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ABOUT

Rise is a program that finds brilliant people who need opportunity and supports them as they work to serve others. 

The program starts at ages 15–17 and offers access to benefits such as scholarships, mentorship, access to career development opportunities, funding, and more as Global Winners work toward solving humanity’s most pressing problems. 

An initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust, Rise is the anchor program of a $1 billion commitment from Eric and Wendy Schmidt to find and support global talent. 

Rise is for life.
We offer benefits such as access to funding opportunities and a global network that will impact winners throughout their lives, making this one of the largest, if not the largest, award programs for individuals in the world.

Rise is a global community.
We connect talent from over 170 countries, with inaugural Global Winners hailing from 42 countries across 6 continents.

Rise looks for brilliance.
We look for hidden brilliance, in whatever form it takes, wherever it is in the world. From high school classrooms, to refugee camps, to science fairs, we believe that brilliance is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. We’re on a mission to change the odds for the world’s most brilliant people from a young age and throughout their lives.

In 2019, Schmidt Futures co-founders Eric and Wendy Schmidt made a $1 billion philanthropic commitment to identify and support global talent.

Rise, an initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust, is the anchor program of that commitment. Rise builds on an existing partnership between Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust, including the creation of the Schmidt Science Fellows program. Each organization has realized the power of building a network of exceptional talent, and this partnership allows them both for the first time to focus on reaching a younger audience between the ages of 15 and 17.

Rise depends on trusted partnerships with global institutions that have long been committed to identifying and supporting young people with the potential to build a better world.

We’ve developed collaborations with a broad variety of organizations in the public, private, and social sectors—including schools, universities, nonprofits, advocacy groups, businesses, and others. This network helps us find talented people who may go undiscovered or unsupported otherwise, and connect those future leaders to scholarships, internships, and opportunities around the world.

The world’s most important problems will be solved by the next generation of leaders. Yet too often, the most brilliant people never realize their full potential for global impact. Either they are never discovered, become isolated at a young age, lack access to opportunities to develop their ideas, or face social and economic barriers.

At the same time, systems for identifying talent—such as universities and employers—too often rely on existing, traditional networks. We’re leaving countless exceptional people on the sidelines. 

Imagine if we could find those talented people, connect them to one another, and provide them with the opportunities they need to solve hard problems in science and society. That is the purpose of Rise.

Research shows that there are thousands, if not millions, of brilliant people around the world who could have made a large impact had they been discovered and supported earlier in life.

Research also shows that the networks and information young people encounter in the final years of secondary school—before college or entering the workforce—are critical to shaping the direction of their lives. At this time in life, young people are full of creative ideas, unhindered by the reasons something can’t be done, and more willing to work collaboratively.

The world’s challenges are also bigger and more complex than ever. Today’s generation of young people confront climate change; lack of access to healthy food and safe water; educational setbacks due to COVID-19; and racial, gender, and other inequality. At the same time, we have better tools than ever to solve these problems.  We need a new generation of leaders that can deal with the growing complexity of the world—and that can use the power of new tools and technologies to solve our greatest challenges.

We believe Rise can find exceptional people at this critical moment in their lives and empower them to build a better world. But we don’t just give them support once—we offer it over time, throughout their careers. That’s the power of Rise.

Everyone who applies joins a global community of leaders and gains access to free online courses and opportunities from our partners around the world.

Finalists participate in educational and leadership courses, as an award from Rise, to level up their skills and grow their networks. They also gain access to additional funding opportunities to experiment with innovative ideas to solve our hardest challenges.

100 Global Winners receive benefits for life to help them scale their impact. These benefits include a needs-based college scholarship, invitation to a Residential Summit, and mentorship and career services, and could also include graduate scholarships and funding to start a social enterprise, depending on the quality of idea and need for support as they work to serve others.

Benefits for Rise Global Winners take many shapes. The program is personalized and flexible, tailored to Global Winners’ needs as they evolve over time. We aim to provide Global Winners with individualized support to empower them to achieve their goals while they work to serve others throughout their lives.

