We are thrilled to announce our 8 semi-finalists for the Fulbright Social Innovation Challenge! We received a great deal of high-quality applications so judgement was tough, but we felt these 8 showed the boldest, most innovative ideas combined with a solid business and sustainability plan. All 8 semi-finalists will have their projects represented on the Fulbright SubHub of partner RocketHub to generate crowdfunding. But there is more… with your vote you can send your favourite proposal right to the finals live at TEDxFulbright April 5! Online voting will open March 21 on our website and on social media: stay tuned!

Our 8 semi-finalists are:

Jennifer O’Brien — Can Hitchhiking be the New Carpooling?

Terry Konn — Training Without Borders: The Global Healthcare Training Initiative (GHTI)

Vincent Giuliano  — Retirement: end game or new life chapter?

Adnan Zafar Khawaja — Odd Jobber: oDesk for micro-work

Christopher Jones — GreenRider Tech: the social game for fuel conservation savings

Erwin Cho — Envision the World

Josephine Dorado — reACTor: play the news

Koen de Couck — FoneAstra: The pasteurization app that’s saving lives in Africa


Competition Overview

TEDxFulbright in partnership with the Fulbright Association challenge the general public to submit bold, innovative ideas that will tackle the most difficult issues that face our society today. This year’s TEDxFulbright and Fulbright Social Innovation Challenge theme is inspired by Senator J. William Fulbright’s quote, “We must dare to think ‘unthinkable’ thoughts. We must learn to explore all the options and possibilities that confront us in a complex and rapidly changing world.” Judges for the competition will be evaluating proposals with this quote in mind. In the spirit of the Fulbright Program and its mission to foster mutual understanding through open dialogue and exchange, the Fulbright Social Innovation Challenge encourages applicants to submit ideas that will have a sustainable impact on communities locally and/or globally. Finalists will be invited to pitch their ideas at TEDxFulbright in Washington, DC on April 5, 2014. The winner and finalists will also receive various prizes and pro bono services offered by sponsoring institutions to help launch their idea after the TEDxFulbright event.




– General Public
– One person or a team of individuals (maximum 4)
– None of the individuals need to be a current Fulbrighter or alumnus, and no preference will be given to Fulbrighters
– Individuals or teams can submit ideas on behalf of a larger organization/company
– Finalists must attend TEDxFulbright on April 5, 2014 in Washington, DC


Judging Criteria

– Is the idea bold and innovative?
– Will the idea make a significant social impact, locally or globally?
– Is this idea sustainable over the long-term?
– Can this idea/project be replicated across different communities or go viral?
– Can this idea gain significant traction in the target community?

Judging Process

Phase 1 (February 1 – March 9, 2014)

– Participants draft and submit 2-page PDF proposals in accordance with the Submission Guidelines
– Judging will be based on written proposals and optional video samples
– Participants prepare already for their representation on RocketHub in case they progress to Phase 2

Phase 2A (March 11 – March 19, 2014)

– 8 Semi-Finalists upload a picture and short video to RocketHub to represent your project. Crowdfunding begins now!
– 8 Semi-Finalists fill out a more structured proposal form

Phase 2B (March 20 – March 30, 2014)

– Online voting: inspire all of your network to vote for you! The proposal with the most votes will automatically progress to the finals!
– 8 Semi-Finalists have a 20-min video conference with the judges

Phase 3 (April 5, 2014)

4 Finalists will pitch their idea at the TEDxFulbright event



February 1, 2014 – Call for Proposals

March 9, 2014 11:59 pm EST – Submission Deadline

March 10, 2014 11:59 pm – 8 Semi-Finalists Announced

– Eight Semi-Finalists will be invited to develop a page on RocketHub
– They will be asked to do a live pitch of their idea over Skype to a set of judges
– Semi-Finalists’ ideas/projects will be posted on the TEDxFulbright website and social media for public voting
– 1 semi-finalist will automatically advance to the Finals by getting the most online/text message votes

March 30, 2014 – Four Finalists Announced

April 5, 2014 – Finalists pitch their ideas / Interactive Booth at the TEDxFulbright Experience Lab


Prizes (more prizes to be announced)

– Pro bono legal services offered by international law firm Patton Boggs LLP to the final winner
– One-on-one meeting with Fulbright Association Executive Director to discuss how to leverage the global Fulbright community to launch their idea for the four finalists
– Free TEDxFulbright event registration for the four finalists
– Special booth at TEDxFulbright in the Experience Lab for the four finalists
– Preferred status on crowdfunding platform, RocketHub, with possible feature in A&E’s television show PROJECT STARTUP for all eight semi-finalists
– Semi-Finalists receive a 5-month Prezi Presentation Software Pro License
– $500 cash prize



Direct questions and submit proposals by email to Challenge@TEDxFulbright.org