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Digital Workforce Challenge

How can underserved populations access opportunity and fully participate in the technology-enabled and digitally literate workforces of the future?

Our challenge crowdsourced solutions to this issue.


$100,000 goes to ChargerHelp!

Winner of the Grand Prize ChargerHelp! enables on‑demand repair of EV (electric vehicle) charging stations utilizing their innovative app and the local workforce. These Los Angeles‑based innovators are focused on promoting workforce development in the new green economy.


AnnieCannons wins $10,000

The winner of ServiceNow’s Employee Choice Award is AnnieCannons, an Oakland, California‑based non‑profit that provides survivors of human trafficking and abuse with a software training program to help sustain a lifetime free from exploitation.


Below are the seven other Digital Workforce Challenge finalists that stood out from 150+ submissions from around the world.


Arist: the text message learning platform

Helping institutions and companies create and distribute text message courses.


BBC Micro:bit–inspiration for the next generation

Making digital technology exciting and relevant to students and teachers of all backgrounds.


DoctHERs: a gender-inclusive, digital workforce

Improving lives of frontline women health workers with technology, training, and more.


Forte: Tradable Income-Based Securities (TIBS)

Finance reskilling at no cost to individuals or governments, and no need for philanthropy.


Kiron: skill booster programs for the future workforce

Empowering refugees and underserved communities with 21st century skills for professional growth.


LaunchCode: an inclusive tech career accelerator

Providing accessible education, training, and paid apprenticeship career placement.


Skilllab–a personal career assistance app

Helping job seekers match their skill sets to careers in an evolving workforce.

Global impact

Global Impact at ServiceNow

We live our purpose every day with the desire to positively impact our employees, customers, and communities. We have deepened employee engagement in the community, supported non‑profit partners addressing food security, and increased access to opportunity in the digital workforce through initiatives like the Digital Workforce Challenge. We are early in our global impact journey and dreaming big.

Judge: Faez Ahmed

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Faez Ahmed
Throughout his career, Faez has remained focused on creating innovative programs that break the cycle of generational poverty. In 2007, he delivered a speech to the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development in which he laid out a blueprint for solving the Digital Literacy gap that exists in the developing world. Through the programs he established, over 20,000 members of underserved communities have gained a source of income and thus come out of poverty.

Judge: Kristine Dery

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Kristine Dery
Kristine’s research focuses on how digital capabilities are deployed internally to create more effective ways of working and the impacts of new ways of engaging with talent in the digital era. In addition, she serves as a Senior Editor for MIS Quarterly Executive, where she is also an author, and special issue editor.

Judge: Nisreen Farhan

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 Nisreen Farhan
Ms. Farhan is currently an Advisor on Digital Transformation in the Strategy Department at the IMF, focusing on automation of work processes and integration of IT tools with business capabilities, based on better knowledge and content exchange. She holds a BSc in Economics and Statistics and an MSc in Finance and Economics from the University of London, England. She also did her PhD studies in development economics at the University of Durham, England.

Judge: Brad Gebert

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 Brad Gebert
Brad and his team in ParagonLabs serve as the bridge between HR tech community and work, workers, and the workplace. Together, they lead the conversation regarding ways these communities can work together to build better workplaces and a better world. Before joining SHRM, Brad spent 20 years founding startups, creating new technology solutions, and helping companies find the right technologies to help them further their missions. He has been an entrepreneur, an intrapreneur, and a Chief Technology Officer. Brad completed his master’s degree in Data Science and Business Analytics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2017.

Judge: Amy Lokey

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Amy Lokey
Amy leads the global user experience team at ServiceNow – including design, research, design ops and technical documentation. Her team’s mission is to create product experiences that people at work love. Amy was previously head of the User Experience team for G Suite – Google's cloud-based applications for consumers, education and enterprise. Prior to Google, Amy helped grow LinkedIn’s business and product platform from startup, through IPO, to one of the largest tech company acquisitions by Microsoft.

Judge: Roya Mahboob

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Roya Mahboob
Roya has focused her work on building digital literacy for women and children in developing countries. As president and board member of Digital Citizen Fund, she aims to increase women’s technological literacy and provide employment and educational opportunities for girls and children in developing countries like Afghanistan. Roya sits on the Advisory Board of Forbes School of Business of Ashford University, Resolution Project, and the Global Thinkers Forum organization. She is a 2019 Presidential Leadership Scholar, and in 2013 was among TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for her work building internet classrooms in high schools in Afghanistan.

Judge: Alan Marks

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Alan Marks
Alan is ServiceNow’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer and a member of the company’s executive leadership team. Prior to joining ServiceNow in May 2017, Marks led global communications, social responsibility and brand strategy for eBay Inc. Marks was a 2016 Fellow at Stanford's Distinguished Careers Institute. His previous professional experience includes senior communications and executive leadership roles at Nike, Gap Inc. and Avon Products. Alan holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a M.A. in liberal studies from New York University.