All Rise Global Winners receive access to the following benefits and participate in the following programs upon selection:

  • Residential Summit: An invitation to attend a fully-funded, three-week residential summit with other members of the Rise Global Winner cohort—to be held in a rotating location globally for each new cohort—as well as to join network events in subsequent years.
  • Mentorship & Career Services: Mentors paired with each Global Winner to provide personal, academic, or professional guidance, and specialized career services for internships and jobs to be developed from 2022.
  • Programming: Access to specialized programs, courses, and fellowship opportunities through Rise partners. The Winners’ anchor program in 2021/22 is a Human Centered Design course designed for the Rise Winners by DC Design. Online courses are delivered on a specially designed learning platform being developed with High Resolves.
  • Global Winner Network: Access to a network of other Global Winners across cohorts to connect on common interests, make service commitments, launch enterprises, and collaborate together.
  • Higher Education Scholarships: A four-year, post-secondary scholarship at any accredited university, including tuition and a living stipend, based on need and where not already covered by financial aid.
  • Technology: Technology packages, such as laptops or tablets, to be determined each year.

In addition, all Rise Global Winners will have the opportunity to apply for the following benefits over their lifetime:

  • Partner Network: Opportunity to be matched to programs, secondary school scholarships, internships, and other benefits from partners who are part of the Rise network.
  • Funding Opportunities: Opportunity to apply for funding to experiment with innovative ideas to address major problems in local communities or around the world—ranging from seed money to start a social enterprise to a grant for a non-profit. Funds will be designated for these purposes in a total pooled amount of at least $5 million per year of the program.
  • Education Support: Opportunity to apply for scholarship funds for a graduate degree.

The application is free, and there is no cost to Rise Global Winners or their families to participate in the Rise program.

The selection process and many subsequent phases of the Rise program will be administered virtually. We intend for the 100 Rise Global Winners to convene in person each year after their selection; however, we are committed to ensuring the safety of all participants and are therefore evaluating the timing for in-person meetings for 2022 and beyond given the coronavirus pandemic.

The Rise application is currently only available to applicants with some command of the English language. In future years, we plan to develop application processes for non-English speakers.

We are committed to ensuring our application process is as accessible as possible, and we invite you to review our Accessibility Statement.

If you are unable to access the app because your device is not compatible or you have limited data, you can use Rise’s web-browser application. That option can be accessed here. We’re also distributing paper applications on an as-needed basis. Please contact us at paperapp@risefortheworld.org to inquire about this option.

Additionally, Rise is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community that reflects a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. We care about the potential applicants demonstrate in their work, not the opportunities they’ve had so far. We work with partners around the world to find talented young people who may not be discovered otherwise.

If you encounter any obstacles, we want to work with you to provide assistance. Please contact us so we can address any questions or needs that you might have.

Parent or guardian consent is required to apply. You will be prompted for this in the application process.

If you are not selected as a Rise Global Winner in 2022, you can apply again in 2023, provided you still meet the age criteria. 

By completing the application this year, you will still become part of the Rise Global Community and have access to learning resources, additional opportunities, and the network of Rise partners.

APPLY

Each year, Rise invites 15-17 year olds from around the world to participate in the Rise Challenge. Unlike many traditional applications, Rise uses videos, projects, and group interviews so applicants have multiple opportunities to showcase their potential. For applicants without access to a video recording device, we offer the option of submitting text responses. For applicants without access to technology, we offer an alternative low-tech pathway through paper applications.

The Rise Challenge encourages applicants to create an individual project that demonstrates their talents and benefits their communities, and peer review other applicants’ projects, among other activities. 

After applicants complete the Rise Challenge, Rise selects up to 500 Finalists to advance to “Finalist Days,” where they demonstrate their motivations, problem-solving abilities, and teamwork skills in an innovative interview format.

From the 500 Finalists, Rise selects up to 100 Global Winners to receive various benefits as they work to serve others.

Applicants for the 2023 cohort must be between the ages of 15 and 17 as of July 1, 2023, meaning they are born on or between July 2, 2005 and July 1, 2008.

