Final Deadline: December 10 ($345)

Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas awards honor products, concepts, companies, policies, and designs that are pursuing innovation for the good of society and the planet. The contest, now in its sixth year, has honored everything from large companies’ sustainability initiatives to clever consumer products to groundbreaking government policies. There are many problems in the world, and we are interested in innovative ideas that solve any of them.

This year, we have 39 categories (including several new ones). We’re looking for any and all groundbreaking projects that have launched since the start of 2021. Entries will be considered by a group of designers, venture capitalists, thinkers, social entrepreneurs, and Fast Company editors. You can see some of the past judges below, and more will be adding the 2022 judges in the coming months. Entries will be judged on impact, design, scalability, and ingenuity.

You can read about last year’s winners and finalists here.

For full competition details, see the rules and FAQs.

Final Deadline: December 10 ($345)

WHY APPLY


Brand Exposure

Be seen and evaluated by Fast Company editors and reporters

Opportunities

Speaking engagements at Fast Company events and exclusive invitations to influencer-only events

Credibility

Gain the Fast Company stamp of approval for creating a truly breakthrough technology

Break News

Tell your organization’s story to the world for the first time; highlight the success of teams within your organization—or partners who’ve helped with your success

Visibility

Appear in the May issue of Fast Company and on fastcompany.com

ELIGIBILITY


Entries must have been launched or seen a significant product update in 2021 (we offer some wiggle room if the launch was during the entry period for last year’s awards). Entries should demonstrate an ability to improve society in the chose category, and will be judged based on their their impact, innovation, creativity, and scalability.

Every entry will be read by Fast Company editors and winners will appear in the May issue of Fast Company magazine. All the winners and honorees will be featured on fastcompany.com.

Final Deadline: December 10 ($345)

CATEGORIES


Advertising

Campaigns designed to draw attention to social issues and inspire people to act or to promote world-changing products or services.

AI & Data

Projects that harness the power of data, machine learning, or artificial intelligence to understand the world and empower change.

Apps

Projects that live primarily in a mobile format, in any discipline.

Architecture

Buildings that change the way we live or work, making it more sustainable, more energy efficient, and more humane.

Art & Design

Projects using design as the vehicle to shake up conversations surrounding society’s most pressing issues.

Climate (New)

Projects designed to limit emissions, reverse global warming, mitigate the impacts of climate change, help build resiliency to climate disasters, or otherwise help solve climate issues.

Consumer Products

Items for your house or office that help you live a more purposeful life, or fundamentally alter outdated business models or supply chains of our current consumer goods.

Corporate Social Responsibility

For corporate initiatives that use a company’s platform and power to help advance change, either internally or for the community.

Developing World Technology

Products designed specifically for the developing world, both ones intended for the bottom of the pyramid and those intended to help create leapfrog innovation.

Education

Companies or initiatives that help inspire better and more equitable learning.

Energy

Solar, wind, and any other innovative ideas to create clean power (either for personal use or at a large scale) or new systems for better electricity distribution.

Experimental

Concepts, prototypes, and just-launched ideas that may not have clear impact but have the potential to change how we think about an issue.

Food

Projects changing what we eat, how we eat, and how we get our food.

Health

Medical innovations that save lives, extend longevity, or increase access to care.

Impact Investing

Impact funds, social impact bonds, and other investments in change making organizations or initiatives that generate societal benefit along with financial return.

Media & Entertainment

Movies, books, videos, and other projects that expose issues or create actionable change.

Nature (New)

Projects supporting conservation, increasing biodiversity, reforestation, protecting threatened animals and ecosystems, or otherwise helping to solve nature-based issues.

Pandemic Response

Programs, products, policies, or anything else designed to mitigate either the health effects of COVID-19 or the economic effects of lockdowns during the second year of the pandemic.

Politics & Policy

Innovative campaigns or policy initiatives that challenge the status quo for the benefit of the environment, equity, and society.

Social Justice

Projects that help advance the cause of civil rights for marginalized people or groups.

Software

Projects whose main feature is a software component, in any discipline.

Students

Projects in any category, created by undergraduate or graduate students.

Transportation

Projects that get you places whether on two wheels or four in new, interesting, and fuel-efficient ways.

Urban Design

Landscapes, urban designs, and policies that make cities and living in them cleaner, more efficient, more beautiful, and more equitable for their citizens.

Water (New)

Projects designed to increase access to clean water, fight drought, protect oceans, or otherwise help solve water-related issues.

Wellness

Products and projects that improve either personal or global well-being, from equipment to apps to consumables.

Workplace (New)

Projects that improve our lives in the office, increase employees rights, or make work more safer, smarter, or more meaningful.

Best World Changing Idea APAC

The best world changing idea overall in the Asia-Pacific region.

Best World Changing Idea EMEA

The best world changing idea overall in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Best World Changing Idea NA

The best world changing idea overall in North America.

Best World Changing Idea LATAM

The best world changing idea overall in Latin America.

Small Business: Fewer than 100 Employees (New)

For world-changing projects from companies with fewer than 100 employees

Mid-sized Business: 100–999 Employees (New)

For world-changing projects from companies with between 100 and 999 employees

Large Business: 1,000+ Employees (New)

For world-changing projects from companies with more than 1,000 employees.

On The Rise: 0-4 Years In Business

For world-changing projects from companies that have been in business under 4 years.

Established Excellence: 5-14 Years In Business

For world-changing projects from companies that have been in business between 5 and 14 years.

Enduring Impact: 15+ Years In Business

For world-changing projects from companies that have been in business over 15 years.

General Excellence

The broadest ideas, be they new government policies, new business models, or entire new consumer categories. Anything that has the potential to effect true systems change or solve wicked problems.

World Changing Company Of The Year

The most world changing company of the year, selected by Fast Company editors. Companies will be judged on the quality, breadth, and ambition of their submitted work.

JUDGES


Justin Ahrens
Chief Evangelist
Rule29
Lisa Bowers
CEO
Rhea Ventures
Alexandra Bromson
Origination
Generate Capital
Sebastian Buck
Cofounder and Strategic Lead
Enso
Carol Cone
CEO
Carol Cone On Purpose
Jeremy Deaton
Associate Director, Editorial
Nexus Media
Krista Donaldson
CEO
D-Rev
Grant Garrison
Communications Leader, Global Community Impact
Johnson & Johnson
Jonathon Keats
Experimental Philosopher
Marjorie Kelly
Senior Fellow And Executive Vice President
The Democracy Collaborative
Cliff Kuang
UX Designer and Author, User Friendly
Susan McPherson
Founder And CEO
McPherson Strategies
Susan Merriam
Cofounder
American Politics and Design
L. Michelle Moore
CEO
Groundswell
Michael Ngigi
Studio Director
ThinkPlace Kenya
Christine Outram
CEO
Everydae
Emily Pilloton
Founder And Executive Director
Girls Garage
Jaycee Pribulsky
Vice President Of Sustainable Manufacturing And Sourcing
Nike
Alex Rappaport
Education Entrepreneur
Rajendra Sisodia
Cofounder and Co-Chairman
Conscious Capitalism
Bryan Sivak
Managing Director
KP Ventures
Piyush Tantia
Chief Innovation Officer
Ideas42
Genevieve Taylor
Executive Director And Managing Facilitator
Ag Innovations
Toshi Anders Hoo
Director, Emerging Media Lab
Institute for the Future
Marcelle van Beusekom
Design Director
Ideo San Francisco
Tony Wan
Managing Editor
EdSurge
Adlai Wertman
Director
Master of Science in Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California
Ben Wyskida
CEO
Fenton
Final Deadline: December 10 ($345)