Promise Hub


The Human Potential Challenge: infrastructure

Build a physical space to empower the Rising Billions to participate in the digital economy.

This challenge is closed


This challenge is closed


Challenge Overview

The world has long struggled with the dual curse of poverty and lack of education. These two problems underlay many of the greatest challenges of our time.

To make matters worse, opportunity and wealth are unevenly distributed, resulting in people attempting to move from areas of low opportunity to areas of high opportunity. Systems are strained to either support or prevent these migrations to opportunity.

Historically, attempts to mitigate these problems have come in the form of Aid Programs. These programs tend to be inefficient and offer little residual value to the populations that are served.

Enter the Rising Billions.

Devices, connectivity, and education are game-changing new opportunities to support global economic development – including migrants and refugees. Ambitious minds expect this global development by 2020 and foresee a dramatic, positive, change in the global economy

Our promise: Create 10 Million new digital entrepreneurs in underdeveloped regions of the world within the next 30 years.

Why we need you

We need you to design local Impact Hubs for digital business solutions.


The Rising Billions

The “Rising Billions” is a term coined by Peter Diamandis that represents the efforts of four companies who are attempting to bring one megabit of bandwidth to every person on earth. The Rising Billions is a game-changing new opportunity aimed at solving this dual curse.

Currently, there are 65 million migrants and refugees challenging the global political systems.

Think of another 5 billion potential new migrants who have never purchased anything, uploaded anything and are mostly cut off from the abundance of the western world.

Through digital access, they suddenly come online and as we know people migrate to the promises of a better future and bandwidth alone is like pouring water out in front of a man dying of thirst.

We strongly believe that turning aid into opportunity is the catalyst to create a significant increase in local income.

We aim to migrate digital opportunities to people in need instead of migrating people to opportunity.


Our Belief

We have an unshakeable belief in the human spirit. We believe in the human ability to self-organize and thrive from emergent problem-solving.

We are about discovering and encouraging all talents within the population and discovering how the Promise Hub can turn digital opportunities to those talents. As well, funneling those with entrepreneurial talent within each area of endeavor and getting the tools, mentoring and money to create digital businesses that will employ others in the local community.

Our belief is that through utilizing access to the internet and providing tools and encouragement that the result will be exponential growth through entrepreneurism.                       

We want to empower the average entrepreneur to create 100 jobs and to double the average existing incomes.                                           

“...the democratization of entrepreneurship has never been more important. Only through knowledge sharing and crowdsourcing can we really attack our common challenges as a planet.” Jonathan Ortmans, President, Global Entrepreneurship Network


About Promise Hub             

The Promise Hub is a platform researching, designing and providing digital tools, encouragement, and physical infrastructure to empower entrepreneurism to serve the Rising Billions. Independent working modules and self-organized learning environments aim to unlock potential to create local digital economies that provide a significant increase in local employment and average incomes. It will include encouragement, digital tools by partners and local staff as impact teams.


Challenge Guidelines

Thanks to four major efforts contributing tens of billions of dollars to global internet access, we believe the Rising Billions population will become a soon reality. Promise Hubs include the physical infrastructure design and the project plan needed to populate the world’s developing nations with an opportunity to create their own economy.


The Promise Hub is comprised of eight different modules intended to serve as a physical gathering place to empower and inspire entrepreneurs with community, tools, and an ecosystem for innovation. Depending on the resources of a community, a Promise Hub can contain anywhere from one to all eight of these modules. Visit the TOOLS Challenge to submit ideas on how we can optimize each module to include relevant educational processes and digital tools.


How can I participate?

Imagine it is 2020, and an Indian or African region has just gained access to bandwidth for the first time ever. We source a local Impact Team and give them a blueprint for setting up their Promise Hub. What do they need to do?

Your job is to develop a project plan for us to distribute to the local Impact Team, with the specifications and instructions required to prepare the physical space for Promise Hub use.

  • Adaptable: able to be used for a variety of functions, including accommodating different tools, facilitating team and individual work, and sparking discussions.
  • Cheap: able to be implemented at a low cost. Remember, this is an area that only recently gained access to the internet.
  • Accessible materials: retrofitted using commonly available materials, and if possible, including materials otherwise seen as waste.
  • Functional: contains everything necessary for a successful Promise Hub. Space is habitable, is connected to power and the internet, has chairs, table, etc.

The minimum required size for a Promise Hub is that of a standard shipping container: 6.06 m long x 2.43 m wide x 2.59 m high. However, local spaces may be of a different size and dimension. How can you have the biggest impact with only 14.7 m2  of space?


