Watson, established for the development of cloud-delivered cognitive computing technologies that represent the commercialization of "artificial intelligence" or "AI" across a variety of industries; Watson Health, dedicated to improving the ability of doctors, researchers and insurers and other related health organizations to surface new insights from datato deliver personalized healthcare; and Watson IoT, focused on making sense of data embedded in more than 9 billion connected devices operating in the world today, which generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data daily.
Anu Jain is an entrepreneur and philanthropist driven to make a positive impact in the world. She is passionate about empowering girls and women.
Jain is President of the Anu Jain Family Foundation and the Founder of the Anu and Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE. She helped launch the $1 million XPRIZE competition to incentivize innovators to design a technology-based solution that sets a new safety standard for women. The winning technology solution will autonomously and inconspicuously trigger an emergency alert while transmitting information to a network of community responders, all within 90 seconds and for less than US $40 per device. 85 teams globally have registered to compete.
Jain is on the UC San Diego Health Board of Advisors and their Science, Technology, and Global Initiatives Committee. She is a trustee of the board at the XPRIZE Foundation, an organization focused on using exponential technology to solve the grand challenges of humanity. She is also a founding member of the investing circle and advisory council member of the UN Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign that specifically focuses on empowering adolescent girls in the US and around the world, as well as focusing on STEM programs. Additionally, Jain is a board member of Bellevue LifeSpring, a local Bellevue organization focused on helping children to foster stability and self-sufficiency, and is a member of Women Moving Millions.
Jain holds a B.A. in Business Administration and Economics from SUNY, Stony Brook, NY, and an M.B.A. from Rutgers University in New Jersey. She grew up in Jerusalem and lived in many different countries as a UN child. Jain and her husband have three children who are all entrepreneurs and actively involved in positively impacting the world.
Naveen Jain is an entrepreneur and philanthropist driven to solve the world’s biggest challenges through innovation. He is the founder of Moon Express, World Innovation Institute, iNome, TalentWise, Intelius, Infospace, in addition to serving as an advisor to the UK Longitude Prize and as a member of the Explorer club. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes, WSJ, INC and Huffington Post. As a Board of Trustees and Vision Circle member at the XPRIZE Foundation, he is focused on finding entrepreneurial solutions that address global challenges in health, education, poverty, agriculture, and access to clean water.
He has been recognized globally for his entrepreneurial success and leadership, and has been awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and the Albert Einstein Technology Medal for pioneers in technology. Naveen was named “Most Admired Serial Entrepreneur” by Silicon India, and won the Red Herring Lifetime Achievement Award for leadership in the technology industry, being named one of Red Herring’s Top 20 Entrepreneurs.
Naveen Jain is on the board of Singularity University, an interdisciplinary university with the mission to educate and inspire leaders to address humanity’s grand challenges through innovative technologies.
Naveen is an advisor to the UK Longitude Prize and a member of the Explorer club.
Naveen Jain has been awarded many honors for my entrepreneurial successes and leadership skills including “Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year”, “Albert Einstein Technology Medal” for pioneers in technology, “Most admired Serial Entrepreneur” by Silicon India and “Top 20 Entrepreneurs” and “Lifetime Achievement Award” for the leadership in the technology industry and support of other entrepreneurs by Red Herring.
Richard Merkin, has been the CEO and founder of the Heritage Group since 1979. Under his stewardship, the Heritage Group has become the largest, physician-owned and operated integrated delivery system in the United States with over 50 related healthcare companies. Dr. Merkin serves on the Board of the California Institute of Technology and the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. He has established the Richard Merkin Foundation for Stem Cell Research at the Broad Institute at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Richard Merkin Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Brain Sciences Institute, and the Richard Merkin Foundation for Neural Regeneration at UCLA.
Elon is the CEO & Chief Technology Officer of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) which is developing a family of launch vehicles intended to reduce the cost and increase the reliability of access to space ultimately by a factor of ten. The company officially began operations in June 2002 and is located in the heart of the aerospace industry in Southern California.
SpaceX is the third company founded by Mr. Musk. Prior to SpaceX, he co-founded PayPal, the world's leading electronic payment system, and served as the company's chairman and CEO. PayPal has over twenty million customers in 38 countries, processes several billion dollars per year and went public on the NASDAQ under PYPL in early 2002. Mr. Musk was the largest shareholder of PayPal until the company was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in October 2002.
Before PayPal, Mr. Musk co-founded Zip2 Corporation in 1995, a leading provider of enterprise software and services to the media industry, with investments from The New York Times Company, Knight-Ridder, MDV, Softbank and the Hearst Corporation. He served as Chairman, CEO and Chief Technology Officer and in March 1999 sold Zip2 to Compaq for $307 million in an all cash transaction.
Mr. Musk's early experience extends across a spectrum of advanced technology industries, from high energy density ultra-capacitors at Pinnacle Research to software development at Rocket Science and Microsoft. He has a physics degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a business degree from Wharton and originally came out to California to pursue graduate studies in high energy density capacitor physics & materials science at Stanford.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a science-based federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce with regulatory, operational, and information service responsibilities with a presence in every state and our territories. NOAA’s mission is to protect life and property and conserve and protect natural resources.
At NRG, we’re redefining power by putting customers at the center of everything we do. We create value by generating electricity and serving nearly 3 million residential and commercial customers through our portfolio of retail electricity brands. A Fortune 500 company, NRG delivers customer-focused solutions for managing electricity, while enhancing energy choice and working towards a sustainable energy future. More information is available at www.nrg.com. Connect with NRG on Facebook, LinkedIn and follow us on Twitter @nrgenergy, @nrginsight.
