Peace and stability are baseline conditions for economic prosperity and a thriving society, and both are at risk with escalating conflicts and economic shocks. Instability and conflict can severely erode economic prospects, reverse years of development gains, and exacerbate vulnerabilities. Poverty and lack of quality jobs contribute to conflict. With 114 million people forcibly displaced due to war, violence, and climate-related disasters, two billion workers worldwide in informal, precarious jobs, and disruptions from AI and other tech, the stakes are high.
Technology and innovation can be powerful tools to promote peace and prosperity. Social media has increased misinformation and polarization, but when well-designed, it also improved cohesion and civic participation and reduced the odds of violent conflict. Similarly, while technology can lead to more precarity, it can also facilitate more inclusive financial systems, new job opportunities, and more resilience. Ethically designing and implementing technology is a key component of building and maintaining more peaceful communities and inclusive economies.
MIT Solve seeks exceptional solutions leveraging technology to increase peace and prosperity. Our focus for 2024 centers on solutions that:
- Promote and sustain peace by increasing community dialogue, civic participation, reconciliation, and justice efforts; strengthening cyber security, and monitoring or preventing violence, misinformation, and polarization.
- Foster financial and digital inclusion by supporting access to credit, digital identity tools, and insurance while securing privacy and personal data.
- Generate new economic opportunities and buffer against economic shocks for workers, including good job creation, workforce development, and inclusive and attainable asset ownership.
Special Call: Black & Brown Innovators in the US Program
Systemic inequities and institutional failures contribute to Black and Brown families in the US owning just 24 cents for every $1 of white family wealth. As part of Solve’s ongoing work on US racial equity, we encourage those from the US working to address these disparities to apply for the Challenge and receive additional support through our Black & Brown Innovators in the US Program.