Up to $65,000 in cash prizes to be awarded for projects that encourage open-source coders

The GNOME Foundation, in conjunction with Endless, is proud to announce that starting April 9th, entries will be accepted for the inaugural Community Engagement Challenge, an exciting new opportunity to submit a project that will engage beginning coders with the free and open-source software (“FOSS”) community.

The Challenge is a three-phase competition designed to generate stimulating ideas that will help connect the next generation of coders to the FOSS community and keep them active and engaged for years to come. Up to $65,000 in cash prizes are available to the individuals or teams with the best entries.

“Through the Challenge we hope to reach a diverse audience, to encourage beginning coders to get involved with the FOSS community to help ensure that free software is available long into the future,” said Neil McGovern, GNOME Foundation Executive Director. “What better way to do that than to reach out to the community itself to come up with creative ways to inspire the next generation?”

“Our mission at Endless has evolved initially from working with underserved populations in emerging markets and giving them access to important computing tools,” said Matt Dalio, Founder, Endless. “It has now become important to us to help the youth of today shape their technology, rather than be shaped by it. This initiative with The GNOME Foundation is the perfect partnership to further our mission.”

The Challenge will ask entrants to devise creative ways to promote open-source software to coders typically in high school and college. How a submission will achieve this goal has deliberately been left open-ended to encourage unique, novel approaches.

The first phase of the Challenge asks entrants to submit a written proposal for their concept no later than July 1, 2020. Twenty entries will be chosen to move to the next round and receive $1000 each. The second phase of the Challenge will require proof of concept, with four entries receiving $5000 and moving onto the final round. The final round will call for a deliverable end product, with the winner receiving $15,000 and the second place finisher receiving $10,000.

Apart from what is outlined in the Challenge Rules, there are no restrictions on the form submissions must take: they may be software projects, educational materials, videos, games, presentations, events, or anything else that promotes engagement of beginning coders with the FOSS community. Creativity is highly encouraged of all entrants!

The winner of the final round is currently scheduled to be announced in the spring of 2021.

The Challenge is supported by Endless, an organization comprised of companies, initiatives, and philanthropic endeavors with the singular mission to help children take control of their digital worlds, not be controlled by them.

For media assets, please click here. For questions about the Challenge, please contact us at cechallenge@gnome.org or visit www.gnome.org/challenge.