Announcing the Judges of the Rethink Supply Chains Challenge

We’re excited to announce the Judges of the Rethink Supply Chains Challenge. The Judges will select up to five Finalist teams to receive cash prizes of $20,000, and will ultimately select a Grand Prize Winner who will receive $250,000 to build their proposed solution.

We’ve assembled a diverse panel from the fields of business, tech, philanthropy, and human rights. The Judges for the Rethink Supply Chains Challenge are:

Randy Newcomb_1Randy Newcomb
CEO, Humanity United
As President and CEO, Randy Newcomb leads all aspects of Humanity United’s strategic planning, development, and operations. He works closely with the organization’s founders and Board of Trustees to ensure that Humanity United achieves its long-term mission and strategic objectives. Prior to joining Humanity United, Randy was a Vice President of Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm, where he focused on developing global partnerships and investments across a variety of sectors. Prior to Omidyar Network, Randy served for 14 years as Executive Director of Golden Gate Community Inc., a community based organization in San Francisco.

Pascal Levensohn_1Pascal Levensohn
Managing Director, Dolby Family Ventures, L.P.
Pascal joined Dolby Family Ventures, L.P. as a Managing Director in 2014 after advising the Dolby family on its direct technology investment portfolio since 2012. Since 1996, Pascal has been the Managing Partner of Levensohn Venture Partners LLC (LVP) and the CEO of Generation Strategic Advisors LLC (GSA) and its predecessor entities. While he continues to serve in both of these positions, Pascal has transitioned his new technology venture capital investing activities to the Dolby family organization. LVP invested over $200 million in early and development stage emerging companies, emphasizing semiconductor, security, digital media, and enterprise software sectors across three funds.

Natasha Dolby_1Natasha Dolby
Research Fellow, WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice
Natasha Dolby has spent over a decade in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors in San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C., specializing in financial and programmatic analysis, marketing and communications, volunteer engagement, and corporate development, in several organizations including The Robin Hood Foundation, Education Sector (now American Institutes for Research), and Pacific Foundation Services. Dolby is currently a Board Member of Beyond 12 and Asha Rising, and has worked as a Program Officer for a number of Bay Area foundations. As a Research Fellow at the Handa Center, Dolby is currently focusing on the “re-integration” of child and adolescent survivors of trafficking in Brazil.

Kindley Walsh Lawlor_1Kindley Walsh Lawlor
Vice President, Environmental and Social Responsibility, Gap Inc.
Kindley Walsh Lawlor is Gap Inc.’s Vice President of Global Sustainability. In this role, Kindley leads the company’s global team responsible for seeking to ensure that workers making the company’s products in more than 40 countries are treated with fairness, dignity, and respect. She is also responsible for leading innovation work within Global Sustainability, where new ideas are designed and incubated for the broader Global Sustainability team. Kindley has been with Gap Inc. for over 17 years, having worked in garment production and sourcing within the business. Currently, Kindley is the U.S. buyer representative on the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Better Work Advisory Committee. She has held advisory and board roles with academic partners and collaborative initiatives focused on creating broader supply chain solutions. Kindley also prioritizes advisor roles with smaller companies focused on worker rights and the creation of decent work.

Ai-Jen PooAi-Jen Poo
Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance
Ai-jen Poo is the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) and co-director of the Caring Across Generations campaign. She co-founded NDWA in 2007 and was instrumental in securing New York’s historic Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2010. In 2011, she worked to launch Caring Across Generations to ensure access to affordable care for the aging population and to quality jobs for the caregiving workforce. One of TIME’s 100 “Most Influential People in the World” in 2012 and a recent recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” fellowship, Ai-jen is author of The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America. Follow her on twitter @aijenpoo.

Tech for a Free World

1-ZP9gGbTnek-9AIzh56jVsAWhat can we do when we use technology to fight human trafficking?

This week, former Partnership for Freedom winner, Caravan Studios, wrote an article detailing some of the lessons they learned as a participant of the Partnership for Freedom’s first innovation challenge. Based in San Francisco, California, Caravan Studios is a division of TechSoup Global that works with communities to develop apps to help organize, access, and use local resources to address pressing problems.

Through the Partnership for Freedom’s Reimagine: Opportunity challenge, Caravan Studios, in partnership with Polaris and the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, developed the Safe Shelter Collaborative, which uses technology to locate and provide immediate shelter services for trafficking survivors.

More than a year after winning $1.17 million dollars to scale their project, Caravan Studios is highlighting the need for more tech-informed solutions in the human trafficking space.

Technology alone can’t end labor trafficking, but a tech-informed approach can have a dramatic impact in a range of areas…We know from our own experience that turning your technological imagination to the fight against human trafficking can provide tremendous opportunities.

