Imagine if you could come up with an innovative idea to help stop climate change – and get paid $10,000 for it? That’s what the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is proposing through contests asking people to build action plans focused on climate change topics, from changing public behavior to decarbonizing the energy supply.
Harnessing Collective Intelligence
The project is spearheaded by MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence and its Climate CoLab. Its founder, Sloan Professor Thomas Malone, explains the mission: “To test how crowds and experts can work together to solve large, complex problems, like climate change.” The Climate CoLab community totals 50,000 people, including leading climate change experts. The Climate CoLab has collaborated with the United Nations, Nike and other large organizations leading the charge against climate change.
The Ultimate Prize: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Winners will receive various prizes, including the opportunity to present their idea at MIT and be part of plans that could impact the U.S. and other countries worldwide. This year’s submissions are due Monday, May 23, and winners will be chosen for each of the 10 climate change challenges. There will also be a phase two of the contest where the winning proposals can be put together in various ways to form strategies for both individual nations and the world. All of the solutions will be evaluated by estimating how much greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced. (Learn more about how window film helps to lower greenhouse gas emissions here.)
Cast Your Votes
Part of this crowdsourcing approach includes welcoming comments from everyone around the world. Finalists were recently announced in three contests, on which you can now vote. Check out the ideas and cast your vote here. And learn more about all of the contests here. You’ll be joining 400,000 others who have logged onto the Climate CoLab website. The project has gained momentum since its inception and has gained recognition from such media outlets as PBS, NPR, Popular Science, The Weather Channel, and Discovery.