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Meet the First Four XPRIZE 2017 Visioneers

The XPRIZE Visioneers 2017 US Summit has been on the hunt for industry disruptors and innovators from all over the world to come up with new, groundbreaking ways to improve the way we do things.

Unlike many challenges on HeroX, this contest has the goal of fostering new Grand Challenge ideas for XPRIZEs. And the winners are now being announced, though they may keep coming on a rolling basis.

The XPRIZE requires some big, 10X thinking, and that's exactly what you'll find here. Let's take a look at these four Visioneers, who are proposing some radical new ways to change the way we live, from agriculture to finance and everything in between.

Christopher Bush – I'm the Poop Soup guy!

Ok, so the real name of his Grand Challenge might be “Zero-Waste Agriculture” but Poop Soup is pretty catchy and descriptive.

Christopher Bush's vision is to see our agriculture return to a more natural, circular economy. One that efficiently reuses everything it uses. Overhauling our agriculture industry is a massive undertaking, but that's his aim: to get people to think, take responsibility in their lives, and come up with novel solutions to our most pressing problems.

The ultimate goal of the Zero-Waste Agriculture Grand Challenge is incredible: to end food shortages around the world, and let no one go hungry.

In his entry form, Christopher was asked what the world would be like when his Grand Challenge is solved, and this was his answer:

“Decentralized, demonetized and democratized food/energy/water and education systems, operated as living labs, interconnected with all others around the globe. No one will go hungry, and we will begin to return the planet to a state of natural balance.”

Listen to Chris himself explain why his XPRIZE would be so important right below, and be sure to check out his TEDx talk here.

Edward J. Silva – Identify Every Acre on Earth

Edward Silva wants to modernize agriculture, with the ultimate aim of feeding the world with sustainable, tech-enhanced strategies.

Google Maps can easily tell you the names of the buildings and streets around you, but there is no equivalent for agriculture. Imagine being able to look up any acre of land on your smartphone, and find a wealth of useful agricultural information about it. Maybe it's good land for sweet potatoes, or corn, or barley – or pretty much nothing at all.

The Identify Every Acre on Earth Grand Challenge wants to put that technology in the hands of everyone on Earth. This would be especially important for rural, low-income farmers who don't have the resources to run extensive surveys of their land. If they could see the potential of the soil, they can make more informed decisions that will improve agriculture as a whole.

We don't know what the land around us is made of. But maybe that can change, providing a whole new perspective on the world. Edward is proposing a platform that businesses will be able to build upon, with a potential for some incredible new services.

When he was asked what the world would look like when his Grand Challenge was solved, Edward said:

“... there would be a spike of interactive mobile and desktop applications engaging our physical world. Imagine an augmented reality game from your passenger seat that interacted with land around you as you drive, train, or even fly.

Even larger, there would be a major spike in service providers for agricultural producers, reducing prices for them and increasing service quality. More entrepreneurs would see this potential and join this space.”

Listen to Edward explain his Grand Challenge here:

Rachel Taylor – Monitoring Mobile Payments

In our digital world, digital crime is increasingly common but easily unnoticed. And there's one area that has been somewhat neglected – mobile payments and mobile banking accounts.

Rachel Taylor is trying to help protect the average person from cybercrime with her Monitoring Mobile Payments Grand Challenge. Her goal: to track mobile payments that are made from accounts that only need a SIM card and an ID to open.

Mobile payments exist in large part to help give people access to banking services when they otherwise could not get it, but this has also resulted in a lack of security and regulation. This project aims to secure mobile bank accounts without interrupting the lives of the people using these services. Such a system would help preventing criminal acts like laundering, which can support major criminal enterprises.

When Rachel was asked what the world would be like after her challenge is solved, she said:

“When the Grand Challenge is solved mobile payments are as secure and traceable as payments made through the means of traditional banking. It doesn't mean creating regulation, it means having visibility into patterns that allow outside groups to ascertain what a payment is for, but in a secure manner.

The key is to come up with a solution that is not cumbersome to the point where it slows user experience but allows law enforcement to be able to track payments and make sure that these payments are not being used to fund illegal activities or organizations.”

Listen to Rachel herself explain her Grand Challenge in her entry video:

Cristina Gallegos – Meaningful Global Wealth

Cristina Gallegos doesn't want you to get discouraged by the recent major problems of the world. Instead, she wants you to take action on a massive challenge: reducing inequality around the world.

Cristina's Meaningful Global Wealth Grand Challenge aims to connect people everywhere through a new global economic system based on social entrepreneurship. This would be a revolution in sustainable philanthropy, creating non-governmental charitable institutions which would have positive effects for everyone on Earth.

Can you imagine an end to inequality? It doesn't have to mean a leveling of the playing field, where people on top are forced into a less-expensive lifestyle. Instead, Cristina wants to build a system that will effectively redistribute charitable resources to where they are needed most. It's an incredible goal, and that's why Reduced Inequality is on the UN's list of Sustainable Development Goals.

When Cristina was asked what the world would look like when her Grand Challenge is solved, she replied:

“A more economically and socially balanced global society where the needs of the poorest are met in a sustainable way and with a chance of eradicating poverty, while the affluent of the world are still very happy ...

A world with less tumult and strife, a world with more peace and dialogue.”

You can listen to Cristina explain her XPRIZE entry here:


Wow! These are some awesome Grand Challenges. These four Visioneers will be moving on to work with a company sponsor, other innovators, and the XPRIZE team.

Keep an eye on these teams, but also keep checking back to the XPRIZE Visioneers 2017 US Summit Challenge, because more winners may be announced on a rolling basis. The XPRIZE 2017 is in its initial stages right now, so why not take a look at everything else that's already in the works at the XPRIZE.

Get some inspiration from these innovators, and think bigger than you can imagine – you could be our next Visioneer!

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