In the article Caravan Studios also lists five places for civic tech solvers, advocates, startups, and social entrepreneurs to explore:

    1. Market Disruption. For many workers, finding a job abroad depends on a complex and murky web of intermediaries, like labor brokers and recruiters. These middlemen promise good jobs that may or may not exist, extract fees for their services, and often leave job-seekers in debt or vulnerable to abuse. From AirBnB to Uber, technology is deliberately and effectively eliminating middlemen in countless sectors — could labor recruitment be one of them?Can technology cut out the middleman by facilitating direct connections between workers and verifiable, safe employment?
    2. Bridging the Data Divide. Labor trafficking thrives in the shadows — which is to say, it thrives in data-poor environments. Complex supply chains leave companies and consumers in the dark as to where their products are coming from and what the working conditions along the way look like. Labor recruiters rely on the opacity of their industry and the lack of feedback loops to mislead and exploit workers. Can better data collection, analysis, use and re-use through new channels and methods- like using mobile tech to gather input directly from workers, social listening, or innovative rapid polling methods- help bring transparency and give us the right information at the right time needed to take action? Can big data and data science point us towards places with the highest risks?
    3. The Blockchain. The promise of a transparent distributed ledger is already transforming currency and trust-based transactions. Many more applications are waiting in the wings, from verifying the origins of products to making contracts more transparent. Opaque networks of misleading and extortionate payments and contracts lie at the heart of labor trafficking and forced labor. Can we use the blockchain to trace at-risk goods in supply chains where labor trafficking is found? Can we use it to verify information and transform the complex web of transactions and contracts across the recruitment industry?
    4. Mobile Money. Financial access can be the first step to foundational progress in workers’ rights. The proliferation of wireless access and low cost smartphones creates huge new opportunities to empower workers with better financial tech — and better protect them from exploitation in the process. Stripe, Square, and Venmo have radically transformed transactions in venues that are used to accept cash only, while M-Pesa and other mobile providers have radically transformed mobile banking in developing countries. Can we offer unbanked and underbanked workers better ways to get paid through mobile or digital payments, track and document transactions or contracts, or trace and verify payments?
    5. Sensor Technology. If we don’t know where our goods come from, we can’t figure out if they’re made with forced labor. But new emphasis on tracing goods — for food safety, for sustainability, for consumer differentiation, and more — creates new potential opportunities to understand the labor conditions of the goods we buy and sell. The rise of sensors can help us get to the hardest-to-tackle nodes of the supply chain more deeply and cheaply than ever before. Can we use traceability tech to tackle labor conditions?

    Read the full article here >>

Launched Today: The Rethink Supply Chains Challenge

PFF_RETHINK_SUPPLY_CHAINSWe are pleased to announce the launch of Rethink Supply Chains: The Tech Challenge to Fight Labor Trafficking, an innovation challenge that calls for technological solutions that identify and address labor trafficking in global supply chains for goods and services. The Challenge will award $500,000 in prizes and services.

The Partnership for Freedom is a public-private partnership that aims to spur innovative solutions to human trafficking challenges. The Partnership is led by Humanity United, in collaboration with the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of State, and the Department of Labor. Private efforts are supported by Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation, the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Initiative, and the Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family Fund. The Rethink Supply Chains Challenge is the second of three competitions from the Partnership for Freedom to combat and prevent human trafficking.

Around the world, tens of millions of people are estimated to be in modern slavery.  The ILO estimates that 14.2 million people are victims of forced labor in private economic activities, such as agriculture, construction, domestic work or manufacturing. Goods produced with forced labor, a form of modern slavery, are consistently making their way into the global economy, and into our lives, through complex and opaque supply chains.

“The scope of this issue is enormous,” said Randy Newcomb, President and CEO of Humanity United. “We need new actors, new skills, new data, new ideas and new energy to improve anti-trafficking efforts around the world.”

The Rethink Supply Chains Challenge seeks new ideas, tools, and efforts that use technology to combat and prevent this problem in global supply chains. Solvers are encouraged to submit solutions that focus on one or more of the following areas: elevating workers’ voices, improving the transparency and accountability of labor recruitment, and enabling better traceability of commodities, products, and labor conditions in high-risk supply chains.

The Rethink Supply Chains Challenge will accept submissions until December 13, 2015. Up to five teams or organizations will be selected to advance as finalists, and each awarded a prize package of $20,000 in cash as well as supporting services, which includes admission to a Finalist Accelerator, with an in-person Finalist Boot Camp and access to expert mentorship to further develop their concept. One grand-prize winner and one runner-up winner will be announced in April 2016 and awarded $250,000 and $50,000 in cash, respectively.

We look forward to seeing solutions from top innovators as we join together to fight labor trafficking in global supply chains.

Learn more about the Challenge criteria here, and be sure to sign up to receive email updates.

