Wege Prize 2020 now is over!
The Wege Prize 2020 international annual competition recently opened for entries invites college/university students around the world to collaborate across institutional, disciplinary, and cultural boundaries to redesign the way economies work.
The Wege Prize 2020 now is calling for entries! This annual competition 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.
The big question this time is: How can we create a circular economy?
Our current linear economic system, in which we “take, make, and dispose”, relies on large quantities of easily accessible resources and energy, and as such is unfit for the reality in which it operates. Working towards efficiency - a reduction of resources and fossil energy consumed per unit of manufacturing output - will not alter the finite nature of these resources, but rather can only delay their inevitable extinction. Therefore, a change of the entire operating system seems necessary. One potential new system is a circular economy. A circular economy is one that is restorative by design, and which aims to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value, at all times. Imagine if we could design objects so that every material or component in them could be put to productive use at the end of that object’s useful life. By reusing materials at high quality instead of extracting new ones, we can save money and energy while having a positive impact on the natural environment. Now imagine if we designed businesses or services that mimicked how living systems operated, so that they add value to the whole system. Living systems are generous; they give back more than they take out, operating on the basis of abundance. Finally, imagine if the whole economic system was designed to facilitate these ideas; and imagine if it was all powered by clean, renewable energy. This is the essence of a circular economy. Wege Prize teams must leverage their transdisciplinary makeup to collaboratively design and propose a solution to a wicked problem of their choosing that can, in turn, help solve the wicked problem of transitioning from a linear economic model to a circular economic model. Possible solutions include, but are not limited to:
• Businesses or non-profit organizations
Over the course of nine months and four distinct phases, Wege Prize teams will grow their ideas from an informal research plan into a fully-developed solution that can be prototyped and tested in the real world. Guided by direct feedback from competition judges, teams will work to rethink and redesign the way economies work by creating regenerative solutions that have a widespread and lasting positive impact.
Wege Prize judges are looking for solutions that address the shortcomings of a linear economic model on a systemic level. The most successful solutions will:
• Think in systems by demonstrating an understanding of how parts influence one another within a whole, as well as the relationship of the whole to the parts.
• Consider the economics and viability of the solution within natural, social, and financial systems.
• Preserve and enhance natural capital by controlling finite resource stocks and balancing renewable resource flows.
• Optimize resource yields by circulating products, components, and materials at their highest utility at all times in both technical and biological cycles.
• Foster system effectiveness by designing out waste and negative externalities such as pollution, toxicity, and climate change.
There is no entry fee for this competition!
No Entry Fee!There is no entry fee to participate!
Undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level student are eligible to compete.