Fellows in the News

From a press release from sistema.bio, the company started by Fellow Alex Eaton:

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today unveiled Sistema.bio was one of the highest-scoring proposals, designated as the Top 100, in its 100&Change competition for a single $100 million grant to help solve one of the world’s most critical social challenges.

Sistema.bio reaches farmers by establishing agricultural training HUBs that demonstrate the best regenerative agricultural practices for the region. From there, local farmers are hired as technicians to promote and install the technology. We work with local farmer organizations, microfinance institutions, and NGOs to multiply our impact.

Support for Sistema.bio establishes new HUBs, hires local farmer technicians, and supports promotion of our sustainable technology, training, and financing. Each new HUB is established in regions with the potential to reach hundreds of thousands of farmers. HUBs cost US$200K to establish and run for 3 years and with the US$10M we will set up 50 centers in Latin America, East Africa, and India to create access to an additional 5M smallholder farmers.

The Top 100 represent the top 21 percent of competition submissions. The proposals were rigorously vetted, undergoing MacArthur’s initial administrative review, a Peer-to-Peer review, an evaluation by an external panel of judges, and a technical review by specialists whose expertise was matched to the project.

Each proposal was evaluated using four criteria: impactful, evidence-based, feasible, and durable. MacArthur’s Board of Directors will select up to 10 finalists from these high-scoring proposals this spring.

“MacArthur seeks to generate increased recognition, exposure, and support for the high-impact ideas designated as the Top 100,” said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change and MacArthur Managing Director, 100&Change. “Based on our experience in the first round of 100&Change, we know the competition will produce multiple compelling and fundable ideas. We are committed to matching philanthropists with powerful solutions and problem solvers to accelerate social change.”


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