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The Economist-Lumina Foundation Challenge Winner Announced

Challenge Winner Diana Cobbe Will Join Education and Business Influencers for a Google+ Hangout Addressing the Skills Gap October 9th 2014, 1 P.M. EDT

NEW YORK—Lumina Foundation, in partnership with The Economist Group and InnoCentive, announced the winner of its groundbreaking Challenge to crowd-source solutions to address the skills gap between higher education and the workforce. The Economist-Lumina Foundation Challenge aimed to discover a product or service that can facilitate better communication between employers and higher education in order to equip graduates with the necessary skills for today's workforce.

Diana Cobbe and her solution, OnCampus, were selected as the Challenge winner at this year's Economist Higher Education Forum, where she received a prize of $10,000. OnCampus is described as Candy Crush meets LinkedIn. It is a mobile app and gamified social learning platform that rewards students for building skills valued by employers. It tracks and validates skill development through college and generates an employability score for hiring managers. Employers are able to use this score to recruit apprentices, and students become better job candidates as they learn about companies and skills-in-demand through company menus. As companies update their menus to reflect their changing needs, and as students respond to those needs, companies are able to build their talent pipeline.

"We had a tough decision to make this year. The array and quality of entries helped us better understand perceptions of the skills gaps and provided us with a number of possible solutions," said Jamie Merisotis, Lumina's president and CEO. "It is imperative that higher education and employers do a better job in communicating with one another, and this year's Challenge winner is poised to make a positive impact on those efforts."

The Google+ Hangout entitled "Closing the Skills Gap -- A Conversation on the Roles of Business and Higher Education in Workforce Readiness," which will take place Thursday, October 9th at 1 p.m. EDT, will feature a discussion on the skills gap with some of the leading minds in education and business, including the Challenge winner.

Anyone can view the Google+ Hangout via The Economist Intelligence Unit's Google+ page and can join the conversation by tweeting questions @TheEIU for the Google+ Hangout panelists via #SkillsGapChallenge.

Google+ Hangout participants will include:

  • Moderator, Riva Richmond, Senior Editor, The Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO, Lumina Foundation
  • Michael Stanton, Partner, Learn Capital
  • Bhaskar Chakravorti, Senior Associate Dean of International Business and Finance of the Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Challenge winner Diana Cobbe, Founder, OnCampus
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