Nokia is a global leader in mobile communications whose products have become an integral part of the lives of people around the world. Every day, more than 1.3 billion people use their Nokia to capture and share experiences, access information, find their way or simply to speak to one another. Nokia's technological and design innovations have made its brand one of the most recognized in the world. For more information, visit the Nokia website.
Established in 2010 by Qualcomm Incorporated, the Qualcomm Foundation is dedicated to developing and strengthening communities worldwide. Specifically, the Qualcomm Foundation focuses it philanthropic efforts on helping create and sustain educated, healthy, culturally vibrant communities in regions around the globe. As sponsor of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE competition, the Qualcomm Foundation is proud to support the discovery of innovative mobile solutions that will contribute to the advancement of healthcare and diagnostics. For more information about the Qualcomm Foundation and Qualcomm Incorporated’s global social responsibility programs, visit the Qualcomm website.
John Raymonds is currently the Manager, CIO of Raymonds Capital, LLC. His original background is in the rigid plastic packaging industry leading the successful growth of two private businesses - one domestic to the US and one in Europe. In addition to the legacy of core operating business units there is always a search for specific and unique direct investment opportunities. Recent work includes being the lead investor bringing back the Reading Rainbow brand at RRKidz.com as well as a founding partner at Bron Studios in Vancouver, BC. John served on the Board of Trustees for an NAIS school for 8 years and in his personal life self-development is always a point of focus. Mr. Raymonds believes in living a balanced life, focusing on family and friends, and where appropriate helping them to grow their own lives.
For over 30 years, Tony Robbins’ passion has been helping people break through and take their lives to new levels — no matter how successful they already are — in the areas that matter most: their businesses, personal finance, intimate relationships, families, careers and health.
Tony has received honors from the United Nations, Forbes, Accenture, American Express and Harvard Business School. As a peak performance strategist, Tony has helped over 50 million people from more than 100 countries transform their lives through his live events, books, audio programs, health products and personal coaching. What began as Tony's individual effort to feed families in need has grown into the nonprofit Anthony Robbins Foundation, which provides assistance to underserved youth, low-income families, senior citizens and the homeless. The foundation's International Basket Brigade provides baskets of food and household items for an estimated two million people annually in countries all over the world.
Shell has been a technology pioneer for more than 100 years, and has come up with many industry-transforming “firsts” to deliver energy its customers and partners need. Since 2007, Shell has spent more than $1 billion annually on research and development. In 2014, our research and development expenditures were $1.2 billion. Shell’s technical and engineering staff amount to more than 43,000.
Shell companies have operations in more than 70 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam, and New York stock exchanges. For further information, visit www.shell.com.
Wendy Schmidt is the President of The Schmidt Family Foundation, where she works to advance the development of renewable energy and the wiser use of natural resources. The foundation houses its grant-making operation in The 11th Hour Project, which supports more than 150 nonprofit organizations in program areas including climate and energy, ecological agriculture, human rights, and its maritime connection, 11th Hour Racing.
In 2010, to further her commitment to ocean health issues, Wendy partnered with XPRIZE to sponsor the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup XCHALLENGE, a $1.4 million competition designed to identify efficient and innovative solutions to address oil spillage from ocean platforms, tankers, and other sources. The 18-month long competition, prompted by The Deepwater Horizon disaster, resulted in a solution that yielded fourfold improvement over existing cleanup capabilities.
In 2012, Wendy again partnered with XPRIZE to design the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE, a prize that responds to the global need for better information about the process of ocean acidification, one of the harbingers of climate change. The prize launched in September 2013.
Wendy has a Masters in Journalism from The University of California at Berkeley, and a B.A. magna cum laude from Smith College. She serves on the boards of The Natural Resources Defense Council, The California Academy of Sciences, Climate Central, XPRIZE, The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, GRIST, Maiyet, The Nantucket Dreamland Foundation, and The America's Cup Organizing Committee. Her interests include sailing, scuba diving and tennis.
Founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, the Tata group is a global enterprise, headquartered in India, comprising over 100 independent operating companies. The group operates in more than 100 countries across six continents, with a mission ‘To improve the quality of life of the communities they serve globally, through long-term stakeholder value creation based on Leadership with Trust’.
There are 29 publicly-listed Tata enterprises with a combined market capitalisation of about $116 billion (as of March 31, 2016). Tata companies with significant scale include Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Teleservices, Titan, Tata Communication and Indian Hotels.
In tandem with the increasing international footprint of Tata companies, the Tata brand is also gaining international recognition. Tata companies bring to their customers worldwide a whole host of reputed brands which touch their lives every day. Brand finance, a UK- based consultancy firm, has valued Tata’s multi-brand portfolio at over $23 billion in 2016.
Tata companies are building multinational businesses that seek to differentiate themselves through customer-centric, innovation, entrepreneurship, trustworthiness and value-driven business operations, while balancing the interests of diverse stakeholders including shareholders, employees and civil society.Ratan Tata, former Group Chairman, Tata group, is a true believer in India’s potential to solve global problems at an exponential scale, with its abundance of intellectual prowess and tech-savvy minds. He has made a string of personal investments in new ventures which embody the creativity and innovation of young India.
Imaginea Energy stands for Imagine A new way of doing business, a new way that involves lots of “AND.” As the President & CEO, Suzanne West is dedicated to changing the way we develop our oil and gas resources by generating sustainable profits that can do good in the world AND providing meaning and purpose to people so that we make a greater positive difference in the world AND doing it in a way that works with Mother Nature as a partner to provide better sustainability of this beautiful planet we inhabit. West is the former President of Black Shire Energy, Inc. and Auriga Energy, Inc., Chariot Energy, Inc., and Touchstone Petroleum, Inc.