Registration Begins For Million-Dollar Genesis Generation Challenge

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The Genesis Generation Challenge, a $1 million competition, is now accepting applicants to vie for its pot with their ideas for nonprofits or businesses that will solve some global ills.

Unfortunately, it’s a terrible time for the Jerusalem-based organization to kick off its latest round of outreach. The million-dollar pot is meant to encourage teams worldwide to develop solutions — guided by Jewish values — to the world’s most pressing issues.

Despite its incredibly poor timing, the prize is well-intentioned. There’s $1 million out there for a team that wants to propose a potentially viable solution for issues around environmental sustainability, city planning, clean technology, sustainable cities, public health, health and wellness, global education, cross-cultural exchanges, and poverty alleviation.

The Genesis Prize Foundation announced itself in May — before the latest round of violence — with a splash. Hizzoner Ex-Mayor Mike was there, saying in a press release, “Nothing is more central to Jewish values than wanting to make the world a better place.”

To achieve that, the Genesis Prize Foundation is awarding at least $100,000 and up to $1 million for 10 winning teams to implement their initiatives. Applications are available online .

“Young people in every corner of the earth have great ideas of how to change the world but lack the resources they need to try,” continued Bloomberg in his May statement. “The Genesis Generation Challenge will help find them and fund them.”

Submissions can either be for nonprofits or commercial enterprises that look to address one of the issues listed and are intended to focus on early-stage ideas. Teams that compete will be matched with mentors to guide the projects as they evolve.

The Genesis Prize is an offshoot of the Genesis Philanthropy Group, founded by a longtime oil executive Stan Polovets, who serves as a member of the board of the Russian-American Trade Council and is chief executive of the Alfa-Access-Renova Consortium, which oversaw $28 billion in oil and gas assets for Renova Group, Access Industries, and the Alfa Group.

Polovets’s foundation gave Ex-Mayor Mike the inaugural Genesis Prize — which came with a $1 million pot. Bloomberg declined the cash award (I think he’s got enough) and instead put it up for grabs under the auspices of the Generation Philanthropy Group to create this jewish-values-focused competition.

The Genesis Philanthropy Group has established an endowment of $100 million (oil pays well) to launch the Genesis Prize Foundation, as well as fund the prize and related endeavors that promote young adult engagement. It’s being managed by a partnership including the Office of the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, the Genesis Philanthropy Group, and the Office of the Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel.

If anyone is interested in competing you need a team with a team leader between the ages of 20 and 36 years-old and additional team members no younger than 18 years-old. Submit a plan and budget, with details of beneficiaries and necessary resources to the competition, and wait as the plans get judged by a panel of 25 experts.

Some of the judges include the nobel prize-winning material scientist Dan Schechtman, Rachel Haot, the chief digital officer and deputy secretary of technology for New York State, and David Hatchwell Altaras, the president of Spain’s industrial conglomerate the Excem Group.