Advancing Life & Work

Innovation for Social Impact: Wrapping-up the Living Progress Challenge


Though a lot has changed since the garage days of Hewlett-Packard Company, that passionate, persistent, and bold entrepreneurial spirit has remained a core part of our company and culture.

Last year, HPE launched the Living Progress Challenge, asking the global community: what digital tools and software applications would you create to improve people’s lives? Our goal: improve the lives of 1 million people by 2020.

What digital tools and software applications would you create to improve people’s lives?

We accepted ideas and proposal from anyone around the globe, seeking to bring HPE expertise and technology to individuals and NGO experts in the field in order to address pressing social and environmental challenges. The response was overwhelming:

What made this award-winning program truly unique was our ability to tap into the creative brainpower of thousands of HPE technologists and subject matter experts across the world. We harnessed the power of the crowd through our own Spark community of over 12,000 global employees, and partnered with Topcoder’s global community of over one million design and technology experts to rapidly develop innovative solutions.

As we wrap up the Living Progress Challenge, we’re reflecting upon our past year managing this innovative program, and we’re celebrating the creation of four new digital tools that will help make a positive difference in the world.  

These four solutions span a range of impact areas—from helping rural women gain access to financial tools; to combatting the illegal trade of fisheries products; to connecting youth in Mexico with mentors; and helping the world’s largest volunteer organization transform the way people engage in their communities.

Each are now in final testing phases and will be launching over the coming weeks and months.

Here’s a sneak peek at their solutions:


DETECT-IT: Fish, from World Wildlife Fund and TRAFFIC

A web-based tool enabling automated data collection, comparison, and analytical assessment to detect and tackle illegal trade of fisheries products. More than 30% of all fish caught globally is illegal, causing up to $36.4 billion in global losses each year while contributing to overfishing and threatening food security. As DETECT-IT is tested and refined, this technology can be used to crack down on other highly-trafficked natural resources, including timber and wildlife

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MyWorth, from Pact

A simple, reliable digitized recordkeeping system for community-based savings groups, designed to meet the unique needs of poor and financially excluded women globally. This mobile application builds on the successful paper-and-pencil-based WORTH program in more than 15 countries around the world. MyWORTH will help women’s community savings groups increase their savings, formalize recordkeeping, and connect with global financial opportunities to enhance their wealth.


MentorME, from HPE Guadelajara

An application that matches high school students with mentors and uses a gaming approach to track students’ progress. MentorME will help students in Mexico—which has among the highest high school dropout rates in the world —and beyond to complete school, train for good jobs, and achieve their potential.

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All For Good, from Points of Light

An internet hub to transform the way people discover volunteer opportunities online. By recommending targeted opportunities, All for Good enables people to connect to the right impact project based on their interests, skills, and social connections.

These teams reflect that same innovative and entrepreneurial drive that we honor in start-ups, and that we see as core to who we are at HPE. For some of the NGO teams, this was the first time pursuing digital tools into their problem-solving. Teams were courageous, they learned about their user needs and wants, and they iterated to apply new learnings. They were fast and smart, motivated by the profound belief in a vision of what was possible.

The potential for technology to solve challenges in new ways, to enable faster scale, and to invite people around the world into the global economy is limitless. With technological innovation and entrepreneurial resolve we know change is possible. We hope everyone will join us as we track the Living Progress Challenge solutions that will launch over the coming months. We know the deeply exciting advances for the organizations, and the people they serve, lie just ahead.

Christopher Wellise
Chief Sustainability Officer
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

twitter.gif @CWellise
linkedin.gif Christopher-Wellise


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