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official rules




Challenge Entry Period: February 11, 2013 – April 1, 2013

Finalists and Winners will be announced on June 18, 2013.


SPONSOR: The Rockefeller Foundation, 420 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10018, +1 212 869 8500, (“Sponsor”).

CHALLENGE ADMINISTRATOR: Context Partners, (“Challenge Administrator”).

ELIGIBILITY: The Rockefeller Foundation Centennial Innovation Challenge (“Challenge”) is open only to entrants who are (a) persons age 18 or older at the time of entry, or (b) public or private organizations (e.g. not-for-profit organizations, governmental, non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations, private businesses, academic institutions, associations, guilds, membership organizations or municipalities) (each, an “Entrant”).

Employees of Sponsor, Challenge Administrator, vendors working with either in connection with the Challenge, or any other individual or company involved in the development or execution of the Challenge, and members of their immediate families (spouse, domestic partner, parent, child, sibling and their respective spouses or domestic partners, regardless of where the individual resides) and persons residing in the same households with the foregoing individuals, whether or not related, are not eligible.

The Challenge is international in scope. However, Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons of the U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), and any individual or organization with whom a financial or other dealing by the Sponsor would be considered a “prohibited transaction” (defined by OFAC as trade or financial transactions and other dealings in which U.S. persons may not engage unless authorized by OFAC or expressly exempted by statute) are not eligible.

CHALLENGE ENTRY PERIOD: The Challenge begins at 9 A.M. Greenwich Mean Time (“GMT”) on February 11, 2013 and ends at 23:59:59 GMT on April 1, 2013 (unless extended by Sponsor in its sole and absolute discretion) (“Entry Period”).

CHALLENGE OBJECTIVE: Identify innovative ideas that address the challenges faced by and support the livelihoods of poor or vulnerable people working in the informal economy. For purposes of the Challenge, “innovation” is a new product, process or service that breaks from previous practice. It occurs when different points of view or existing elements are framed, imagined or combined in new ways or when a new pathway is created for solving entrenched social problems, resulting in lasting change within the systems that affect poor or vulnerable people.

AUTHORIZATION: Before submitting an Entry on behalf of an eligible institution or group, the individual completing the Entry Form must be authorized by such institution or group to submit all information and material contained in the Entry and to grant all rights and releases granted on behalf of the respective institution or group in these Official Rules and in the Sponsor’s privacy policy and, upon request of the Sponsor, must be able to confirm such authorization in writing in a form acceptable to Sponsor. Such individual agrees to indemnify and hold the Rockefeller Parties (as defined in “Releases” section below) harmless for any claims, damages, losses and expenses (including, without limitation, reasonable attorney fees’ and court costs), any Rockefeller Party may sustain from his/her failure to obtain all necessary written permissions before submitting the Entry.

HOW TO ENTER: Visit (“Website”) and follow all onscreen instructions to complete and submit the Entry Form online. Entry Forms must be completed in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish or Thai and be submitted online. All Entries must include all information required on the Entry Form. The completed Entry Form and all other Challenge-related materials submitted to Sponsor are collectively referred to herein as “Entry.” To qualify for judging, the Entry must be received by April 1, 2013, 23:59:59 GMT on the last day of the Entry Period. "Receipt" of an Entry occurs when Sponsor’s server records a completed Entry after the Website’s "Submit" button has been clicked.

Any automated computer receipt (such as an electronic notice confirming the Entry) does not constitute proof of actual receipt by Sponsor. All Entry Forms submitted will remain in Sponsor’s possession and will not be returned or acknowledged; however, Entrant retains all ownership rights in Entry content. Incomplete, misdirected, lost, illegible, or delayed entries are not eligible and will not be judged.

ENTRY SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: Entries will consist of contact information, including an email address, a description of the innovation, the problem it addresses, who it will help and how it will improve the livelihoods of poor or vulnerable people working in the informal economy.

There is no limit to the number of entries that an individual or organization can submit. Multiple representatives from one organization can submit multiple entries as long as the innovation is different.

If the Entry includes elements not owned by Entrant, the Entrant is responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions before submitting an Entry, including all releases and consents necessary to permit the use of the Entry by Sponsor as described in these Official Rules. Sponsor reserves the right to request written proof of necessary permissions in a form acceptable to Sponsor from any Entrant at any time. Failure to provide requested proof may render the Entry null and void.

