About the The Future of Work Prize Design

Incentivizing innovation to enable all people to attain in-demand skills that facilitate career growth.

About the Prize Design

XPRIZE is excited to officially kick off the Future of Work Prize Design. This initiative — funded by New Profit, Strada Education Network and Walmart.org — strives to incentivize innovation that enables a world in which all people can attain in-demand skills that facilitate career growth for workers and maximize return on investment for employers. A world in which the most vulnerable members of society enjoy gainful employment and find fulfillment in their work. A world in which advancements in AI and automation are not viewed by workers as a threat, but as a tool for enhanced productivity and an improved work experience.

To achieve this aim, our online community will bring together experts and other interested parties to brainstorm and exchange ideas on the challenges, innovations, latest efforts, technologies, and news related to the future of work. Together with XPRIZE’s research, these discussions will inform the Future of Work Prize Design and determine the objectives and details of the competition.

The Challenge

By the year 2030, up to 30% of jobs could be lost globally due to AI and automation. Experts agree that low-income, low-skilled jobs, like office assistants, cashiers, food service workers, drivers, and agriculture workers, are most at risk.

Many of these employees are already living hand-to-mouth. Few have the time or resources to acquire the skills they need for new and better jobs, or even to stay relevant in their current jobs. The rapid advancement of technology has prevented existing policies and educational providers from preparing these workers for a future in which their current skill sets will be irrelevant. If business continues as usual, they could find themselves permanently out of work when occupations are automated.

Simultaneously, employers struggle to find workers who are equipped with the skills needed to fill high-paying, in-demand jobs. Companies unable to hire a workforce with the desired skills struggle to remain competitive.

The Goal

The winning team, or teams, will need to come up with a mechanism or system that can best fulfill the competition’s goal and help mitigate the tragedy of millions of people losing their jobs, their livelihoods and, in extreme cases, their homes.

The community will be invited to weigh in on various aspects of this Prize Design, from analyzing in detail the problems we want to solve to understanding why existing solutions fall short to advising on specific aspects of the competition, such as the timeline and conditions teams will need to meet to win.

What’s in it for you

We know your time is precious, and we appreciate your participation and input.

None of the other benefits below come close to the reward of knowing that you contributed to a truly transformative breakthrough.

Participation allows you to: network with diverse stakeholders, brainstorm with top experts, promote your work, and earn rewards, such as online gift cards.


This Prize Design is led by @BryanNamba, @HeatherSutton, @Roey, @Kathleen_Hamrick and @jordangiali. @NickOttens manages the online community.

Need Help?

If you have questions or need help, leave a comment here or contact the community manager, @NickOttens.

Hi everyone,
My name is Roey Tzezana and I’m the lead researcher in this project. I’m excited to work on this fascinating topic, and look forth to having many discussions here on the forum with you all!

Much needed xprize to prepare the world for future of work.

Hello everyone! I am Diana Daniels, Founder and CEO of Tinkerlink, super excited to be part of the community for so much needed XPrize! Happy to contribute! My expertise is in the Latam immigration markets, and my startup is helping thousands of people in the base of the pyramid to get a job and get paid. Looking forward to connect with many of you!

Thank you for joining us, @dianadaniels and @ramdhanyk! We look forward to learning from you. If you have any community-related questions or need help, just let me know. Thanks!

@NickOttens, can you give us a better sense of what the container is here? What are the steps we will go through? And what is the approximate time line? Thanks!

The prize design process is flexible by design, but roughly speaking here’s what we’re looking at for the next several months:


  • Landscape analysis: Analyzing what we call "core problems" as well as innovations that companies and governments are already working on.
  • Analyzing breakthroughs and prize ideas. We'll ask the community for recommendations and advice.


  • Selecting one prize idea for development.
  • Developing elements of the prize design: timeline, judging criteria, etc. with the community's input.


  • Concluding the design of the prize competition itself.
  • Developing post-prize impact framework, again with the community's input.


  • Prize design report should be complete.

Hi all, looking forward to contributing to the design of the prize. I come from the workforce development field, helping schools, colleges, nonprofits and the private sector build career pathways, taking into consideration the rapidly changing economy. Thanks for the invite @NickOttens !

Welcome @Matthew_Poland! We’re excited to hear your thoughts as we continue to design this XPRIZE. Advance thanks for your contributions in the online community.

We are considering a new direction for this prize to cope with the expected economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. A Rapid-Response Workforce XPRIZE would:

  • Provide an affordable, customizable, and scalable learning tool;
  • Help vulnerable populations learn new occupational skills and find a workplace;
  • Assist individuals to rapidly enter new, emerging fields; and
  • Place low/underpaid individuals into more gainful positions.

Click here for a more detailed prize description and here to answer our questions about this new design approach.