It does not matter what country they live in, background they come from, or academic experience they have. Whether they are interested in science, innovation, technology, art, policy, community organizing, or any other discipline—we want to hear from them. 

Rise is a program that finds brilliant people who need opportunity and supports them as they work to serve others. We understand that economic barriers are not the only challenges that keep brilliant people from serving others throughout their lives.

Rise Global Winners hail from around the world and demonstrate brilliance in a range of disciplines. Some may excel in STEM fields, others may show outstanding artistic ability, and others may have a gift for community service and organizing.

All Rise Global Winners demonstrate the five Rise Traits:

  1. Brilliance
  2. Perseverance
  3. Integrity
  4. Empathy
  5. Calling

Meet the Rise Global Winners at www.risefortheworld.org/global-winners.

The purpose of our selection process is to look at the whole you, not just your past achievements—but also your potential to commit to a lifetime of service to others. To do this, we divide our selection process into distinct components so we can learn about you from as many different angles as possible.

Peer Review

Your video responses will be reviewed by a random selection of your peers according to the Rise Traits. This review will get factored along with the other information you’ve shared throughout the application process to develop a composite score.

Expert Review

The submissions receiving the highest scores will be reviewed by a panel of judges. The panel of judges includes global experts who come from diverse backgrounds and work across numerous fields.

Live Evaluation

Up to 500 Finalists will be selected to participate in a series of activities and interviews. These applicants are further evaluated by an additional review panel that selects up to 100 Global Winners.

The application is like a jigsaw puzzle of multiple pieces: your responses to the short essay questions, your reviews of other peoples’ responses, others’ reviews of your responses, your project, your profile information, and other assessments. All pieces count and together form a whole picture of you as an applicant throughout the Rise Challenge.

The main pathway for completing your application is through Rise’s web-browser application Hub. You’re encouraged to download a printable version of the questions that you can use to work on offline to develop your responses.  If you are unable to access the Rise application because you don’t have a connected device or you have limited data, you may request a printable, paper application.  

The activities are similar in each pathway, and we look for the same attributes. We encourage you to choose the pathway that works best for you based on your access to technology:

The web-browser application is accessible through web browsers, supporting both video and written responses to the prompts and peer review. Through video, you can showcase aspects of yourself that might be more challenging to get across in writing. You will get to watch and review the responses of your peers and see what they’re working on. If you apply in writing, you’ll be reviewing written responses. By applying through the web, you’ll also have access to the Rise Hub, where you can connect to Rise’s global online community on Discord and sign up to attend upcoming events.

The paper application asks for written responses to the same questions asked on the other pathway. There is no opportunity to view other people’s projects and you will need to submit a special request to gain access to the online community. Applicants who apply via the paper pathway certify that it is their sole method of entry.

The 100-day Rise Challenge begins at 12:00 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on 18 October 2022 and ends at 16:59 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on 25 January 2023. You are encouraged to pace yourself throughout this time to complete a project before it's over. How you use your time will be up to you, but Rise will provide guidance and suggestions along the way.

Each video response to a prompt should be 3 minutes or less.

Each written response to a prompt should be no more than 1600 characters, which is about 14 sentences or 2 paragraphs.

Once you select either video or text, you’re committed to that format throughout the application. We ask that you don’t use the text response option to the project prompts unless you need to because you're limited from submitting via video.

Applicants are required to provide peer review on three projects after submitting their own. In each case, you’ll review a minimum of three submissions of your peers by answering select questions. The more videos you review, the more perspective and inspiration you’ll gain.

Upon submitting your Rise project, you’ll be asked to provide peer review by reviewing the projects of three of your peers. Each project review will be a compilation of the five videos or written responses that the peer has produced. This is a total of fifteen videos. Be sure to allow yourself time to provide a thoughtful assessment.

We want to see what you care about—whatever form it takes!

You could create a piece of music, art, performance, or film; develop a new product, software service, or business; build a social or political movement; create a body of research; or anything else. We encourage you to think of creative ways that your project could benefit your community. 

