Global Issues TED Prize

You Tell Us: What would you do for the world with $1 million? Part 3!

Posted by:

This is the final week of nominations for the TED Prize, which means you only have three more days to nominate a person with a wish to inspire the world for the $1 million honor. Have a mentor who has molded your mind? A friend with an inspired idea? A neighbor with big plans? Tell us about them now, using the official nomination form. This year, you can even nominate yourself.

With the August 31 deadline just around the corner, we asked you what you would do for the world with the $1 million cash prize. And since your great responses continue to roll in, we’re bringing you more inspiring ideas shared thus far in our TED conversation, in blog comments, and through our Facebook page.

“I’d use the money to start a NPO or support existing organizations for the development of urban and suburban community gardens to feed families and local food banks.” — Grant Hensarling

“I’d invest the money to create a big think tank of people from around the globe in order to come up with an actionable solution of how to prevent the abuse of drugs which may be a cause for so many other harms and problems.” — Tanja Burgdorfer

“Rooftops specifically make up a large footprint in cities, and could be used in small or big ways to help increase production of a variety of produce, to manage runoff water, and to establish a growing, green environment in cities. I would use a million dollars to fund a project to encourage green roofs.” — Jacob Richmond

“Hunger kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. I’d invest that money on farming and animal husbandry in poor countries. This would provide jobs and cheap food for the poor and hungry people. Since you can’t eradicate world hunger with only $1M, I’d put all the effort on growing the business and hopefully after some 100 years the business would be big enough to eliminate world hunger.” — Ali Mahdavi

“Fund a private mental health organization and create a network of volunteers throughout the country taking on the daily needs of those with mental disease or severe disorders.” — Rob Becker

“Give 1,000 aid workers (local and international, cleaner to country director) a social change investment fund of $1,000, over which they have total personal discretion. Task each of us to find an ‘under-the-radar’ grassroots organization, leader, or initiative worthy of support.” — Jennifer Lentfer

“I would spend half of it to identify children forced into child labor in India and help them get into school. Another part would be to build a [crowdsourcing] platform to fund medical requirements of the ones who cannot afford it otherwise. Nothing is more shameful in being human than to see another fellow dying only because he/she cannot afford the right treatment.” — Soumyo Das

“Best to create a sustainable mechanism that propagates itself. I would start a collaborative effort to build a co-op for college kids. The kids learn to build sustainable buildings after school. By sustainable, I mean rooftop solarium garden that feeds them full time, wind/solar/bicycle power, and a DIY woodwork or CNC based workshop instead of a car garage.” — Wayne Scott Edwards

“Create a programme for children in war torn countries where they use multimedia to tell their own stories and bring a sense of reality of their experience to the world.” — Erika Harriford

“We are only talking about $1m here. And the potential for infrastructure to get destroyed is still pretty high. Better to have prolific portable systems.” — Payden Bulli

“I feel that an education can greatly improve an individual as well as a community. I would like to create a foundation that provides a matching college/learning scholarship for students who work while they study. My goal with this approach is that students would leave college with more experience working, less student debt.” — Sterling Miller

“I would start a foundation to connect adults and children as young as 10 with mentorships in a wide variety of fields.” — Sean Canton

“Create a small scale hydroponic system like to grow local food. This will reduce the dependency on other crops, weather related issues like droughts, and will provide local organic food year round to local communities. Many small scale systems already exist, this would be used to automate the system and develop a process that can be reproduced worldwide in any environment by anyone.”  — Erez Yaron

“I would develop an online math program for people wanting to go back to community college to get new job skills in the US.” — Joanna Schneier

“I would start a non-profit called Sound Foundation focused on affordable introductory vocational training for electronic music and media arts. The primary goal would be to enact structural change within the K-12 educational system by creating a program that produces self sustaining revenue and remove reliance on government assistance and private donations.” — Michael Steel

“Pyramid-scheme micro credits for startups in economically underdeveloped countries. Instead of interest rates the credit would only be granted with one obligation, so called ‘instead rates’ :o): Those who succeed and remain stable have to grant a micro credit themselves under the same condition to help others, etc., etc., etc.” — Jan-Bernd Pauli

“I would start a pilot program to educate institutional cooks on ethnic cooking so that immigrant children in schools, and adults in hospitals and nursing homes could have access to nutritious food relevant to their cultures.”

“1 million represents a lot. We have here in Sudan set several projects to assist with rights to live a life of luxury.
I would like to take the issue of reconstruction of infrastructure and the establishment of centers for information technology development and schools to teach children and create an environment conducive to innovation and the development of the private sectors by opening employment opportunities through establishment of links between the individual and society within the income unlimited and push the economy to a first round in the development of Sudan.” — Khalid Ahmed

“I would use it as seed money to help finance my life goal of being part of saving ten million lives by getting information on location-independent technologies (which can be made by locals out of local materials, with only the most basic of local tools. e.g. biochar, rocket stoves, and ceramic water filters) to every community in every developing nation in the world.” — Keith Olson

“I’d like to invest the money in El Salvador to buy thousands of acres around the country in every community to plant millions of organic plants, fruits, vegetables and put on the market for free without a profit.” — Marion Ventura

” I would start an after-school program in low-income areas that taught kids how to cook.” — Mary Krause

“It’s estimated that 40% of youth homelessness is LGBT kids who have left or been thrown out of their homes. While working with some friends to help a kid in the USA, we found that there are limited resources, and worse, that they’re not well publicized, linked to things like the suicide hotlines or the Trevor Project, and don’t have the staff or funding to work with the number of kids impacted. My goal would be to support the groups like Albert Kennedy Trust and Ali Forney in the UK and US, and develop a coordinating capability that would be sustainable, and deliver not only housing but coordinate counseling, education and job training, with regional and local authorities.” — Jeff McEldowney

Join the conversation or share your ideas below about what you would do for the world with $1 million below. And don’t forget to nominate yourself or others for the TED Prize by August 31, using the official nomination forms.