Nominations are now open for Wege Prize 2023, an annual competition that ignites game-changing solutions for the future by inspiring college/university students around the world to collaborate across institutional, disciplinary, and cultural boundaries to redesign the way economies work.
Participants contend for $65,000 (USD) in total cash prizes, all while learning—and helping to show the world—what the future of problem solving looks like.
Winning teams will split the following awards evenly between their five members:
- First Place: $30,000 (USD).
- Second Place: $20,000 (USD).
- Third Place: $10,000 (USD).
- Finalist Awards (2): $2,500 (USD).
The challenge for wege prize participants is to:
- Build a strong and diverse transdisciplinary team of five.
- Identify a complex, “wicked” problem to address.
- Develop a compelling solution to the problem that is built on the three core principles of the circular economy:
- Eliminate Waste and Pollution
- Wege Prize needs to consider waste and pollution as design flaws rather than inevitable by-products of the things they make.
- Keep Products And Materials in Use
- Wege Prize needs to design products to be reused, repaired, re-manufactured, or, better yet: kept in circulation and out of the landfill.
- Regenerate Our Natural Systems
- Wege Prize needs to return nutrients to the soil and other systems to enhance the natural resources and ensure their prosperity.
- Eliminate Waste and Pollution
Possible Solutions Include, But are Not Limited To:
- Business models
Over the course of nine months, from the opening of the application period through the final presentation and awards event, teams will compete to advance through up to four distinct phases, growing their ideas from an informal proposal into a robust and feasible solution informed by research, market analysis, and real-world prototyping and testing. Each step of the way, they will be guided by direct feedback from a panel of expert judges who will help them strengthen their ideas, push the limits of possibility, and support bringing their plans into fruition.
Wege Prize is Looking for Solutions That are:
- Circular – helping accelerate the transition to a circular economy and a shift towards renewables.
- Innovative – providing unique value and exploring untapped potential.
- Viable – demonstrating marketability, profitability, and financial sustainability.
- Scaleable – moving effectively from local to global impact.
Systemic – accounting for the way in which parts of a system both influence each other and work as a whole.
- To be eligible to participate in wege prize, teams must:
- Have exactly five members.
- Represent at least three (3) different academic disciplines.
- Represent at least two (2) different institutions of higher education, such as colleges, universities, or separate colleges/schools within a larger university. (For instance, a team member from Example University’s School of Engineering and a team member from Example University’s School of Earth Sciences would be considered as representing two different institutions.)
- These are the minimum requirements. Teams with the greatest disciplinary and institutional diversity will likely have a higher probability of success.
- To be eligible to join a team, individuals must:
- Attend a college, university, or equivalent institution of higher education anywhere in the world
- Be a student enrolled in a full-time (or equivalent) undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate program, for the entire duration of the competition.
- Teams can be composed of a mix of undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students if they so choose.
For more information, visit http://www.wegeprize.org/#competition