Your project can be part of a larger initiative, but the work that you present in your videos or written responses must be something that you start between October 2022 and January 2023 and must be work you’ve specifically prepared for your Rise application. If you’re pursuing a passion that you’ve completed projects on previously, that’s great; just make sure the work that you’re presenting is all new. You may be asked to verify this at points throughout the application process.

Candidates are assessed individually. If you are currently working on a group project that you would like to use for the Rise Challenge, we ask that you only showcase the areas in which you work on yourself. Please be detailed and honest as to what your role and responsibilities are. If you progress to the Finalist stage, we may verify that you did what you claim. Rise Finalists and Rise Global Winners are awarded to individuals, not groups or teams.

The resources, such as the think sheets, online lessons, and workshops, are to help you with your Rise Challenge and, hopefully, enrich your experience. They are optional and will not be factored into the Rise selection process.

Each year, Rise plans to select 100 Global Winners and provide them with access to benefits that last a lifetime as they work to serve others. 

However, everyone who completes the application will have the opportunity to become part of the Rise Global Community. You will have access to a network of peers, learning resources, and additional opportunities from Rise partners around the world.  Throughout the application process, you will build professional and personal skills, learn how to tell your story, and develop your portfolio with a significant project.

Don’t worry about figuring out the probability of winning. The best way to increase your chance of winning is to finish the application!

As a requirement of entry, you represent that your submission is an original work created solely by you and that you own all intellectual property.  Please see the Representation and Warranties and Grant of Rights sections in the Rules for more information. 

We will make sure that all videos are reviewed, whether they come in on the first day or the last day of the Rise Challenge. That said, we don't recommend that you wait until the last day, as you need to upload your videos, review others’ videos, and complete your Puzzle Quiz to finish the Rise Challenge. Please allow yourself time to do this.

In addition to doing peer reviews of other projects, Stage 3 also includes a Puzzle Quiz. You can do these activities in any order. 

On the web-browser application, this short quiz will be interactive. You can only take the quiz once, and you cannot return to previous questions, so please make sure you’re in a comfortable place with a stable internet connection and no interruptions. Remember, you are not your quiz score; this is just another way of getting to know you.

Peer review is just one of many approaches to creating a fair and inclusive evaluation process.  We’ve found that YOU are able to “see” your peers as well as—if not better than—professional reviewers. The questions that your peers are asked to rate you on evaluate your answers according to the Rise Traits. 

We also recognize that no one—peer or expert— is immune from personal bias, so we use data analysis to help improve the reliability of peer review scoring. We do this to help ensure that all Rise Challenge participants are competing on a level playing field.


Peer review also has the benefit of enabling Rise to gather applications from a large number of applicants. By leveraging the power of the community, we can ensure that everyone gets evaluated across multiple personality traits.

We ask that you review one another with integrity. Not only are you on your honor to do so, but we are looking out for reviews that unfairly or negatively target other participants. Please, review honestly and fairly.

Reviewing other people's videos is a way to make you more critically aware of what works and what doesn't. The more videos you review, the more perspective and inspiration you’ll gain. You can reflect on your own work and apply your learning to your own videos. We also recommend sharing your videos with others off the platform for feedback.

You’re eligible to apply through this website if you don’t have an iOS or Android device or if using 50MB of data to apply would introduce a financial burden. If your concern is the data, you are invited to opt into the text pathway when completing your application.

The web-browser pathway has less social features than Hello World, and provides an option of applying with written responses in addition to the video response option.

The activities are similar in each pathway, and we look for the same attributes. The differences in the application formats come down to the functionality that each can support. We encourage you to choose the pathway that works best for you based on your access to technology.

Applicants that complete Stage 1 become eligible to join the Rise Community on Discord to meet other community members, participate in activities and workshops, and share ideas about your project. Participating in the Rise Discord Community is optional, but strongly encouraged.

When you complete your Registration Profile on your application, you will see the Discord connection become available on the Rise Hub. Click on it and you’ll be taken to the Discord application. Continue the steps to sign in or create an account and you’ll be taken to Rise’s Discord server.