Humanity United, U.S. Government Agencies, and Private Donors Launch Competition to Combat Labor Trafficking

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oct. 28, 2015 – Today, the Partnership for Freedom launched Rethink Supply Chains: The Tech Challenge to Fight Labor Trafficking, an innovation challenge that calls for technological solutions that identify and address labor trafficking in global supply chains for goods and services. The Challenge will award $500,000 in prizes and services.

The Partnership for Freedom is a public-private partnership that aims to spur innovative solutions to human trafficking challenges. The Partnership is led by Humanity United, a foundation dedicated to building peace and advancing human freedom, in collaboration with the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of State, and the Department of Labor. Private efforts are supported by Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation, the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Initiative, and the Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family Fund.

Around the world, tens of millions of people are estimated to be in modern slavery.  The ILO estimates that 14.2 million people are victims of forced labor in private economic activities, such as agriculture, construction, domestic work or manufacturing. Goods produced with forced labor, a form of modern slavery, often make their way into the global economy, and into our lives, through complex and opaque supply chains. The Rethink Supply Chains Challenge seeks new ideas, tools, and efforts that use technology to combat and prevent this problem in global supply chains.

“The scope of this issue is enormous,” said Randy Newcomb, President and CEO of Humanity United. “We need new actors, new skills, new data, new ideas and new energy to improve anti-trafficking efforts around the world.”

“Forced labor has no place in our global supply chains nor in the goods and services we buy every day. We look forward to the innovative ideas and designs we anticipate from this Challenge as we seek to eliminate human trafficking from the global marketplace,” said Ambassador Susan Coppedge of the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

Rethink Supply Chains encourages solvers to focus on one or more of the following areas:

  • Workers’ Voices: Tools that help workers to share information and foster community, access resources, and report labor violations to businesses, governments, NGOs, or each other in the most safe and secure ways possible.
  • Recruitment: Tools to improve the transparency and accountability of the labor recruitment process, encourage responsible practices for employers and recruiters, and empower workers to more safely navigate the recruitment process.
  • Traceability: Technologies that enable businesses, workers, governments, and NGOs to track, map, and/or share information on commodities, products, and labor conditions in supply chains at high risk of forced labor.

Initial submissions for Rethink Supply Chains will be accepted until December 13, 2015. Up to five teams or organizations will be selected to advance as finalists. Finalists will each be awarded a prize package of $20,000 in cash as well as supporting services, which include admission to a Finalist Accelerator, with an in-person Finalist Boot Camp and access to expert mentorship to further develop their concept. One grand-prize winner and one runner-up winner will be announced in April 2016 and awarded $250,000 and $50,000, respectively.

The Challenge is the second in a series of three competitions dedicated to spurring innovative solutions to end human trafficking, and follows the Reimagine: Opportunity challenge, which focused on solutions to support victims of human trafficking in the United States.

For Challenge rules and to submit a concept, visit: http://www.partnershipforfreedom.org

Follow the Challenge:

About Humanity United

Established in 2005, Humanity United is a U.S.-based foundation dedicated to building peace and advancing human freedom. At home and in the corners of the globe where these ideals are challenged most, we lead, support, and collaborate with a broad network of efforts, ideas, and organizations that share our vision of a world free of conflict and injustice. Humanity United is part of the Omidyar Group, which represents the philanthropic, personal, and professional interests of Pierre and Pam Omidyar. Learn more at www.humanityunited.org, @HumanityUnited and Facebook.com/humanityunited. Humanity United is part of The Omidyar Group: www.omidyargroup.com.

Announcing Rethink Supply Chains, the Second Innovation Challenge from Partnership for Freedom

Today we are excited to announce Rethink Supply Chains: The Tech Challenge to Combat Labor Trafficking at the 5th anniversary celebration of Challenge.gov. With $500,000 in prizes, the Challenge will launch this fall and calls for innovative technologies to identify and address labor trafficking in global supply chains for goods and services. Innovators will be invited to submit entries that help corporations, governments, and NGOs understand where trafficking occurs in supply chains and track and respond to labor violations, elevate the voices of workers, and improve accountability in foreign labor recruitment.

The Challenge is our second of three innovation competitions designed to spur innovative solutions to human trafficking challenges. This Challenge will support our work to bring new actors, new skills, new ideas, and new energy to the fight against global labor trafficking.

Since 2010, the federal government has launched more than 440 challenges with prizes totaling over $150 million. At today’s event, which was hosted by the White House, the Case Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and Georgetown University, teams and individuals were recognized for pushing the bar on prize design and execution, and for future commitments to open innovation. We’re thrilled to have Partnership Freedom included in this very impressive line-up.

Stay tuned for more information, and be sure to join our email list to receive Challenge updates.