Gulbenkian Award for Adult Literacy

The Gulbenkian Award for Adult Literacy was created through a partnership between the Gulbenkian Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Solve), aiming to find global technology-based solutions to promote basic and transversal literacies in adults – tools that will be particularly relevant in the post-Covid-19 scenario. Applications until June 18.


Covid-19 caught the job market in a process of transformation due to automation, artificial intelligence and other technological innovations.

The pandemic has, on the one hand, exacerbated the effects of economic changes and is already having disruptive effects in the employment and entrepreneurial context. On the other hand, this crisis on a global scale presents itself as an opportunity for new businesses and new jobs. The professionals with better skills, better resources and an increased network are expected to be the ones who will more easily manage to transform the negative effects of the pandemic into new opportunities.

The Gulbenkian Award for Adult Literacy will contemplate those who can provide the best answers to the Global Challenges MIT Solve proposed for 2020: Good Jobs & Inclusive Entrepreneurship and Learning for Girls & Women (alongside with the Maternal & Newborn Health, Sustainable Food Systems e Health Security & Pandemics Challenges).

The solutions can be based anywhere in the world, and must include at least one pilot phase in Portugal. The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation will help Solver Teams to find local partners for this purpose. Applications are open until June 18, 2020, at MIT Solve website.

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation will provide up to 300,000 USD in prizes and MIT Solve will ensure, in addition to financial support, a mentoring and monitoring network for selected projects.

How to apply

The Gulbenkian Award for Adult Literacy is available in two of the four categories of MIT Solve contest: “Good Jobs & Inclusive Entrepreneurship” and “Learning for Girls & Women”.

To submit your proposal you must access the Global Challenges website, register on the platform, choose one of the two mentioned challenges and choose to submit the project to the “Gulbenkian Award for Adult Literacy”.


Virtual Solve at MIT 2020
Tue, 12 May 2020 – Registration required

This is a digital event taking place within the MIT Solve Global Challenges 2020. As a member, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation will talk about the Gulbenkian Award for Adult Literacy and will join the speakers of this meeting that will discuss the access to better jobs and opportunities, particularly of marginalized populations.

This event will feature General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, MIT President L. Rafael Reif, NASA astronaut Cady Coleman, Trustee of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Carlos Moedas, Director of the Gulbenkian Knowledge Programme, Pedro Cunha, among others.

To attend, apply at MIT Solve website

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