Entries may not include profanity, sexually explicit or suggestive content, or content that (i) is violent or derogatory of any ethnic, racial, gender, sexual, religious, professional, or age group, or otherwise inappropriate content, as determined by the judges and/or Sponsor in its sole discretion, (ii) defames, misrepresents or contains disparaging remarks about Sponsor or any person or organization; (iii) contains trademarks, logos, or trade dress (such as distinctive packaging or building exteriors/interiors) owned by others, without permission, to the extent permission is necessary; (iv) contains copyrighted, patentable or other proprietary materials, without permission, to the extent permission is necessary; (v) contains materials embodying the names, likenesses or voices of any person, living or dead, without permission, to the extent permission is necessary; (vi) communicates messages or images inconsistent with Sponsor’s mission to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world, the positive images and/or good will with which Sponsor wishes to associate; (vii) contains any confidential information; (viii) contains materials that violates any right of publicity or privacy or other rights of any nature; and/or (ix) violates any law or regulation. The Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any Entry at any stage for failing to execute any required documentation or for engaging in any activity which offends the public morals, embarrasses the Sponsor or violates the law of any jurisdiction. The decision of the Sponsor and its agents on all matters pertaining to the Challenge shall be final and binding.

Please consider carefully the information included in the Entry. If there are any doubts about whether confidential or proprietary information may be disclosed, Sponsor recommends consulting with legal counsel. Please consider whether information is critical for evaluating the submission and whether more general information may be adequate for these purposes. Notwithstanding the characterization of any information as being confidential by an Entrant, Entries will not be received or held “in confidence,” and a submission does not create a confidential relationship or obligation of secrecy between any Entrant and the Sponsor, its affiliates or Challenge Administrator. Sponsor and Challenge Administrator will not assert that the Entrant granted to them any ownership rights in the contents of the Entry, but Sponsor and Challenge Administrator may disclose all information contained in any Entry to the extent they determine is necessary to evaluate and use the material for purposes of the Challenge and as may be required by law. Sponsor reserves the right to request additional information once the Entry has been received and prior to judging. In addition, prior to and following judging and the declaration of the Finalists, Sponsor may conduct inspections and interviews to verify information in the Entry.

By submitting an Entry, the Entrant represents that the Entry conforms to these Official Rules and understands that Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, disqualify an Entry for any reason, including if it determines that the Entry fails to conform to these Official Rules in any way or otherwise contains unacceptable content.

GRANT OF RIGHTS: By submitting an Entry, each Entrant hereby (1) grants permission for the Entry to be posted on the Website as well as related Sponsor websites, social media pages and materials and otherwise used in accordance with the rights granted in these Official Rules and all Challenge-related materials should the entry be shortlisted, a finalist and/or a winner, (2) grants to Sponsor and its successors, licensees and assigns an unlimited, perpetual, irrevocable, assignable, royalty-free, fully paid-up license to publish and use the contents of the Entry, in whole or in part, in any manner and in any and all media now known or hereafter devised throughout the world in connection with the Challenge and Sponsor’s future challenges consistent with Sponsor’s mission to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world, without compensation or notification to, or further permission from, the Entrant or any third party and (3) waives any moral rights in the Entry to the extent they can be waived under any jurisdiction. Sponsor and the Challenge Administrator reserve the right to modify the text of nominations in published materials to better highlight innovative elements according to the applicable definition of “innovation” or to comply with Foundation processes and procedures.

JUDGING: All eligible Entries received during the Entry Period will be screened by the Challenge Administrator for completeness, compliance with these Official Rules, and adherence to the Challenge Objective. The Challenge Administrator will advance for judging up to 25 Entries determined by it, in its sole discretion, to have the most promise for Catalytic Innovation, Impact, Context, and Spark, to improve the lives of poor or vulnerable persons working in the informal sector will be advanced for judging as “Shortlisted Entrants” (subject to further verification of eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules). Sponsor and Challenge Administrator reserve the right to select fewer than 25 Shortlisted Entrants.

ROUND 1: All eligible Shortlisted Entrants will be judged by a panel of expert judges (the “Judges”) using the following criteria (the “Scoring System”):

  1. Catalytic Innovation (4 points) The extent to which the idea:
    1. Develops a product, process or service that yields new pathways for solving acute problems;
    2. Reframes, reimagines, or recombines different points of view and different existing elements for sufficient action or impact;
    3. Shows potential for implementation and replication;
    4. Is rooted in a methodology or process;
    5. Accounts and accommodates for risks and potential unintended consequences.
  2. Impact (3 points) The extent to which the idea could significantly benefit poor or vulnerable people if implemented because it:
    1. Improves the livelihoods and quality of life of poor or vulnerable people working in the informal economy;
    2. Is adaptable to different occupations and work situations in the informal economy;
    3. Addresses a core need or core needs faced by the poor or vulnerable population it seeks to impact.
    4. Context (2 points) The extent to which the idea responds to context:
    5. Accounts for specific contexts (geographies, beliefs, norms);
    6. Attempts to solve a particular problem (or a set of problems).
  3. Spark (1 point) The extent to which the idea:
    1. Generates for its originality, expression and potential.

