Announcing the $2.2M Learning Landscapes Challenge

In the ever-evolving landscape of education, the need for innovative and adaptable K-12 learning environments has never been more pressing. That’s why Siegel Family Endowment and the Walton Family Foundation have come together to launch the Learning Landscapes Challenge – a $2.2 million competition to design and build future-ready K-12 education environments.

The Learning Landscapes Challenge will incentivize partnerships to integrate the physical, digital, and social infrastructure required to meet K-12 students’ learning needs now and in the future. It will provide funding, cross-sector collaboration, and tailored technical support to help changemakers develop and scale new infrastructure solutions. 

The challenge will unfold across three phases designed to identify and support concepts and teams with the potential to achieve tangible, transformative impact — while laying the foundation to scale innovative learning beyond a single community. Phase 1 submissions are now open through May 14. 

What Brought Us to this Moment

Our work has long focused on elevating the vital role schools play in our communities. Building on the vision we set in our 2022 Schools as Community Infrastructure whitepaper and 2020 vision of Multidimensional Infrastructure, the challenge invites entrants to propose infrastructure solutions that deliver and connect digital, in-school, and community-based learning experiences. Our grantmaking has supported the implementation of this vision over the past few years, and we’ve been energized and inspired by the impact our partnerships have made to date. 

At a time of unprecedented federal investment in infrastructure, we have a unique opportunity to catalyze the development of future-ready K-12 learning environments. Across the United States, education changemakers are experimenting with highly effective models of personalized and experiential learning. With the right structures and tools to expand their reach, these learning experiences can reduce achievement gaps and drive long-term success for more students. 

But systems-change work is bigger than any one organization. We’re thrilled to co-design this challenge with the Walton Family Foundation, who is also investing in infrastructure solutions that can improve equitable outcomes for K-12 students. Together, we hope this challenge will accelerate the transition of more ideas into practice. 

Seeking New Ideas and Diverse Innovators 

We believe that multidimensional learning ecosystems that consider the whole learner, whole school, and whole community are a crucial path towards more equitable outcomes. We also recognize the need for both incremental innovation within existing systems, as well as true invention that reimagines how education might look from the ground up.

The Learning Landscapes Challenge will help us understand how we might shift systems in ways that drive equitable outcomes and create opportunities for learners and their communities. Notably, this challenge isn’t for prefab ideas; the phases will allow applicants to test, refine, and iterate so their concepts are the best versions of themselves, and to build prototypes of their models and solutions. 

Ideas are evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. A key goal of this challenge is to surface new voices and changemakers from diverse communities around the country. The challenge actively seeks applicants from historically excluded groups that are proximate to their communities and have expertise in their communities’ unique needs and assets. 

Learn More and Get Involved

The Learning Landscapes Challenge is not just a competition; it’s a call to action for all those who are passionate about the future of education. 

  1. Stay informed. You can also visit the challenge website and sign up to receive the latest competition news.
  2. Attend a virtual information session. We invite you and your network to attend a virtual information session at 12:00 p.m. ET on March 13 to hear directly from the challenge team and ask questions. Advanced registration is required.
  3. Help us spread the word. We welcome your support in sharing this opportunity with your networks via posts on LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as forwarding materials to potential entrants. See sample content.
  4. Join us for breakfast on March 5 at SXSW EDU. Whether serving as a judge or mentor, or helping to spread the word among potential entrants, there is a crucial role for you to play as we work to advance equitable outcomes for K-12 students. Register here