Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity / The Boulé

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Parity Project Innovation Challenge

Boulé-Base 11 Fellow Candidates: is your Proposal for Parity ready for prime time? Submit your proposal here!
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Overview

Challenge Overview

The Parity Project Innovation Challenge asks Boulé-Base 11 Fellow candidates to propose solutions that can help bridge the historic disparities that Black Americans face in key career fields and STEM industries.

A complete Proposal for Parity will consist of background research on your chosen disparity, an innovative solution for addressing the inequality, and an action plan that describes how you would implement your vision.

One-of-a-kind networking opportunities and cash prizes await the winners of this challenge, including the chance to attend a sponsored trip to destinations like Washington D.C. and the Bahamas where you will present your proposal before national leaders and influential executives!

Will you help Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and Base 11 to achieve parity for Black America? Head to Base 11 Digital first to sign up and access key program information. Then, view the Proposal Guidelines to begin your Proposal for Parity!

Proposal Guidelines

Proposal Guidelines

This tab explains how to craft your Proposal for Parity. For details about the Prizes and Requirements of the exciting Parity Project Innovation Challenge, go to the PPIC Guidelines Tab!

And if you have not yet signed up to be a Boulé-Base 11 Fellow, head to Base 11 Digital to complete your registration.

The Proposal for Parity

Although African Americans comprise 13.4% of the United States’ population, they are represented disproportionately in areas that provide the greatest economic opportunity. Four of the most lucrative areas experiencing this disparity have been identified for the purposes of this challenge, as they represent some of the clearest pathways for achieving parity for Black America. 

The four identified “Parity Lanes” are as follows:

  1. STEM Jobs - African American representation currently at 9%
  2. STEM Degrees - African American representation currently at 5%
  3. Venture Capital Funded Entrepreneurs - African American representation currently at 3%
  4. Fortune 500 Corporate Board of Directors - African American representation currently at 8.6%

We recognize that completely addressing even one of these Parity Lanes is an ambitious project. For this reason, Base 11’s Next Frontier Initiative has identified these ten tech-related industries to help focus your investigation. They represent some of the fastest growing and most financially rewarding over the next 20 years. The Proposal for Parity asks you to select one of these ten target industries and to seek a solution to the inequality of one of the four Parity Lanes within that field. 

  1. Data Analytics
  2. Cyber Security
  3. FinTech
  4. Aerospace
  5. Life Sciences
  6. AR / VR
  7. Advanced Manufacturing
  8. Autonomous Systems
  9. EdTech
  10. Private Equity / Venture Capital

For example, if you choose “Aerospace,” you might investigate why Black Americans have difficulty accessing “STEM Jobs” in that field. Similarly, if you choose “FinTech,” you may want to ask why Black Americans are less likely to become “Venture Capital Funded Entrepreneurs” in that industry. 

Selecting your chosen Next Frontier industry and Parity Lane is the first step in crafting your Proposal for Parity. Use these two items to build a clear and direct problem statement for your proposal. Your problem statement will likely change and develop as you dive into your research, but keep it at the forefront of your proposal to convey with clarity what problem you have chosen and how you propose to address it.

Note: Though you must choose the specific Next Frontier industry and Parity Lane that your proposal primarily addresses, you are welcome to expand or clarify your problem statement if you believe that your proposal is more nuanced. For example, you might specify that you are focusing on biology within the “Life Sciences” industry or that your proposal will address multiple issues at once.

How to Submit Your Proposal

The online submission form located at the top of the page provides the necessary prompts to help you develop a complete proposal. Although you may always save your work in the submission form and return to it later, many participants find it easier to create an original document outside of the submission form and then cut and paste their responses into the respective sections within the form.

As listed in the submission form, a complete proposal must address the following sections:

  • Short biography of the author
  • Chosen Next Frontier Industry
  • Chosen Parity Lane
  • Problem Statement
  • Research into the Problem Background
  • The Proposed Solution
  • Considerations for Implementation
  • Any Potential Obstacles
  • Measurable Outcomes and Impacts
  • A Bibliography

In summary, a quality Proposal for Parity should accurately identify the problem you wish to address, succinctly explain potential root causes or prior research on the issue, and finally propose a solution with a plan for implementation and tracking the solution’s impact.

