Crowded Urban Spaces

The 2016 Hult Prize "President's Challenge" is Crowded Urban Spaces and will focus on economic inclusion, more specifically, doubling the incomes of the residents who live in some of the toughest conditions in the world through improved mobility and increased connectivity to people, products, services and capital by 2022.  This challenge was selected by President Bill Clinton and announced at this year's Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York. Key highlights associated with this year's challenge:

Download 2016 Challenge

  1. In 1950, less than 1 billion people lived in crowded urban spaces; by 2050, more than 6 billion people will.
  2. 96% of urbanization will occur in developing countries in the next 15 years.
  3. By 2030, there will be 41 megacities that have populations of more than 10 million people.
  4. In the next 15 years, megacities will house more than 600M people.
  5. In many crowded urban spaces, 2 in 3 youth are unemployed, underemployed, or working in low-quality, irregular jobs.
  6. People living in crowded urban spaces make up just over 50% of the global population, but they contribute more than 80% of global GDP.
  7. Developing regions will have urban growth rates higher than 20%; in Africa, the next 10 years will bring urban growth rates of 45%
  8. More than 4 billion people live at the base of the pyramid earning less than $10 per day
  9. 1.2 billion people currently earn $2-5 a day; this segment of the population will double in 15 years.
  10. Lost productivity from traffic congestion can cost urban regions more than $1 billion per year; in Sao Paulo, traffic costs the region more than $2.2billion in lost productivity
  11. Worldwide, more than 4 billion people lack access to critical financial services like credit, savings and insurance that helps manage income volatility; as a result, families worldwide pay hundreds of billions of dollars for emergency financial loans like to cover gaps
  12. Getting a product the to its final destination is 28% of the delivery cost, and in some industries, the last mile of delivery makes up 53% of all logistics costs; these higher prices cut in to already very limited income for those living in crowded urban spaces
  13. More than 100 million children living in crowded urban spaces do not have access to early childhood education; these children will be less likely to get good jobs and provide for their own families in the future
  14. In many poor mid-size cities, sewage collection coverage can be as low as 10-20 percent, causing disease, contaminating scarce water resources, and costing these cities hundreds of millions in additional healthcare costs
  15. Urban environments in developing nations now account for 85% of the world’s traffic fatalities; these deaths can emotionally and financially devastate families who lose an income source and have no safety net
  16. Urbanization will put pressure on already strained energy resources; demand for power in China’s cities, for example, will more than double from today’s level, driving up costs for the poor and damaging the earth
  17. Inflated real estate prices drive even fairly decently employed people into slums. A modest one-bedroom apartment in the Mumbai suburbs, averages around 10,000 rupees a month, double the average worker’s monthly income



This case study is your guiding document to constructing your social venture. It will be released in early October.  It has been written exclusively for this year's Hult Prize, and takes a deep dive into the crowded urban space environment, and highlights the core issues behind the inability of dwellers residing in these spaces to break the cycle of poverty. Rather than focus on supply, this year's Hult Prize is focused on demand and economic inclusion. We believe that doubling the incomes of the residents of these spaces by better connecting them to people, products, services and capital will be a driving factor to disruptive innovation in the sector.  Authored by the Hult Prize Foundation in close collaboration with President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative, and private and public sector experts involved in the issue, the 2016 Challenge is our biggest and boldest yet.

The "2016 President's Challenge" and guiding document will be uploaded here when published.  An updated version may be made available upon the selection of regional finalists.