Judge: Lindsey Nefesh-Clark

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Lindsey Nefesh-Clark
Lindsey is the Founder & Managing Director of W4 (Women’s WorldWide Web), an international non-profit organization and Europe’s first crowdfunding platform dedicated to girls’ and women’s empowerment around the world with a focus on promoting equal access to and participation in information and communications technologies. After completing her B.A. at Cambridge University, she worked in human rights and development in West Africa and in South-East Asia (Human Rights Watch, UNICEF, Enfants d’Asie). In 2008, she trained in Bangladesh with Grameen Bank (founded by Nobel Peace Prize-winner Muhammad Yunus) and went on to obtain an Executive MBA at ESCP-Europe, Paris, in 2009.

Awards & recognition include:

2011: Named a “40 under 40” European Young Leader by EuropaNova & Friends of Europe

2013: Nominated a “Women in IT Role Model” by the Digital Agenda of the European Commission

2015: Named one of the Inspiring Fifty, Europe’s 50 most inspiring women leaders in the technology sector.

2016: Nominated a G20 Young Entrepreneur

2018: Joined the Board of Directors of the Women’s Economic Imperative (WEI) to take forward the work of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment.

Judge: Alok Paranjpye

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Alok Paranjpye
Alok is a Director in the Corporate Strategy team at ServiceNow and formerly held corporate strategy and business operations roles at Splunk and LinkedIn. Prior to LinkedIn, Alok was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey and Company, where he worked with clients across sectors including technology, semiconductors and cleantech. Prior to joining McKinsey, Alok was a Product and Program Leader at Innovative Micro Technology, where he designed novel microscopic machines (MEMS) for applications including RF communication, biotech, and environmental sensing. Alok holds eight patents focused on designs of MEMS devices and manufacturing processes.

Alok earned a Ph.D. in Materials and Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Bachelor’s degree in Materials Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

Judge: Philip Reuchlin

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Philip Reuchlin
Philip is Director of Programs & Strategy of the Andan Foundation, a Swiss public benefit foundation set up to promote refugee inclusion. Previously, Philip worked as a journalist in India, focusing on environmental successes in Indian industry. He also worked for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, seconded to the OSCE as an environmental expert, where he organized one of the first analysis of the impact of climate change on migration patterns in Central Asia.

Philip also worked as speechwriter to the President of the WBCSD, a coalition of 200 companies devoted to sustainable development, where he served as focal point to the OECD on Green Growth and the Chinese State Council on low carbon industrialization strategies for the 11th 5-Year plan. He successfully turned around and grew a data center construction company in Colombia and worked with a Skoll award winner, Fundacion Capital, on strategy and operations. Besides managing a farm in Austria, he holds an MSc from the London School of Economics and an MBA from INSEAD.

Judge: David Soo

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David Soo
David serves as chief of staff at JFF, a nonprofit that accelerates the alignment and transformation of the American workforce and education systems to ensure access to economic advancement for all.

Previously, David worked at the U.S. Department of Education in the Offices of the Secretary and Under Secretary, focusing on innovation in postsecondary education. There he developed policy and programs to spur innovation, including the EQUIP experimental site, First in the World grant program, and two challenges to reimagine the higher education ecosystem; and led a series of convenings by the department and the Obama White House to promote innovation.

David earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Boston College, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Judge: Mike Walsh

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Mike Walsh
Mike is the CEO of the research lab, Tomorrow. A global nomad, futurist and author of the bestselling book, The Algorithmic Leader, he advises some of the world’s biggest organizations on digital transformation and disruptive innovation in this new era of machine intelligence.

Judge: Dave Wright

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Dave Wright
In Dave’s role as chief innovation officer, he is responsible for establishing the strategic direction of ServiceNow, from high-level investment areas in product development through to pricing. Dave has more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry, specifically within virtualization, cloud infrastructure, service management, performance management, data center automation, and software development.

Prior to joining ServiceNow, Dave spent over six years with VMware as VP of Technical Services for EMEA. He also headed up the technical division for Northern and Southern Europe for Mercury Interactive, spent six years at Peregrine Systems, and held roles at Boole & Babbage (BMC) and Candle Services (IBM).

Judging Criteria

All criteria given equal weight

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The judging committee for the Digital Workforce Challenge is comprised of experts and leaders from across industries.

Alignment: The solution addresses the challenge that has been set forth.

Potential for Impact: The planned solution implementation has the potential to impact lives.

Scalability: The solution can be scaled to affect the lives of more people.

Feasibility: Solution implementation is feasible, and the team has a plan for financial sustainability.

Innovative Approach: This is a new solution, a new application of a solution, a new business model, or a new process for solving the challenge.

News and Insights

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