AVPN Global Conference 2023 | 20 - 22 June 2023


Apply to the Rise Challenge

By Schmidt Futures



Date & time


25 January 2023


25 January 2023


About this event

Rise is a program that finds brilliant people who need opportunity and supports them for life as they work to serve others. The program starts at ages 15–17 and offers a lifetime of benefits including 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.


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 that keep them from using their talents for good.

We are overlooking tens of thousands, if not millions, of “Lost Einsteins,” a term coined by the Equality of Opportunity project (Harvard University) in a 2017 research paper. These are “people who would have had highly impactful inventions had they been exposed” earlier in their lives. This is especially true for youth from low-income families and minorities.


The purpose of our selection process is to look at the whole applicant, not just their past achievements—but also their future potential. To do this, we divide our selection process into distinct components so we can learn about applicants from as many different angles as possible.

Peer Review

First, applicant video responses are reviewed by a random selection of their peers according to the Five Rise Traits (brilliance, perseverance, integrity, empathy, and calling). This review gets factored along with the other information they’ve shared throughout the application process to develop a composite score.

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.

Expert Review

The submissions receiving the highest scores are then reviewed by a panel. The panel includes global experts who come from diverse backgrounds and work across numerous fields, such as education, nonprofits, and more.

Live Evaluation

Up to 500 Finalists move onto the last stage, where they participate in a series of activities and interviews. Hundreds of expert reviewers facilitate group debates, presentations, and individual interviews and provide scores and feedback for all Finalists.

Review Panel

These applicants are further evaluated by a review panel from Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust, which selects 100 Global Winners. Ultimately, the application is like a jigsaw puzzle of multiple pieces: videos, reviews of other peoples’ videos, reviews made on applicants’ own videos, project summary, profile information, the Puzzle Quiz, and Finalist Day interviews. All pieces count and together form a whole picture of the applicants.


Everyone who applies to Rise joins a global community of leaders and gains access to our Rise online community peers from across the world as well as to access workshops, events, community activities, support for their Rise Challenge and sharing of different opportunities beyond Rise.

500 Finalists participate in educational and leadership courses to level up their skills and grow their networks and gain access to additional funding opportunities to experiment with innovative ideas to solve our hardest challenges.

100 Global Winners have the opportunity to receive benefits for life to help them scale their impact over time. These benefits could include scholarships for university, mentorship and career services, and funding to start a social enterprise, depending on their demonstrated need for support as they work to serve others.

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