Knight News Challenge

The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information. Winners receive a share of $5 million in funding and support from Knight’s network of influential peers and advisors to help advance their ideas. The first round of 2013, which opens in February, will invite innovators from all disciplines to focus on tools for open government. In 2012, three challenge rounds, each focused on an emerging trend, drew more than 2,500 entries.

Challenge 1 - on NETWORKS: Winners were announced June 18.

Challenge 2 - on DATA: Winners were announced Sept. 20.

Challenge 3 – on MOBILE: Winners were announced Jan. 17.

Anyone, anywhere can apply for the challenge - whether for-profit start-ups or non-profit ventures. For more information on a variety of topics - from guidelines for for-profits, on intellectual property licensing, open source software and more - visit our FAQ.

Apps for Good: creating the next generation of problem-solvers and imagineers

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1. What is your project? [1 sentence]

Apps for Good is a fast-growing education movement (and we want to take it global!) where we challenge the way technology is taught in schools and we teach young people how to embrace, imagine and build the technology tools of the future – one app at a time. 

2. How will your project use mobile tools and approaches? [2 sentences]

Since 2010, Apps for Good has been teaching young people to create apps to solve problems they care about and to imagine new business opportunities. For our 50-70h mobile app course, all ideas are evaluated based on how much the app solution can really tap into the native features and benefits of smartphones and thus students move from being users to creators of mobile tools. 

3. Who will use it and why? [1 sentence]

We aim for students in every school around the world to have exposure to app development, because it gives them and their teachers access to the knowledge to imagine, create and develop tools to address 21st century problems. 

4. Please list three ways they would learn about your project.

Via our free, public and open source web content: just through word-of-mouth we have reached 120 organizations in nine countries in only a few months and without any targeted marketing.

Via recommendations from other schools: peer referral has been the strongest driver of new schools signing up to Apps for Good

Via press: Apps for Good has been covered in key publications, including The Times, Guardian, Wired and BBC:

5. What connections have you made, or will you make, with others [communities, organizations or networks] about your project? [2 sentences] 

Our business model is built on 4 strong communities to create real value: students & alumni, educators, experts and funders. We are working closely with alumni (1,250 today), teachers and schools (today: 250 teachers in 100 UK schools and 5,000+ active students, plus 500 more schools on the waiting list), 300 professional designers, developers and entrepreneurs volunteering their time, and a community of corporate and philanthropic funders (Dell, Facebook, Thomson Reuters, Omidyar Network etc.).

6. What part of the project have you already built? [1-2 sentences, feel free to include links]

We have built a national UK movement now ready for global roll-out: from a modest start in 2 centres, 2 teachers and 50 students in 2010, the movement has grown exponentially to 100 schools across the UK with more than 250 teachers delivering courses to 5,000+ students. We just launched our online platform as the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to create a backbone infrastructure where our students will be able to post their app projects, teachers to access our content and experts to connect with schools.


What is Apps for Good

Mohima & the Transit app team

7. What does success for your project look like? [1-2 sentences]

We want to become a global movement and the world largest app accelerator & incubator, helping millions of young people to build futures for themselves, imagining, designing and promoting apps that do good around the world. We want to redefine what an app is and include all manner of transformational initiatives connecting the real and digital world. 

8. What resources do you need to succeed? [1-2 sentences]

Our 4 key audiences need to see the value of our work and we need to fulfil their needs: (1) educators keen to deliver and improve our content, (2) students excited to go through our courses, (3) experts passionate to volunteer their time & skills and (4) funders prepared to invest in the next generation of creators of technology and the infrastructure needed. And we need a strong team to make it happen. 

Additional details:
Please list who is on your team: 


  • Iris Lapinski, CEO(In March 2012 the Observer named Iris as one of Britain’s 50 New Radicals for her work with Apps for Good)
  • Debbie Forster, COO
  • Ilana Jackman, Head of Fundraising and Corporate Partnerships
  • Luísa Gockel, Development Manager
  • Paul Edkins, Data and Analysis Manager
  • Jakub Prudzienica, Lead Developer
  • Satwant Kenth, Content Specialist
  • Robert Rankin, Community Manager
  • Joe Molloy, Project Manager
  • Myrian Schwitzner, Project Manager
  • Ainomaija Peramaki, Office Manager


  • Rodrigo Baggio (Chairman), CDI Global, Chairman and Founder
  • Charles Leadbeater (Co-Chair), Writer and Consultant
  • Kevin Eyres (Independent Lead Trustee), Technology entrepreneur, angel investor, former European MD of LinkedIn
  • Reinhard Gorenflos, (Treasurer) Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts (KKR), Managing Partner Europe
  • Lord Jim Knight of Weymouth (Trustee), former UK Schools Minister
  • Mauricio Davila (Trustee), CDI Global Director
  • Olivier Kayser (Trustee), HYSTRA, Founder and Managing Director
  • Miguel Pestana (Trustee), Unilever, Vice President Global External Affairs
  • Bryan Jones (Trustee), Dell, Executive Director of Europe Marketing


  • Chris Moss,Virgin Atlantic marketing director, creator of the Orange brand
  • Maggie Philbin, journalist and BBC presenter

Expected number of months to complete project:
36 months
Estimated Project Cost:
$ 1,000,000
Luisa Gockel
Twitter: @
Email address:
Organization [if applicable]:
CDI Apps for Good
United Kingdon
How did you learn about the contest? 
Knight Foundation’s website

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