Live at New Lab: HPE’s Living Progress Challenge Finals

On August 3rd, 2016, New Lab hosted Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Living Progress Challenge Finals—a day-long live pitch event. It was a celebration of ideas that marked the culmination of the Living Progress Challenge, the goal of which is to improve the lives of 1 million people by 2020. The Challenge combines information technology with HPE expertise and the wisdom of an expansive network to accelerate opportunity for people around the world.

Over the course of nine months, nearly 400 ideas and over 130 proposals were submitted to the Challenge from across the globe. They tackled a wide range of issues—from human rights and financial inclusion, to governance and agriculture. Ten finalists were selected to pitch an expert panel of judges, live at New Lab, over the course of an engaging, thought-provoking day.

The finalists pitched their ideas to a full house in New Lab’s event space, which was standing-room-only. As pitching concluded, Sabeen Ali, the founder and CEO of AngelHack and the event’s keynote speaker, said, “Today we’ve learned what can happen when revolutionaries partner with innovation giants – we can make the impossible, possible.”

The World Wildlife Fund and TRAFFIC were among the four winners for their solution, Detect IT: Fish, which uses trade data to fight illegal fishing. The world’s most heavily traded food commodity, global estimates suggest that more than 30 percent of all fish caught globally is done so illegally. Their prototype is a web-based tool leveraging HPE Vertica analytics technology to identify the potential trade flows of illegal products. The tool analyzes the data reported through trade reports between different countries and tracks discrepancies, making it possible to identify illegal products at a global scale and start investigations.

“A conservative estimate is 26 million tons of fish are illegally caught each year,” said Michele Kuruc of WWF during her presentation. “The ocean simply can’t sustain this level of wrongdoing and the World Wildlife Fund, with the help of HPE and Topcoder, is in the process of building a web-based application to try and help and identify these bad guys because right now it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.”

The three other winners included HPE’s Business Process Improvement Team Guadalajara for MentorME, which connects high school and college students to mentors; Points of Light for its solution that transforms how people find volunteer opportunities online; and Pact for WORTH 2.0, a tool to enable community savings groups to simplify group record-keeping and increase economic advancement.

“It was a day full of inspiration, creativity and emotion,” said Chris Wellise, senior director of social innovation and sustainability at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, adding that the Challenge “goes beyond social good.” He continued, “It is a way for HPE to actively participate in the idea economy in a manner that affects people and the environment in a positive way. The thinking behind the challenge is to generate ideas from the crowd. We are not experts in social impact, we’re technology experts.”

The event was streamed live around the world; the footage from the event can be seen here.

New Lab’s event and gallery spaces were transformed for the HPE Living Challenge Finals on August 3, 2016.

Guests at the Finals contributed to a mural on-site.

Finalists presented to a packed audience, which included a panel of ten judges.

The crowd paid close attention.

Guests gathered in advance of the announcement of the winners.

“It was a day full of inspiration, creativity and emotion,” said Chris Wellise, the senior director of social innovation and sustainability at HPE.