LEGO Foundation Announces Finalists for $117 Million Global Challenge

Selected from 600+ applications, the Build a World of Play Challenge recognises 10 finalists with bold ideas to solve the greatest problems facing early childhood development

Build A World Of Play Challenge

Billund, Denmark, 20 October 2022 – The LEGO Foundation has announced ten finalists for its global Build a World of Play Challenge to fund bold and impactful solutions focused on early childhood. The Challenge will award a total of DKK 900 million (approximately $117 Million) to support substantial contributions to the lives of children from birth to six years old and spark a global movement to prioritise early childhood development. The awardees will be announced on December 6, 2022.

The Build a World of Play Challenge was launched on February 16, 2022 by the LEGO Foundation to address a global early childhood emergency, that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each finalist will receive approximately DKK 6 million (USD 1 million) to strengthen their proposed plan, start building their team, and scale up to successfully implement their innovation. Selecting from amongst the finalist organisations, the LEGO Foundation will announce five awards on December 6, 2022. There will be three grants awarded for DKK 200 million each and two grants awarded for DKK 100 million each. The grants reaffirm the LEGO Foundation’s commitment in the LEGO® brand’s 90th year to ensure children globally are given opportunities to learn through play.

The 10 finalists’ projects are listed below (alphabetically):

The ten finalists seek to meaningfully impact the well-being and holistic development of young children in a sustainable way, which is a core goal of the Build A World of Play Challenge. Collectively, they will shape the lives of millions of children globally through ambitious, optimistic, and game changing projects.

The Build a World of Play Challenge is being managed by Lever for Change, a non-profit affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation that connects donors with bold solutions to tackle the world’s biggest problems - including issues like racial inequity, gender inequality, lack of access to economic opportunity, and climate change.

“This challenge highlights the importance of investing in early childhood development to improve lifetime outcomes for communities around the world,” said Kristen J. Molyneaux, Vice President, Program Strategy and Learning, Lever for Change. “These finalist teams are focused on the building blocks of life to ensure the long-term well-being of young children, their families, and their communities.”

The Challenge received 627 valid proposals from 86 countries. Applicants were evaluated by multi-disciplined experts from across the world based on four criteria: whether they were impactful, feasible, community-centred, and sustainable.

The LEGO Foundation invites other donors to join their efforts, so that all ten of the top-ranked solutions can be fully funded. Donors interested in providing additional funding for this challenge should contact Dana Rice, Vice President of Philanthropy, Lever for Change at [email protected]

More details on the Build a World of Play Challenge can be found at https://learningthroughplay.com/build-a-world-of-play/the-challenge

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The LEGO Foundation

The LEGO Foundation shares the mission of the LEGO Group: to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. The Foundation, which owns 25% of the LEGO Group, is dedicated to building a future in which learning through play empowers children to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners. It is through the ownership model, that a portion of profits go to funding research projects, activities and partnerships. In 2021 for example, the LEGO Foundation provided grants of DKK 2.8 billion (USD 443.9 million) to initiatives which help children reach their full potential through play. The LEGO Foundation works in collaboration with thought leaders, influencers, educators and parents aiming to re-define play, re-imagine learning and equip, inspire and activate champions for play. www.learningthroughplay.com

Lever for Change

Lever for Change connects donors with bold solutions to the world’s biggest problems—including issues like racial inequity, gender inequality, lack of access to economic opportunity, and climate change. Using an inclusive, equitable model and due diligence process, Lever for Change creates customized challenges and other tailored funding opportunities. Top-ranked teams and challenge finalists become members of the Bold Solutions Network—a growing global network that helps secure additional funding, amplify members’ impact, and accelerate social change. Founded in 2019 as a nonprofit affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Lever for Change has influenced over $1 billion in grants to date and provided support to more than 145 organisations. To learn more, visit www.leverforchange.org.

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