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The WorldClass Education Challenge: Deloitte and the World Economic Forum launch latest UpLink initiative to advance education solutions

  • Seeking submissions for innovative learning solutions focused on Africa and Asia
  • Submissions selected will receive up to US$1 million in professional services on a pro bono basis along with financial grants
  • The Innovation Challenge builds upon Deloitte’s WorldClass initiative and helps advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #4 to provide a quality education for all
  • UpLink, the World Economic Forum’s open innovation platform, connects social impact entrepreneurs to the resources, expertise and experience to help bring about positive societal impact

KUALA LUMPUR, 12 May 2021 – Today, Deloitte and the World Economic Forum (the Forum) announced the launch of The WorldClass Education Challenge, a joint initiative inviting educators, entrepreneurs, and innovators to work alongside Deloitte professionals to advance solutions that will support access to a quality education for more of the world’s students. In collaboration with the Forum, Deloitte is seeking submissions via UpLink to discover, invest, and scale novel educational approaches that have proven successful at advancing learning during the pandemic. The world is at a critical junction to prepare the more than one billion school-aged children for the jobs of the future, which will require a lifelong commitment to learning.

This Innovation Challenge builds upon the existing efforts of Deloitte’s WorldClass initiative to support 100 million individuals by 2030 in accessing the quality education, skills, and opportunities required for the future of work. Deloitte’s goal in Southeast Asia is to support five million individuals, out of the global goal of 100 million.

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted students' education worldwide while also illustrating the possibilities for what learning in the future could look like. Unless urgent action is taken now, this moment could prove to be a year of lost learning, exacerbating education inequity. Deloitte and the Forum have been inspired to launch this Innovation Challenge to improve the educational outlook for more of the world’s students. Solutions in Africa and Asia, where the majority of the world’s children and youth will live and learn over the next decade, are the primary focus.

The Cohort selected will receive up to US$1 million in professional services on a pro bono basis, financial grants, a dedicated relationship manager to support the organizations’ collaboration with Deloitte, and participation in selected Forum and Deloitte events, projects, and communities.

“Education is a fundamental building block for a strong, well-functioning society. It is essential business play a role in preventing the impacts of COVID-19 from exacerbating the education gap,” says Punit Renjen, Deloitte Global CEO. “This is a moment to catalyze change, and this Innovation Challenge will allow us to identify and support bold, high-impact ideas and approaches to address the global education crisis.”

Submissions will be accepted via the Forum’s UpLink WorldClass Education Challenge page from 12 May 2021 – 20 June 2021. Proposals must demonstrate the ability to reach scale, and address one, or more, of the following areas:

  • Equitable access to education: We are looking for models that provide equitable access for students who are being left behind. Learning cannot be limited only to those with access to an in-person classroom and teacher. Girls around the world, children in rural communities, and other marginalized groups have been disproportionately affected by unequal access to education.
  • Investing in teachers: We are looking for models that invest in the teaching profession and teachers’ future-ready skills so they, in turn, can better prepare students for the new economy. We must invest in, provide development opportunities for, and continually upskill teachers while also attracting top talent to the profession.
  • Skills for the future: We are looking for models that invest in the skills students will need in 2030 and beyond. One billion global youth will enter the workforce over the next decade into jobs that do not exist today. Educators have the daunting task of bridging the gap between what is taught in the classroom today and the jobs of the future.

“We are thrilled to be launching the WorldClass Education Challenge on UpLink; this is our first Innovation Challenge to address SDG 4: Quality Education,” says John Dutton, Head of UpLink, World Economic Forum. “It is a real opportunity for us to surface the creativity and ingenuity which we know exists within local ventures, and to connect these to influential networks with the resources and the drive to scale them.”

Deloitte is launching this Innovation Challenge via UpLink – a free and open digital platform which Deloitte designed and developed in collaboration with The Forum and Salesforce. UpLink is a platform to crowdsource solutions, which address the world’s most pressing issues, as outlined by the Sustainable Development Goals, and seeks to connect the most-promising submissions to the expertise, resources and networks which can scale the venture and accelerate their impact.


About the Deloitte societal-impact commitment

Deloitte’s purpose, to make an impact that matters, compels us to act on the increasingly complex challenges society faces today. We are committed to responsible business practices, serving the public interest and working to create a better, more sustainable world for people, our clients and the planet.
Through WorldClass we aim to develop job skills, improve educational outcomes and expand opportunities for 100 million people worldwide by 2030. Our WorldClimate strategy sets out our approach to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030 and engage our professionals and collaborate with our clients to address the climate crisis. Our ALL IN diversity, equity and inclusion strategy supports a culture where all Deloitte people have equal opportunities to grow, develop and succeed.

Learn more about our commitments here.

About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), its global network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) and each of its member firms and their affiliated entities are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL does not provide services to clients. Please see to learn more.

Deloitte Asia Pacific Limited is a company limited by guarantee and a member firm of DTTL. Members of Deloitte Asia Pacific Limited and their related entities, each of which is a separate and independent legal entity, provide services from more than 100 cities across the region, including Auckland, Bangkok, Beijing, Bengaluru, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, New Delhi, Osaka, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei and Tokyo.

© 2021 Deloitte Southeast Asia Ltd

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