A $1 million U.S. Department of Education challenge to reimagine career navigation for adult learners.

Build digital tools to better support adult learners as they launch and advance their careers.

Future Finder Challenge

The U.S. Department of Education announced one grand-prize winner and one runner-up in the Future Finder Challenge on December 1, 2023. The teams are deploying their solutions across the adult education ecosystem.

About the challenge

Career navigation systems help learners discover opportunities and plan for the future — and digital tools play an important role in supporting that journey. There are many digital career navigation tools on the market today, demonstrating the important role technology can play in supporting career navigation systems. But few existing tools are designed to meet the unique needs of adult learners.

The U.S. Department of Education invited innovators — including strategists, developers, user-centered designers, and educators — to submit prototypes and accompanying proposals for digital tools that will improve the career navigation experience for adult learners.

Timeline

During Stage 1, eligible entrants were invited to submit prototypes for digital tools that will improve the career navigation experience for adult learners. Five finalists were selected to progress to the Stage 2 accelerator. At the end of Stage 2, one grand-prize winner and one runner-up were selected. The Future Finder Challenge team is supporting the winners through late 2024 as they deploy their solutions across the adult ed ecosystem.

Stage 1: Open submissions

September - December 2022

Finalists announced

March 2023

Stage 2: Accelerator

March 2023 - September 2023

Winners announced

December 2023
We are here

Beyond the challenge: Deployment

Through late 2024

Prizes

TOTAL PRIZE POOL

$1 million

In Stage 1, five finalists received $50,000 each. Each finalist also received an additional $10,000 to support accelerator activities. In Stage 2, a grand-prize winner received $500,000, and one runner-up received $250,000.

Stage 1 Resources

Who are adult learners and what are their unique needs? What is career navigation and why is it important for adult learners?

Learn more about the winners