Transforming the lives of low-literate adults



Adult Literacy XPRIZE Guidelines

The competition Guidelines is a detailed competition document designed to provide prize specific information surrounding the Grand Challenge, the solutions to be developed, and the competition timeline.

Click here for the final version of the Team Solutions Phase Guidelines (PDF)

Click here for a Summary of Changes made to the Team Solutions Phase Guidelines (PDF).

The goal of the competition is to maximize the number of solutions and to incentivize teams to revolutionize learning for adults.

Teams will compete in a multi-stage competition that tests for:

  • Ability to measurably increase the literacy level of low-literate adults within 12 months.
  • Creation of a design that is easy and accessible for use on a mobile phone so that learners can access it and operate it from anywhere, anytime.
  • Software curriculum that is engaging, relevant and attuned to the needs and interests of the adult learner.


XPRIZE believes that solutions can come from anyone, anywhere. Game, app, and software developers, coders, educators, and innovators from all over the world are invited to form a team and register to compete.


The competition is void in those countries where prohibited or restricted by law. XPRIZE reserves the right to limit, or restrict upon notice, participation in the competition to any person or entity at any time for any reason. Teams may withdraw as set forth in the Competitor Agreement.


Teams will be responsible for funding their own solution development costs. Expenses for the on-site, in-cities test stage of the competition are included as part of the competition and covered by XPRIZE.


  • Entries will be evaluated during the first-round down-select process based on the following criteria: Learning, Design and Technology.
  • Judges will also assess the background research and quality of explanation of the design.


To ensure that the competition is fair to both competing teams and participating adult learners, XPRIZE will appoint the following three panels:


XPRIZE will recruit an Advisory Board composed of experts in the fields of adult literacy education, assessment, software development and innovation. This board will remain in place throughout the competition to advise XPRIZE regarding the scientific and economic elements of the competition.


XPRIZE will have an Ethics Review Board to review and oversee the human element of the Adult Literacy XPRIZE. XPRIZE will ensure that the utmost care is taken when recruiting participants and will establish appropriate guidelines for working with participants throughout both competitions.


XPRIZE will recruit judges with expertise in adult literacy education, assessment and evaluation of literacy curricula, the science of learning, software application design and development, and innovation. Judges will convene throughout the prize to collaborate, review guidelines, ask questions, and ensure that they are fully able to judge the competition in a fair and appropriate manner. 


  • Competition Guidelines (PDF)—a document for registered teams that describes the finalized requirements and parameters of the competition and is binding on teams as referenced in, and as part of, the Competitor Agreement.
  • Competitor Agreement—legally binding contract that contains the requirements of the competition. All competing teams must sign this in order to compete.
  • Rules and Regulations—document detailing the testing protocols, specific rules, dates/times, and other details that will govern the competition and will be binding on teams.
  • Sponsorship/Donor Notification Form—teams must turn in this form for approval before signing with sponsors.