At a minimum, your Project Plan must include:

  • Design
    •  Illustrate your vision for how a Promise Hub should best be assembled to create a space for collaboration, education, and entrepreneurship. You don’t need to be an expert! Your illustration can be uploaded as an animation, a 2D or 3D CAD design, a blueprint or simply a sketch.
    • Detail how the space allows for a variety of functions and creates an environment that sparks entrepreneurship.
  • Retrofit Requirements
    • List all of the elements required to convert a space into a functional Promise Hub.
  • Team
    • Determine the key people or roles needed to execute the assembly and conversion of the raw shipping containers.
  • Milestones
    • Demonstrate the key action items required in association with a timeline necessary for execution, from Day 1 to Project Fulfillment.
  • Materials
    • Develop a list of all locally sourced materials needed to convert a space into a Promise Hub. Where possible, include line itemized cost estimates.


The Prize

  • Prize Purse: $5,000
    • Fan Favorite Award: $500
    • Up to 3 Finalists selected: $500 each
    • 1 Grand Winner: $3,000

The $500 Fan Favorite Award will be awarded based on the number of votes received during the voting period.  A competitor is eligible to win both a Judges' Award and the Fan Favorite Award. 

All votes are subject to review. Any competitor using unfair methods to solicit votes will be automatically disqualified from the challenge.

Entries that are eligible for the voting stage will become viewable to the public. Make sure that if your entry moves on to the voting stage, that you're OK with anyone seeing it! Depending on the number of entries received, either all or a selected shortlist will move on to the voting stage.


How Do I Win?

To be eligible for an award, your proposal must, at a minimum:

  • Satisfy the Judging Scorecard requirements
  • Thoughtfully address the Submission Form questions
  • Be scored higher than your competitors!


Judging Scorecard



Overall Weight


Does the physical infrastructure incorporate minimum requirements such as size, temperature controls, power connectivity and locally sourced materials? Is the proposed design, once converted, usable for the local Impact Teams?



Does the space allow for a variety of functions, including accommodating different tools, facilitating team and individual work, and sparking discussions? Does the design make the best possible use of the space available?



Does the innovator include images, mock-ups, sketches, animations, 3D models, renderings, CAD images, wherever necessary or possible? Does the design proposal invoke inspiration?



Does the Project Plan include retrofit requirements, materials lists, team requirements, milestone deadlines and visual designs necessary for a local Impact Team to follow in order to have a successful deployment?



Can the Project Plan be executed on a small budget?





Promise Hub Modules


  1. HealerHealth, BioTech, Life Science
    • Great technology supports the individual energy of your body. Combine the power of technology and human greatness to improve your health.
  2. SpiritPersonal Growth, Coaching
    • Adjust your mind and get the right direction to succeed. Mental strength and mindfulness set up a base for your project - gently hug it.
  3. MakerPhysical Tools
    • Make your ideas touchable! Turn your idea into a tangible project and prove people’s imagination
  4. CreatorMusic, Art, Media
    • Creativity breaks inner walls and obstacles. Exceed you boarders by relying on the creative potential of you yourself and technology.
  5. GrowerFood, Agriculture, Sustainability
    • Use technology to leverage agriculture’s potential and get the best out of every harvest. Leave the classic field behind and enter the stage of a sustainable and modern agriculture.
  6. DeveloperSoftware
    • No Code, no movement. Start programming your dreams and let your idea fly high by learning the secret behind 00101010.
  7. OrganizerManagement serving all 8 modules, logistics, commerce
    • Create a plan, follow rules and your project will get on the right track. Only a well-organised project will succeed.
  8. Community SpaceOpen space to share, relax and inspire
    • Open your mind and connect to each other. Our space is your open playground, occupy it and support each other.


Participation Eligibility:

The challenge is open to all adult individuals, private teams, public teams, and collegiate teams. Teams may originate from any country. Submissions must be made in English. All challenge-related communication will be in English.

No specific qualifications or expertise is required. Prize organizers encourage outside individuals and non-expert teams to compete and propose new solutions.

To be eligible to compete, you must comply with all the terms of the challenge as defined in the Challenge-Specific Agreement 

Registration and Submissions:

Submissions must be made online (only), via upload to the website, on or before January 16th, 2018 @ 4:59 pm Pacific Time (Los Angeles). All uploads must be in PDF format. No late submissions will be accepted.

Intellectual Property Rights:

The innovator will retain all intellectual property rights to their technology. If awarded a prize, the Sponsor will require the Innovator to share a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to the intellectual property contained in the Submission. This allows both the Innovator and Sponsor to independently use the intellectual property for their own use. Please see the Challenge-Specific Agreement for complete details.

Selection of Winners:

Based on the winning criteria, prizes will be awarded per the Judging Criteria section above. 

In the case of no winner, Promise Hub reserves the right to withhold the Prize amount. In place of the original prize amount, Promise Hub must issue a Consolation Prize to the team or individual closest to the winning solution in the amount of at least $1,000.

