World Changing Ideas

2019 World Changing Ideas

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 third 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 17 categories (including several new ones). We’re looking for any and all groundbreaking projects that have launched since the start of 2018. Entries will be considered by a group of designers, venture capitalists, thinkers, social entrepreneurs, and Fast Company editors. You can see some of the judges below, and more will be added in the coming months. Entries will be judged on impact, design, scalability, and ingenuity.

Why Enter

Our goal with these awards is to bring attention to ideas with great potential, and help them expand their reach and serve as inspiration for others to use their talents to create products and businesses that. Every entry will be read by Fast Company editors. Winners, finalists, and honorable mentions will appear in the May issue of Fast Company magazine and on our website. And this year, for the first time, we’ll also be selecting one overall World Changing Company from all our entrants.

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

For full competition details, see the rules and FAQs.


Advertising Campaigns designed to draw attention to social issues and inspire people to act or to promote world-changing products or services.
AI & Data (New!) 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.
Creativity (New!) Any creative project–photography, writing, visualization, film–that helps explain and publicize global problems and solutions.
Consumer Products Items for your house or office that help you live a more purposeful life, or fundamentally alter outdated business models or supply chains of our current consumer goods.
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 (New!) 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 (New!)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 and Wellness Products and projects that improve either personal or global well-being and longevity, from apps to devices to treatments.
Spaces, Places, and Cities (New!) Buildings, landscapes, urban designs, and policies that make cities and living in them cleaner, more efficient, more beautiful, and more equitable for their citizens.
Social Justice (New!) Projects that help advance the cause of civil rights for marginalized people or groups.
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.
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 (New!)

Organizations that submit two or more distinct entries to any of the categories above will be automatically considered. Companies will be judged on the quality, breadth, and ambition of their submitted work. Selected by Fast Company editors.

Our 2018 Judges

Chrysanthe Broikos (curator, National Building Museum), Jean Case (CEO, Case Foundation), John Elkington (executive chairman and cofounder, Volans Ventures), Phillip Haid (CEO, Public), Arlan Hamilton (founder, managing partner, CEO Backstage Capital), Jessica Jackley (entrepreneur and investor, cofounder of Kiva), Emily Pilloton (founder and CEO of Project H Design), Brooks Rainwater (director, National League of Cities’ Center for City Solutions), DeAndrea Salvador (founder and CEO, Renewable Energy Transition Initiative), Michael Shank (communications director, Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance) and more to come…

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