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WEGE PRIZE 2020


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WEGE PRIZE 2020


What is Wege Prize?

Wege Prize is 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 over $30,000 (USD) in total cash prizes, all while helping to show the world what the future of problem solving looks like.


The PLAYERS

College/university students from all over the world will compete in transdisciplinary teams of five, representing different academic disciplines and different academic institutions.

Undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level student are eligible to compete. 


PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENTS

The Challenge

 How can we create a circular economy? 

Each team must leverage its transdisciplinary makeup to collaboratively design and propose a product, service, business/non-profit organization, or other solution to a wicked problem that can help us transition from a linear economic model to a circular economic model.

READ THE 2020 DESIGN BRIEF

The Prizes

Winning teams will split the following awards evenly between their five members:


First Place: $15,000 (USD)

Second Place: $10,000 (USD)

Third Place: $5,000 (USD)


PAST WINNERS


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What is the circular economy?


What is the circular economy?


What is the circular economy? What does it look like in practice? Who's doing it now? And how can you get involved? Watch the above video from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to learn more!

the basics

Looking beyond the current take-make-waste extractive industrial model, a circular economy aims to redefine growth, focusing on positive society-wide benefits. It entails gradually decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources, and designing waste out of the system. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, the circular model builds economic, natural, and social capital.

A circular economy is based on three principles:

1. DESIGN OUT WASTE AND POLLUTION

2. KEEP PRODUCTS/MATERIALS IN USE

3. REGENERATE NATURAL SYSTEMS


THE ELLEN MACARTHUR FOUNDATION

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was launched in 2010 to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. Since its creation the charity has emerged as a global thought leader, establishing the circular economy on the agenda of decision makers across business, government, and academia.

We are trying to change a system, not one business. We need to change the way people think, the way things are designed, the materials that are put into them.
— Ellen MacArthur, Ellen MacArthur Foundation Founder and Chair of Trustees
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RESOURCES


RESOURCES


THE 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. A circular economy provides a tightly looped, restorative economic cycle where resources can be re-adapted for use without limiting the desirability of products or the flow of revenue. To learn more, check out the links below:

TO READ

TO WATCH


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WICKED PROBLEM SOLVING

A wicked problem doesn't imply a sense of 'evil,' but rather refers to a problem that is considerably resistant to resolution. Efforts to grapple with one aspect of a wicked problem often reveal or create other obstacles that must be considered and overcome, hence the importance of transdisciplinary collaboration. To learn more, check out the links below:

TO READ

TO WATCH


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DESIGN THINKING/HUMAN-CENTERED DESIGN

Design thinking is a human-centered approach for the development of ideas, business models, strategies, products, services, and brands. This technique pursues innovation through an alignment of consumer needs, sustainable manufacturing, and opportunity. To learn more, check out the links below:

TO READ

TO WATCH


BIOMIMICRY

Biomimicry is the idea that complex human problems can be solved by imitating the systems, models, and design elements of the natural world. By looking to the natural world for inspiration, we can develop solutions that benefit both people and the plant. To learn more, check out the links below:

TO READ

TO WATCH


BUSINESS MODEL DEVELOPMENT

Regardless of what your team is working on - a product, service, business/non-profit organization, or other solution - you'll need to develop a detailed business model that proves the viability and profitability of your idea, as well as its alignment with the circular economy. As you develop your business model, you'll need to be able to identify its strengths and weaknesses, as well as any risks you may face and how you plan to address them. For more information on how to develop a business plan, check out the links below: 

TO READ

TO WATCH


MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGIES

As your team develops a solution, you'll need to detail the resources/materials——technological, biological, and/or capital——incorporated into your solution, provide justification for their use, and illustrate their alignment with the circular economy. Check out the links below to learn about innovative ways you can incorporate materials and emerging technologies into your work: 

TO READ

TO WATCH