Emergency Savings Design Challenge


Congratulations to The 2022 Challenge Winner:

The Sunny Day Fund Logo


The Sunny Day Fund™ was awarded "Best Emergency Savings Design" at Mad*Pow's annual 2022 Health Experience Design Conference. The Sunny Day Fund™ builds innovative financial technologies, including The Sunshine™. This friendly, inclusive, intuitive, and engaging goal-based platform is an employer-rewarded emergency savings fund that stabilizes workers' finances and enables their pursuit of economic freedom. Employers can help American workers save for brighter days ahead and grow with greater resiliency. To learn more about The Sunshine™, please visit the Sunny Day Fund™.

Three screenshots of The Sunshine Platform.

About the Challenge

Mad*Pow and Commonwealth, with support from BlackRock’s Emergency Savings Initiative, are on a mission to discover how we can empower and equip employers and financial service providers with tools and services that help people build emergency savings funds. 

Emergency savings is foundational to financial security, yet many people are unable to manage unexpected expenses. Furthermore, Black, Latinx, female-led, and lower-income households disproportionately experience financial insecurity due in large part to longstanding systemic racism and gender discrimination.  At Mad*Pow, we understand the collective sum of our individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, self-expression, and unique capabilities represents a significant part of not only our culture, but our ability to bring various perspectives to designing for inclusivity and equity.  We see this challenge as an opportunity to envision a practical yet aspirational future financial state where reliable emergency savings are status quo. 

Join us for a free webinar, January 25, 3-3:30pm ET for an informational session on this Design Challenge.

Financial Insecurity Statistics

Challenge participants are encouraged to design approaches to the problem within two prize categories: 

Prize #1 - Employee Financial Wellness

How might employers design an engaging emergency savings benefit for employees?

Prize #2 - Inclusive Savings Products

How might financial service companies design emergency savings products that meet the needs of those living on lower and moderate incomes?

This challenge is part of a series of Mad*Pow hosted design challenges that help create interventions to society’s most complex issues.

Submission Timeline

Participate Button

 Deadline: Friday, March 4, 2022, by 11:59 EST 

The intent to participate is non-binding—submitting the form does not obligate you to submit a design. Once you submit an Intent to Participate form, we’ll send you a toolkit with more information about the challenge, industry research from Commonwealth, and additional resources. We will also be hosting a virtual Challenge Q&A and want to ensure that you are notified of that event.

Final Submission Deadline: Monday, March 21, 2022, by 11:59 EST  

You must submit an Intent to Participate form to submit a final design. A submission link will only be emailed to those that have filled out the Intent to Participate Form. 

Winners Notified 

1 Week before HxD - Prepare travel arrangements and develop a presentation. 

Winner Publicly Announced

At HxD 2022, April 11 & 12, 2022 - Winners will have the opportunity to give a Pecha Kucha-style presentation about their work at HxD. 

Recognition & Prizes

  • Winners in each category will receive a $1,000 cash prize:
    • Prize #1 Employee Financial Wellness
      • How might employers design an engaging emergency savings benefit for employees?
    • Prize #2 Inclusive Savings Products
      • How might financial service companies design emergency savings products that meet the needs of those living on lower and moderate incomes?
    • Honorable Mention An exemplary entry that did not win but demonstrates a compelling concept or solution may be awarded an Honorable Mention. 
  • Winners will be announced at the Health Experience Design (HxD) Conference on April 12, 2022.
    • Winners receive 5 complimentary tickets to HxD 2022.
    • Winners will have the opportunity to present their solutions in a Pecha Kucha-style presentation at HxD 2022. 
    • Winners will have the opportunity to host a booth at HxD 2022.
  • Winners will draw national attention from organizations across health, design, and tech, as well as the press.
  • Winners will be promoted by the Mad*Pow and Commonwealth networks, including by email, and on social media.
  • Winners may have the opportunity to work with organizations engaged with the challenge to implement their concepts (in whole or in part) in the real world. 

About Our Partner

Commonwealth is a national nonprofit building financial security and opportunity for financially vulnerable people through innovation and partnerships.

Tens of millions of people in the U.S. live with chronic financial insecurity, inadequate savings, and no meaningful wealth, with deeply harmful consequences for themselves, their children, families, communities, employers, and the economy. 

Commonwealth’s vision is to make it possible for all people to build wealth. For over two decades, Commonwealth’s fundamental purpose has remained to create a stronger and more prosperous society where everyone has financial opportunity. Their work has enabled over 1 million people to save over $4 billion on a path to greater financial security and wealth.

Host a Design Challenge with Mad*Pow

Thinking about conducting a design and innovation challenge, but need an experienced partner to help design and manage the challenge? Do you have a challenge or opportunity that inspires you, but need to build a coalition to make it real? Contact Mad*Pow to find those partners and start making magic happen. Design Challenges serve as a tremendous vehicle to fuel open innovation efforts. Benefits include:

  • A multitude of diverse ideas and opportunities to be explored
  • Another research avenue – uncovering new viewpoints
  • Positioning brand in the innovation realm, fortifying the culture
  • Attract passionate designers and innovators to hire

Lets Collaborate


Our Judges

Arijit Roy, EVP, Head of Deposits , Small Business Banking, Analytics & Strategy, Truist Financial Corporation
Ben Little
Ben Little, VP, Design Strategy, Fidelity
Dr. Jeremiah Brown
Dr. Jeremiah Brown, Public Service Research Group, School of Business, UNSW Canberra
Kelly Fryer
Kelly Fryer, Executive Director, Fintech Sandbox
Madyé Parrish
Madyé Parrish, Head of Product, Mobility Capital Finance
Salah Goss
Salah Gloss, Head of Social Impact for North America, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth
Tim Jakubowski
Tim Jakubowski, Senior Advisor, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Tim Jakubowski serves as one of several judges in a personal capacity, non-representative of his role at CFPB.