Crowdsourcing Humanity: HPE and the Living Progress Challenge

January 7, 2016 Jiordan Castle

living process challenge

Last month’s Discover 2015, Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) showcase technology event, was a game-changer; the Living Progress Challenge was announced — a crowdsourcing challenge with the potential to better the lives of one million people by 2020. That’s an ambitious target. What kind of improvements are we talking about here, and who can enter?

Economic growth, social inclusion, and tools to combat poverty and climate change

Though it’s nice to be able to order a pizza with a swipe of your finger or buy a new TV through the magic of one-click buying, I’d reason that the most worthwhile technologies we have stimulate learning and development and affect change on a global scale.

The Living Progress Challenge means to do exactly that. Anyone can submit an idea that addresses a social issue and answers the following question: “What software applications and digital services would you create to improve people’s lives?” The ideas can tackle major issues like education, healthcare, unemployment, or financial services — to name a few. Up to 5 ideas will be built, deployed, and realized in the real world through the power of HPE.

There are 5 phases to the challenge (and official rules can be found here):

  1. Idea phase. There are only 2 rules for ideas: ideas must be original and submitted in English. Other than that, the cloud-loving sky is the limit. Ideas are open to voting and comments from the crowd. The idea phase opened on December 1st and will close on February 12th.
  2. Proposal phase. Proposals are project briefs outlining the ways in which submitted ideas can become a reality. They can be based on your own (original) idea or someone else’s. There are 2 critical components: originality and the potential social impact of the idea upon which the proposal is based. Proposals will be accepted until March 11th.
  3. Design phase. Up to 20 winning proposals will move on to the design phase to be built into software prototypes. Each winning proposal team will provide 2-3 of their own team members to help run 12 weeks of design challenges utilizing members of Topcoder™, Appirio’s global crowdsourcing community. Up to 5 top proposals will go on to the next phase.
  4. Build phase. In this phase, the Topcoder community will build the winning prototypes into fully functional software. Each team who qualifies to compete in this phase will receive up to an additional 12 weeks of Topcoder services in order to breathe life into their software solution. At the end of the build phase, teams will compete in a showcase to determine the grand prize winner.
  5. Deployment phase. In the deployment phase, the Appirio team will help the winning teams test and debug their software solutions. Once this phase concludes, the now tried and true code will become the responsibility of the contestant to deliver to end users.

Benefits of participation

To be clear, teams or individuals can enter and compete in the Living Progress Challenge. Great ideas can receive cash rewards, but the primary benefit will be the technology and expertise to co-innovate, build, and deploy your solution. That means you will:

  • Receive support from tech experts to define the user, data, and functionality requirements of your solution.
  • Work alongside project managers who will work with software developers to reach project goals.
  • Access 12 weeks of Topcoder software design services (Design phase) to create software prototypes — for up to 20 winning proposals.
  • Gain an additional 12 weeks of Topcoder software development services (Build phase) — for up to 5 winning design prototypes.
  • Deployment support for 6-18 months (Deployment phase).

By using Topcoder to turn potential software solutions into a reality, participants are tapping into a vast reservoir of people with the technical tools and expertise to impact global change. In the past, Topcoder has worked on such life-changing projects as the SunShot Catalyst Program (a series of contests sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative designed to address time-sensitive market issues in the solar industry) and NASA’s Quest for Quakes (the point of which was to develop a software algorithm that can uniquely identify the electromagnetic pulses that may precede an earthquake by days to weeks).

Be an integral part of an initiative to improve the lives of one million people by 2020. Submit your ideas for the Living Progress Challenge here.



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