PART 2 COMPETITION OVERVIEW
In Part 2, solvers are encouraged to leverage and build upon winning concepts awarded in Part 1 to develop a working prototype for Government testing and evaluation. Solvers are encouraged to participate in Part 2 of the challenge, either as individuals or as teams. If you wish to participate in Part 2 and need help finding partnership opportunities, consider connecting with other interested solvers using #NSFCareerCompass.
In Part 1 of this challenge, solvers were asked to submit a concept white paper describing a solution to the challenge of continuous workforce reskilling and the desire for increased mobility within and between NSF and other Federal agencies (and perhaps even the private sector). Read the winning submissions on the PRIZES tab.
While five submissions were chosen as prize winners in Part 1, only one successful prototype will be selected to win the Part 2 prize purse of $75,000.
ABOUT THE COMPETITION
NSF has a hypothesis.
Technology is changing the way we do our work, and the work itself. To keep up, the National Science Foundation (NSF) plans to invest in its most critical resource – the workforce. And it's not just NSF. The need for an adaptable and ready workforce extends to other Federal agencies and beyond. No industry will be immune to the way advances in technology change the nature of work. As a pressing example, we are facing critical gaps in matching people with data science and cybersecurity skills with the right mission needs. NSF believes that, along with other agencies and organizations, the best way to maintain a workforce ready to carry out its mission is to encourage a culture of continuous learning, and to empower each person to refresh and modernize their skills toward future work. We want to spark the thinking of the best and brightest to co-create a solution that can enable individual skill-matching and tailored training for the Workforce for the 21st Century.
NSF has a vision.
Imagine a mechanism that rapidly enables an individual to match their skills and interests to current and future work opportunities, leveraging advanced technologies which incorporate learning and development needs (traditional, non-traditional, and experiential), and that provides direct access to options for obtaining the relevant expertise to ready the individual for the chosen work.
The future world of work may not be recognizable yet, however a ready workforce will remain critical for both economic prosperity and mission accomplishment. Employers must start now to instill a culture of continuous learning in its most critical resource, the workforce. To do this, we must think creatively about broadening the pool of available candidates by lowering the barriers for access to opportunities. This journey begins with a mechanism that enables individuals to self-select and prepare for chosen work that complements their skills and interests. The future of work is one of continuous change, which depends on a culture of continuous learning.
This Career Compass Challenge is part of an effort to modernize the American workforce, but in order to do that we are focusing on the National Science Foundation as a model. This Challenge will address the changing nature of work, and the pace of change to the types of work, needed to carry out essential missions for the American people and create the Workforce for the 21st Century, starting with NSF. At the conclusion of this Challenge, NSF hopes to have created a "market" for technology solutions that will help employees plot a path for changing careers or identify how to move forward in their current career path, while also facilitating continuous reskilling.
Moreover, the Career Compass Challenge will help inform further collaborative, cross-sector innovation that Federal agencies are pursuing more broadly, such as through the Government Effectiveness Advanced Research—or GEAR—Center. The GEAR Center will facilitate applied research to tackle management challenges at the Executive Branch enterprise level, confronting shared issues like workforce reskilling that cut across Federal agencies and other stakeholders. To the extent that this Career Compass Challenge is intended to explore creating a culture of a continuously ready workforce, on a small scale for NSF—by leveraging thought leaders across the American public, academia and industry—this challenge may be a model for learning how to successfully tackle other broad opportunities through a crowdsourced, test and learn model.
We want to hear from you!
Let’s explore innovative ways to expose opportunities for NSF employees, within NSF, across Federal Agencies, and even beyond the Government. Let's be creative about leveraging training methods that are broadly accessible and that empower each person to ready themselves to take advantage of available opportunities.
Can you help us figure out a way to meet the workforce “where they are at”? Can you propose a solution available to anyone, at any time, from any device, in any location, and from any economic or educational background? Think NSF first, and then think beyond. This challenge is broadly applicable and the outcomes should be scalable.
The different types of roles and opportunities the Government offers the Federal workforce are more diverse than they have ever been, and the way federal staff work is changing. Federal employees no longer stay on a linear career path in the same field for most of their careers. Instead, many employees are branching out by making lateral moves into different fields. In addition, the pace of changes to the types of work that employees do, largely because of the ever-changing pace of technology, has increased dramatically over the past few years. It is difficult for agencies to identify and provide training for the workforce at the same rate of those changes. And it's likely that the Federal Government is not alone.
Part 1 (November 9, 2018 – February 13, 2019)
In Part 1 of this challenge, solvers were asked to submit a concept white paper that describes a solution to the challenge of continuous workforce reskilling and the desire for increased mobility within and between NSF and other Federal agencies (and perhaps even the private sector), as an example. Solvers were asked to think creatively about methods that go beyond the traditional "career path" thinking and "strategic workforce planning" methodology when exposing future skill needs or opportunities for an individual's consideration when choosing a development path. Solvers are also asked to consider relevant research on adult cognition and reskilling, particularly for those that must "work" and "learn" simultaneously. Read the winning submissions on the Prizes tab.
Part 2 (April 15, 2019 - August 31, 2019)
In Part 2, solvers are encouraged to leverage and build upon winning concepts to develop a working prototype for Government testing and evaluation. Solvers need not register in Challenge.gov to participate. Submissions will be accepted at CareerCompassChallenge@nsf.gov at any time up until the Part 2 submission deadline of July 12, 2019. For more information on submission, please see the Rules tab.
Update (4/15/19): All competition dates have been updated below.
- PART ONE COMPETITION OPENS: November 9, 2018
- PART ONE SUBMISSION DEADLINE: February 13, 2019, 8:00 pm ET
- 1st ROUND OF JUDGING (Part One): February 26 - March 22, 2019
- PART ONE WINNERS ANNOUNCED: March 29, 2019
- PART TWO COMPETITION OPENS: April 15, 2019
- PART TWO SUBMISSION DEADLINE: July 12, 2019, 11:59 pm ET
- 2nd ROUND OF JUDGING (Part Two): July 15 – August 12, 2019
- PART TWO WINNER ANNOUNCED: August 31, 2019
Federal Agency Partners
Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges consisting of representatives from multiple agencies, that also participate on the President's Management Council.