News and Announcements / News and Announcements Issues an Open Call for $10M Inclusive Growth and Recovery Challenge

Challenge Will Reward Scalable and Breakthrough Projects that use Data Science to Support Inclusive Growth and Recovery

NEW YORK, NY, May 19, 2020 – Today, issued an open call for breakthrough ideas that harness the power of data science to help people and communities rebound and remain resilient in the wake of Covid-19 and its economic impact. Launched in partnership with Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and The Rockefeller Foundation, the $10 Million Inclusive Growth and Recovery Challenge seeks to foster and promote innovative, scalable solutions from people and organizations all over the world.

The Covid-19 crisis has underscored both the vulnerability of individuals and communities to economic shocks and the important role data science can play in solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges. As private, civic, and social sector organizations tackle the health and economic implications of the pandemic, data science can inform the development of tools and insights that can be used in addressing the needs of all segments of society, especially those most vulnerable.

The Challenge will award up to ten winners with data science talent, software, training, funding, and other support valued from $10,000 up to $10 million. Submissions are welcome from individuals and teams with extensive data science experience, as well those with an idea for how to use data science to address societal issues and advance shared prosperity.

“Coming out of the Covid-19 crisis, we need to double down on ensuring that economic growth is inclusive and that the economically vulnerable have a path to greater financial security and resilience,” said Michael Froman, Vice Chairman of Mastercard.  “With this Challenge, we aim to tap into expertise and ingenuity from around the world to identify ways in which data science can contribute to tools and platforms that have positive social impact.”

The Challenge welcomes all proposals using data science to advance inclusive growth and recovery with a preference for projects that promote financial security and economic mobility for workers, help micro and small businesses access capital, and support economic development. Submissions must have a charitable impact and proposals addressing inclusive growth challenges are eligible, either as an individual or as a team from every part of the world[1].

“From the Covid-19 pandemic to climate change, data science and technology are more important than ever to tackling the world’s biggest challenges,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “We’re committed to building a future where there are tens of thousands of data scientists solving these problems – because that’s what is needed to truly serve the world’s most vulnerable.”

“The Inclusive Growth and Recovery Challenge creates the opportunity to learn from, lift-up, and build community around promising applications of data science for social impact,” said Ginger Zielinskie, Interim Executive Director, “We are excited to hear from diverse organizations across the globe.”

The Challenge will have two phases: In phase one, beginning on May 19, applicants should submit an initial application, which will be reviewed by expert judges in collaboration with’s technical partner, DataKind. In phase two, selected finalists will receive support to develop a more detailed proposal and engage in a virtual interview.  The deadline for initial proposals to the Challenge will be July 17, 2020.

To learn more and participate, visit

About is a platform for partnerships to build the field of data science for social impact. Launched by The Rockefeller Foundation and Mastercard, works with organizations from all over the world to increase the use of data science to improve the lives of millions of people and to tackle society’s most significant challenges. For more information and to keep in touch, follow on Twitter @DataDotOrg or visit

About the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth
The Center for Inclusive Growth advances equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world. The Center leverages the company’s core assets and competencies, including data insights, expertise, and technology, while administering the company’s philanthropy, the Mastercard Impact Fund, to produce independent research, scale global programs and empower a community of thinkers, leaders, and doers on the front lines of inclusive growth. For more information and to receive its latest insights, follow the Center on Twitter @CNTR4growth or subscribe to its newsletter.

About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation advances new frontiers of science, data, and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power, and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity throughout the world by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas, and conversations. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn.

Contact: Costanza Sciubba, Director of Communications, –

[1] Except for North Korea, Sudan, Iran, Crimea, Syria, and Cuba.