MIT IDE Awarded Google/Walmart Grant for Jobs and Opportunity

As part of their commitment to jobs and opportunity, Google and Walmart Inc. announced today a $5 million grant investment to three organizations — including the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (MIT IDE) — that are offering solutions in re-skilling the American workforce and matching skills to roles. The other recipients are the Drucker Institute and Opportunity @ Work.

With the grants, “we are joining forces with leading social innovators to fuel the pursuit of a more equitable and efficient labor market,” according to a blog posted today by Jacqueline Fuller, President of Google.org, and Kathleen McLaughlin, President, Walmart Foundation.

The MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy will use the funding as it expands the Inclusive Innovation Challenge (MIT IIC). The MIT IIC is a global, future-of-work prize that promotes entrepreneurs harnessing technology to create more broadly shared economic opportunity and prosperity. “This generous grant will help as we expand our IIC into five global regions this year,” said David Verrill, Executive Director of the MIT IDE. Tournaments are under way in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, in addition to North America.

“Thanks to the support of our visionary funders,” the MIT IIC, now in its third year, will award more than $1 million to global entrepreneurs using technology to drive economic opportunity for workers. Funders include: Google.org; ISN; Merck KGaA; Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation; ViaVerajo; Somos; Accenture; Gradus; inovaBra; Joseph Eastin, and Gustavo Marini (Turim Family Office). These generous investors make it possible for the MIT IIC to “expand its impact on the global inclusive innovation movement and help to ensure a more equitable future of work for all humans,” Verrill said.

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