Democratizing Learning Through Technology

2013-10-01-Diamandis.jpg By Dr. Peter H. Diamandis
Dr. Peter H. Diamandis is the Chairman & CEO of XPRIZE

There are nearly one billion illiterate people in the world, of which 250 million are children.

These are kids who cannot read, write or do basic math. Most are in developing countries without regular access to schools or teachers. There is an enormous cost to society here because 250 million minds are going to waste.

We know from hard research that literate populations have lower poverty rates, are more peaceful and add to the global economy. Therefore, the best way to create a more peaceful and prosperous world is to educate these children.

But how?

To meet the current demand, it would require more than 1.6 million new teachers by 2015, according to UNESCO, with that figure set to double by 2030.

Education needs to change. There is NO WAY to train enough teachers and build enough schools. We simply do not have the time or the resources to scale education in a linear way, which brings us to a pivotal moment where an alternative, radical approach is necessary.

It's time to stop thinking linearly and it's time to democratize and demonetize learning.

This is how we are going to help those 250 million children around the world who cannot read, write or do basic arithmetic. It's the MOST Important XPRIZE we may ever launch. It's called the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE.

We developed the Global Learning XPRIZE to prove that technology can empower children to autonomously learn these basic skills.

We are challenging hundreds (perhaps thousands) of teams from around the world to build a piece of software that can take a child from illiteracy to basic reading, writing and arithmetic in just 18 months.

Imagine this software pre-loaded onto every phone and every tablet. Imagine software than incorporates artificial intelligence as the facilitator, providing on-demand, personalized knowledge and learning when and where it is needed. If there was one tool to create a more peaceful and vibrant world, one tool to empower humanity, this would be it.

What if you had the power to catalyze this groundbreaking shift? Well, you do. I want to urge you to get involved and check out the Global Learning XPRIZE.

It is about time we leverage technology to solve this global challenge in an exponential way. If we do, opportunity and abundance for all is within our grasp.

This is the most important issue I will ever attempt to tackle.

Join me and let's change the World!