The Audacious Project

Black blue and white logo for the Audacious Project
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Virgin Galactic
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 11 April 2018

A few years ago, an idea dreamed up with myself, Jeff Skoll, Chris Anderson from TED and others turned into an initiative for philanthropists who want to join forces to make a bigger difference in the world. Over two events, we raised $250 million for world-changing ideas that will make millions of people’s lives better.

People generally do their own thing in philanthropy – but over those few days I think people learned what fun it can be (and how much more impact we can have) to work with others. Out of these gatherings and numerous other conversations with various brilliant partners, The Audacious Project was born. Now we’re sharing it with the world.

Housed at TED, The Audacious Project is collaborating with partners including Virgin Unite, Bridgespan, the Skoll Foundation, the Dalio Foundation, ELMA Philanthropies, the MacArthur Foundation and many others.

The first incredible project recipients have been revealed at TED, with The Audacious Project committing $250 million to power these bold ideas to create impact at scale. The first projects will focus upon: 

  • The Bail Project - A bold idea to turn the tide on mass incarceration in the US

  • Sightsavers - The elimination of one of the world’s oldest diseases

  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution - The exploration of a vital and mysterious part of the ocean

  • Environmental Defense Fund - A great chance for helping to hit the brakes on climate change

  • Girl Trek - The launching of a health revolution for Black women in the US

  • Living Goods/Last Mile Health - An idea to greatly expand the reach and efficacy of community health workers

  • One Acre Fund - A plan to hasten the end of hunger

White and black text on a purple background that reads 'Be part of something audacious' and has details of the 2018 winners announcement
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The TED audience, and people around the world, are invited to support each initiative – financially and in other ways, alongside The Audacious Project coalition members.

Each year we will identify up to five ideas that could have a world-changing impact. Everyone is welcome to nominate ideas and applications for 2019 projects  are open to the public now. We are looking for ideas that truly take your breath away. These will be fully researched and vetted before being unveiled each year in a session at the TED conference.

Virgin Unite has always been about uniting people and entrepreneurial ideas to create opportunities for a better world. The Audacious Project is a great way to do this, working alongside a wonderful group of non-profits to fund these amazing ideas. We know we are stronger together, and Audacious is a brilliant way to unite individuals and foundations, no matter how big or how small, to tackle the world’s most complex challenges and collaborate like never before.

A big thanks to the teams leading these inspiring, hopeful, Audacious projects to change the world. To put forward an idea for consideration, learn more or support an existing project at