From the Shortlisted Entrants, the Judges will select up to the top 15 Entries to advance to Round 2 as the “Finalists” (subject to further verification of eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules). Sponsor reserves the right to select fewer than 15 Finalists. Each Finalist will receive recognition on the Sponsor’s Centennial website and will be invited to join the Sponsor’s Global Engagement Network when it is established.

ROUND 2: All eligible Finalists will be judged anew by the Sponsor. Sponsor shall select up to 10 of the Finalists’ Entries that it determines, in its sole discretion, show the most promise for Catalytic Innovation, Context, Impact, and Spark, as defined in the Scoring System, and consistency with the Sponsor’s mission to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world (the “Winners”).

AWARD: Each Winner will receive recognition on the Sponsor’s Centennial website and by announcement at its 2013 Innovation Forum. Each Winner will receive technical assistance in the form of marketing and positioning support from the Challenge Administrator and/or other advisor(s), in Sponsor’s sole discretion, including support in refining the idea and developing funding proposals. Development of the idea may include, if the Winner is an individual or otherwise not qualified under Sponsor’s practices and procedures to receive a grant, an introduction of the Winner to an institution (“Host Institution”) to serve as a potential grantee of Sponsor to develop the idea contained in the Entry. Sponsor will invite up to 10 institutional Winners or Host Institutions to apply for a grant of up to US $100,000 to further develop the idea. No grants will be awarded to individuals. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, not to award a grant to any or all Winners or Host Institutions.

Awards may be subject to taxes at varying levels depending on the recipient’s country of residence and/or citizenship. It is the recipient’s responsibility to comply with tax requirements. Finalists may not substitute, transfer or redeem for cash all or any part of an Award.

FINALIST NOTIFICATION: Each Finalist will be notified by mail, telephone and/or email at the end of the Round 1 judging and may be required, unless prohibited by law, to execute, notarize and return an Affidavit of Eligibility, Grant of Rights & Release of Liability and a Publicity Release and a W-9 Miscellaneous Form or other tax documentation forms ("Notification Documents") so they are received by Sponsor or its designated agent within 15 days after notification is issued (or other period determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion) or the Finalist may be disqualified. A prepaid overnight mailing envelope or the equivalent will be provided to each Finalist.

Upon notification, Finalists agree to keep this information strictly confidential until the announcement of Winners is made public by the Sponsor. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify the Entry in the event the Finalist breaches this confidentiality obligation.

If it is determined that a Finalist cannot be contacted, is contacted but does not respond within 15 days, cannot continue in the Challenge for any reason, has not complied with these Official Rules, has failed to execute and return any Notification Documents within the specified time period, or has made false statements, then that Finalist will be disqualified.

At the discretion of the Sponsor, each Finalist (i) may be contacted and required, in Sponsor’s discretion, to provide additional information and have information verified; and (ii) may be required to submit to a confirmation or background check of any and all records, including, without limitation, civil and criminal court records and police reports. Entry and participation in the Challenge constitutes permission for Sponsor to request and verify additional information and conduct background check and confirmation, provided that, to the extent additional authorization is necessary under law, the Finalist shall authorize such background check. Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any Finalist who fails to authorize such check or if, based on the results of the background check, Sponsor determines, in its sole discretion, that a Finalist might reflect negatively on Sponsor.

All Finalists and Winners selected are subject to verification by Sponsor and must meet all eligibility requirements including execution and return of all Notification Documents. The decisions of the Judges and the Sponsor will be final and binding. Sponsor reserves the right not to choose any Finalists if, in its sole discretion, it does not receive enough or any eligible and qualified Entries.

PUBLICITY: By participating in the Challenge, Entrants grant Sponsor and its designees, affiliates, licensees, and assigns, permission (except where prohibited by law) to use each Entrant’s name, hometown (city and state/country of residence), likeness, voice, description of idea, statements and photograph (all at Sponsor’s discretion) for any purpose related to the Challenge and Sponsor, including future advertising and publicity of Sponsor in any and all media now known or later developed throughout the world in perpetuity, in any manner, without additional compensation or notification to, or permission from, the Entrant.

