Solve Challenge Finals 2018

Apella | New York City

Overview Supporters Schedule Speakers

Innovators from around the world traveled to New York City to pitch their solutions. If you were unable to attend, watch the pitch and plenary session videos here.

Solve Challenge Finals in New York City is the premier social impact live pitch event to kick off UN General Assembly week. The event will bring together the Solve community with a diverse group of innovators who will pitch their solutions to a panel of expert judges and a live audience on Solve’s 2018 Global Challenges: (1) Coastal Communities, (2) Frontlines of Health, (3) Teachers & Educators, and (4) Work of the Future. 

Those entrepreneurs chosen by our judges become part of the next Solver class, joining the Solve community to build partnerships with cross-sector leaders—including Solve members such as BNP Paribas, Google, Ford Foundation, GE Ventures, MasterCard Foundation, and Save the Children—that help pilot, scale, and implement their tech-based solutions and take action on specific, actionable Global Challenges. 

This year, Solve received more than 1,150 solutions from 110 countries—and there is nearly $1 million in potential funding available for the selected Solver teams with the most promising human-centered innovations.

During the event, Solve will connect Solver teams with established social impact leaders and recipients of the following Challenge Prizes will be announced:

  • The General Motors Prize for Advanced Technologies
  • The Artificial Intelligence for the Betterment of Humanity Prize
  • The Blockchain for Social Impact Prize
  • RISE investment funding for resilient infrastructure solutions
  • UN Women She Innovates Prize for Gender-Responsive Innovation

Program participants at past Solve events include:

  • The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister, Canada
  • Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
  • Eric Schmidt, Technical Advisor and Board Member, Alphabet Inc.
  • Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo
  • Yo-Yo Ma, Cellist and Curator of the MIT Solve Arts and Culture Mentorship Prize
  • Ursula Burns, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, VEON

If you’re interested in attending this premier social impact event—and joining the Solve community to partner with innovators who are moving the needle on Global Challenges—find out how you can become a member of Solve, or reach out to us at

Featured Speakers

Noubar Afeyan

Co-Founder and Chairman, Moderna

Badr Al-Olama

Head of Organising Committee, Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit

Cynthia Barnhart

Provost, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cheryl L. Dorsey

President, Echoing Green

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Chair of the Board of Gavi, The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations

Leslie Picker

Reporter, CNBC

David Moinina Sengeh

Chief Innovation Officer, Government of Sierra Leone

See all speakers

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