Additional Information:

  • By participating in the challenge, each competitor agrees to submit only their original idea. Any indication of "copying" amongst competitors is grounds for disqualification.
  • All applications will go through a process of due diligence; any application found to be misrepresentative, plagiarized, or sharing an idea that is not their own will be automatically disqualified.
  • All ineligible applicants will be automatically removed from the competition with no recourse or reimbursement.
  • No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win the competition.
  • Void wherever restricted or prohibited by law.



Challenge Updates

And the winner is...

Feb. 5, 2018, 9:17 p.m. PST by Kyla Jeffrey

We are thrilled to announce George Bugan and Georgiana Oveza as the Grand Prize Winner of the Human Potential Challenge: Infrastructure! We are not awarding finalist prizes or opening the challenge to crowd voting due to an insufficient number of qualified entries.

During the period of the challenges, we gathered an awesome jury board of fantastic innovators and entrepreneurs who all truly believe in the deep impact of collaboration. We have also been to Abundance 360 and to the WEF in Davos where we also met great people who offered their support for the Promise Hub mission. Our main tasks at the moment are the redesign of our communication tools, working on the curriculum, identifying locations and local impact teams. We are super optimistic to set 1+ Promise Hubs during 2018. We also wish to collaborate with Georgiana and George on future Promise Hubs.


Make entrepreneurship child’s play!

MECP is all about maximizing functionality, drawing inspiration from local culture and optimizing space with as little as possible. Read their full entry >>

Read their full entry >>

Thank you so much to everyone who has followed this challenge, shared it with their friends and participated! We would love to stay in touch, please follow us on our Facebook page!

The best is yet to come: Welcome our awesome new judge Mike Zuckerman!!!

Jan. 18, 2018, 4:19 a.m. PST by Diana Krüger

Mike Zuckerman

Distributed AID Org - [freespace] - Habitas Rise - IRL - Institute for the Future - Buckminster Fuller Institute - MermAID  

Mike creates spaces. He has designed everything from environmental nightclubs to a global network of [freespaces]. For the last 2 years Mike has turned his focus to the global human migration crisis where he has been setting up alternatives to traditional refugee camps where the refugees themselves take a leading role in their design and implementation, flipping the traditional humanitarian model.  As project manager for Elpida Home last year, Mike lead a team of volunteers, refugees and local Greek contractors to build a prototype camp that what was widely recognized as the most dignified living conditions for refugees in all of Greece. Since leaving Greece he has continued investigating refugee situations from integration in Europe to the protracted and new situations that exist in Uganda and Bangladesh. He looks at how the cutting edge thoughts on the future of education, work, governance, place making, blockchain and protests can be applied to advancing the cause of displaced peoples around the globe. Like many others, he believes that the current system of international aid is broken and we need to actively create many alternative prototypes... and fast. Mike sees refugee camps as the cities of the future where leapfrog urbanism is possible. In order for this vision to become a reality it will take all of us, refugees themselves and the general population, especially those who don't see themselves as traditional humanitarians. Together we will figure this out.

8 Hours Remaining to Submit!

Jan. 16, 2018, 8:59 a.m. PST by Joeana Lutha Mae Villo

If you're still assembling your submission, you have exactly 8 hours left to complete it! Remember, if you're planning to submit today, be sure to get it in well before the  19:59 pm ET cut-off.

Here's a Tip: HeroX recommends innovators plan to submit with at least a 3-hour window of time before the true deadline. Last-minute technical problems and unforeseen roadblocks have been the cause of many headaches. Don't let that be you!

Two Day Warning

Jan. 14, 2018, 4:59 p.m. PST by Joeana Lutha Mae Villo

This is your official two-day reminder!

That's right, the Human Potential Challenge: infrastructure will be closing this coming January 16th at 19:59 pm Eastern Time (New York/USA).

Please be sure to complete your submission form well before the exact cut-off time.

At exactly 19:59 pm ET, we can no longer accept new submissions!

Got questions?

Now is the time to speak up! Comment directly on this update with any questions about the submission process and we'll get back to you right away!

Brilliant! Our judge panel is getting more & more exciting! Please meet our new amazing judge John Realpe Gomez!

Jan. 13, 2018, 10:11 a.m. PST by Diana Krüger

Until recently, John worked as Research Scientist at the NASA Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, where he contributed to advanced the emerging field of quantum machine learning, and as full-time professor and researcher in the Universidad de Cartagena, Colombia. John is currently working on a career transition towards contemplative science and on the creation of a foundation to promote education access and well-being. 

John earned a PhD in Physics 2011 at the Politecnico di Torino, Italy, working at the interface of computer science and physics. He then joined the University of Manchester to apply physics techniques to problems in socio-economics and ecology. During this time he also did research on the foundations of quantum physics, which he continued at the Universidad de Cartagena, Colombia, and in his spare time. Only recently he has posted online a first preprint briefly summarizing some of the ideas. As part of the Diploma Programme of the Abdus Salam ICTP and the M.Sc. Program of the Universidad del Valle, Colombia, he worked on quantum game theory and on the decoherence of superconducting systems. 

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