RELEASES: By participating in this Challenge, each participant agrees to these Official Rules and releases Sponsor, Challenge Administrator and the respective subsidiaries, affiliates, all businesses involved in the development or execution of this Challenge as well as each of their respective employees, officers, representatives, shareholders, directors, trustees and agents (collectively “Rockefeller Parties”), from all liability, claims or actions of any kind whatsoever, known or unknown, including injuries and claims of infringement from any third party for any use by Sponsor of any Entries, damages or losses of any kind to persons and/or property which may be sustained in connection with either directly or indirectly, the awarding, receipt, ownership, use or misuse of any prize awarded here or participation in the Challenge. Rockefeller Parties are not responsible if the Challenge cannot take place or be completed due to cancellations, delays or interruptions due to acts of God, acts of war, natural disasters, weather or acts of terrorism. Each Entrant hereby knowingly waives all rights and benefits under California Civil Code Section 1542 which states: A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does not know or suspect to exist in his or her favor at the time of executing the release, which if known by him or her must have materially affected his or her settlement with the debtor as well as any law of any other jurisdiction that limits any release of unknown claims. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, Entrant hereby agrees that the Rockefeller Parties are not responsible for any unauthorized use of Entries by third parties and that the Rockefeller Parties will have no obligation to make any use whatsoever of any Entry and may cease using any Entry for any reason or for no reason at any time, in their sole discretion.

GENERAL: Rockefeller Parties are not responsible for problems uploading or downloading any Challenge-related information from the Website or for any other technical malfunctions of electronic equipment, computer online systems, servers, or providers, computer hardware or software failures, phone lines, failure of any Entry to be received by Sponsor on account of technical problems, traffic, congestion on the internet or the Website, or any other technical problems related to Entries including telecommunication miscommunication or failure, and failed, lost, delayed, incomplete, garbled or misdirected communications which may limit an Entrant’s ability to participate in this Challenge or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the Challenge, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the Challenge, the processing or judging of Entries, the tabulation of votes, the announcement of the Winners, or the incorrect uploading of the Entry. Rockefeller Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by Website users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Challenge. Rockefeller Parties are not responsible for injury or damage to any person's computer related to or resulting from participating in this Challenge or downloading materials from or use of the Website. Persons who tamper with or abuse any aspect of the Challenge or Website, who act in a disruptive manner or who are in violation of these Official Rules, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified and all associated Entries will be void. Sponsor reserves the right to modify, suspend or terminate the Challenge in the event it becomes infected by a computer virus or is otherwise technically impaired, and to cancel or suspend the Challenge in its entirety should tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or other causes corrupt the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper operation of the Challenge. If this is the case, the Finalists may be determined from among all non-suspect, eligible Entries received prior to cancellation using the judging process set forth herein. In the event of a dispute regarding the identity of any Entrant submitting an idea, the Entry will be deemed to be submitted by the registered subscriber of the e-mail account associated with such Entry and he/she must comply with these Official Rules. CAUTION: Any attempt by an individual to deliberately damage any website or undermine the legitimate operations of the Challenge may be a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such an attempt be made, the Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages and other legal remedies (including attorneys’ fees) from any such individual to the fullest extent permitted by law and, if applicable, to disqualify all applicable Entries from the Challenge.

GOVERNING LAW: This Challenge shall be governed by and interpreted under the laws of the State of New York, U.S.A. without regard to its conflicts of laws provisions. All participants in the Challenge hereby irrevocably (1) agree that any and all disputes, claims, causes of action, or controversies (“Claims”) arising out of or in connection with this Challenge shall be brought exclusively in the state or federal courts located in New York County in the State of New York, USA and (2) consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of those courts and waive any objection to such venue based on grounds of forum non conveniens. Should any part of these Official Rules be declared invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction of the State of New York, such invalidation should not invalidate the remaining portions of these Official Rules, and they shall remain in full force and effect.

Personal Information: Information collected from any participant in the Challenge is subject to these Official Rules and Sponsor’s privacy policy, available at and will be used by Sponsor in accordance with these Official Rules and its privacy policy. For our international users, please be aware that the information you submit is collected in the United States of America. In addition to being subject to these Official Rules and our privacy policy, the collection, storage, and use of your data will be subject to U.S. laws and regulations, which may be different from the laws and regulations of your home country. By participating in the Challenge, you are consenting to this collection, storage, and use.

WINNERS’ LIST: For a list of Finalists and Winners, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope by December 1, 2013 to: The Rockefeller Foundation Centennial Innovation Challenge Finalists, 420 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10018, or visit

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