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Microsoft’s Jeannette M. Wing to judge $100 million MacArthur Foundation competition

June 2, 2016 | Posted by Microsoft Research Blog

Jeannette M. Wing

Jeannette M. Wing
Photo credit: Scott Eklund/Red Box pictures

Microsoft’s Jeannette M. Wing will serve as an evaluating judge for a new competition to award a $100 million grant to a single proposal designed to help solve a critical problem affecting people, places or the planet.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s competition, called 100&Change, is open to organizations working in any field, anywhere. Applicants must identify both the problem they are trying to solve and their proposed solution.

“100&Change is a bold initiative, which I hope by its very existence will inspire people to tackle problems to better humanity,” said Wing, a corporate vice president in charge of the company’s core research labs. “The MacArthur Foundation knows how to tap into people’s creative energy, and I’m honored and thrilled to be a judge for its new competition.”

As a judge for 100&Change, Wing will evaluate valid proposals that are randomly assigned according to a strict set of criteria designed to favor proposals that maximize measurable impact in their chosen areas. Participants submitting valid proposals will receive feedback from the judges.

“Solving society’s most pressing problems isn’t easy, but we believe it can be done,” MacArthur President Julia Stasch said.

The MacArthur Foundation plans to award $100 million every three years. The organization is hoping the competition will have a ripple effect beyond just the grants themselves.

“Setting audacious goals is inspiring. Clear evidence of impact can encourage other funders to invest in solvable problems more broadly, and applicants who do not receive the $100 million grant will still receive valuable feedback on and attention to their ideas,” said Cecilia Conrad, MacArthur’s managing director leading the competition.

100&Change will consider applications from across the United States and around the world. Nonprofit and for-profit organizations can apply, subject to eligibility rules. The competition will not accept applications from individuals or government agencies.

More information about the judges and their evaluation methodology can be found on the competition website.

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Read more about 100&Change