Note: Proposals for Parity may only be submitted by a single individual, not as a team project. However, candidates are strongly encouraged to draw upon the knowledge and guidance of others when crafting their proposals. In particular, the Boulé-Base 11 Fellows Program mentors and partners are excellent resources who are here to assist you with your work.

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

Once submitted, a Proposal for Parity will then be evaluated against the following criteria to determine if the proposal is accepted by the Fellows Program:

Proposed Solution /

Soundness of Proposal

  • A thoughtful, feasible, and well-founded solution is provided for the chosen problem statement.
  • The level of detail in the proposal adequately addresses the points made and any theoretical concepts they include.
  • Potential obstacles to the proposed solution and metrics for success are identified.
  • A high level description for implementing the solution is provided, including costs, resources needed, potential partners, and how these might be acquired.

Problem Analysis / 

Scholarly Backing

  • The proposed solution is supported by research and analysis that clearly shows the solution’s underlying rationale.
  • Potential outcomes and the impact on racial disparity in the chosen Next Frontier Industry and Parity Lane are discussed.
  • All research is cited and attribution is provided clearly for any contributing sources.
Writing Mechanics
  • Writing is clear, concise, compelling, and grammatically correct.
  • Content is presented in a straightforward and logical manner with clear transitions and sequencing.
Completeness
  • Each section of the submission form is completed in a full and responsive manner.

Proposal Evaluators will determine whether the candidate’s proposal has satisfied each of the bulleted requirements in the table above. To be accepted, a Proposal for Parity must satisfy all ten of these criteria

If an evaluator determines that one of these points is not sufficiently satisfied, they will provide feedback on how to improve the proposal and meet the missed requirement. Candidates will be allowed to review feedback on their entry, revise their proposals, and resubmit an updated version for subsequent evaluation. An approved proposal indicates completion of this component of the Boulé-Base 11 Fellows Program.

What about the challenge and prizes?

Approved Proposals for Parity may be entered into the Parity Project Innovation Challenge in order to compete for the exceptional prizes that the challenge offers. If you wish to enter your proposal into the challenge for consideration, elect to do so in the submission form and complete the additional requirements of a pitch video and slide deck. 

You are not required to participate in the Parity Project Innovation Challenge to have your proposal evaluated for acceptance by the Boulé-Base 11 Fellows Program, but those who do will be considered for exciting cash prizes and real-world opportunities. 

Be sure to read about the challenge prizes and requirements on the PPIC Guidelines Tab.

PPIC Guidelines
Timeline
Updates 2

Challenge Updates

Now accepting your Proposals for Parity!

Oct. 6, 2021, 1 p.m. PDT by Shane Jenkins

Hello there Heroes!

This message is meant to inform you that the Parity Project Innovation Challenge is now open and accepting your Proposals for Parity! Incredible prizes lie in store for those who win in this year's challenge, but even more enticing is the array of unparalleled opportunities that the Boulé-Base 11 Fellows Program offers its members.

You won't want to miss all that this challenge has to offer, so get your process started by applying today!


Welcome to the Community!

April 28, 2021, 9 a.m. PDT by Shane Jenkins

Welcome to the Parity Project Innovation Challenge! It's awesome that you are already interested in our challenge mission.

We wanted to give you a heads up that an essential element to participating in this challenge is first applying to become a candidate in the Boulé-Base 11 Fellows Program. We encourage you to apply for candidacy within the program as soon as possible to make use of as many learning opportunities as you can!

To apply to the Boulé-Base 11 Fellows program and join the Next Frontier Initiative, qualified applicants should go to Base 11 Digital and follow the application process. You can also learn more about the program on the FAQ tab.

Remember, you can always reach out in the Forum if you have any questions, or comment directly on this update!

Thanks again for your interest. We’re as excited as you are to see the proposals created by all kinds of innovators and disruptors!


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