A former refugee who fled his country empty handed, and then went on to become one of the world’s most successful investors, has issued a global challenge with a fantastic reward.
Swedish billionaire, László Szombatfalvy, who fled Hungary in the 1950’s and worked as a magician in refugee camps, is now creating magic on a global level, with the launch of an international competition aimed at finding a better system for world governance. He is calling big thinkers everywhere, from all disciplines, to bring their brainpower and best ideas forward to help reshape our world. And the winning entry will receive a staggering five million US dollars.
The 89-year-old Swedish risk specialist and philanthropist, is running the competition through his Global Challenges Foundation, a forum for catalyzing solutions for the world.
Mats Andersson, Global Challenges Vice Chairman, told UPLIFT we have an urgent need for a global solution:
The visionary businessman who is also the author of the book, The Greatest Challenges of Our Time, wants major issues like extreme poverty, climate change, environmental degradation, violent conflict, and population growth to be addressed by the winner.
In a letter published on the Global Challenges website, László Szombatfalvy says:
These major challenges are interconnected and impact each other negatively. They represent the greatest threat to humanity today and should be at the top of the international political agenda. In my view, political and business leaders, influenced as they are by short-term and self-interested concerns, are gravely underestimating them. These risks demand urgent global collective actions in order to safeguard future generations. The greatest threats we face today transcend national boundaries; they therefore need to be addressed jointly by all countries based on an increased realization of our mutual dependence. That is why I believe a new global framework for managing them must be found.
The warm-hearted billionaire started the Global Challenges Foundation in 2012 using the money he made through his investments, with the purpose of discovering models or ways to deal with the huge threats facing humanity today. An inspiration for people around the planet, he is no stranger to difficulty, and to making the best of your circumstances.
The Global Challenges Prize 2017: A New Shape is calling on you to share your inspirations and solutions for a better world. They are bringing together the brightest minds from academia, politics, business and civil society to create better conditions for securing a great future for coming generations.
The competition closes in March 2017. Individuals, groups of individuals, companies, universities, or faculties can all submit an entry. So far, Global Challenges has received 2500 entries and each entry will be assessed against the specific criteria, by a panel of academic experts and global figures. The Global Challenges Foundation will then back efforts to put the winning idea into practice.
Mats Andersson is hopeful they will find someone with the solution to our global problems.
When it comes to solving problems that impact the entire world, Andersson comments:
We have the United Nations, but the United Nations was founded in 1946, with the challenges we had at that time. We’re now some years down the road. We need to remodel and find new ways…
It seems that the day has come for all those visionaries and deep creatives out there, who now have a chance to put forward their fresh ideas on how the world’s problems could be solved. One would imagine that out of all of the 7.4 billion people who inhabit the planet, we must be able to uncover a fantastic and viable solution, that will support each one of us moving forward into a new era of peace and cooperation, creating a world that thrives and supports all beings.
You can hear more about emerging global solutions and the rest of the interview with Mats Andersson here: