Wege Prize is a yearly student design competition that gives teams of five the chance to collaborate across institutional and disciplinary boundaries, use design thinking principles, and contend for $30,000 in total cash prizes, all while helping to show the world what the future of problem solving looks like.
Undergraduate students from all over the world will compete in transdisciplinary teams of five, representing different academic disciplines and different academic institutions.
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 complete design brief here.
Winning teams will split the following awards evenly between their five members:
First Place: $15,000
Second Place: $10,000
Third Place: $5,000
The economic model of extract-manufacture-disposal relies on vast reserves of expendable resources and an environment that can absorb unlimited waste. But simply reducing waste and the consumption of limited resources is not enough. 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 loss of revenue.
In 2009, Dame Ellen MacArthur created The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a non-profit organization with the aim of inspiring a generation to re-think, re-design & build a positive future through the framework of a circular economy. The Foundation has a wealth of resources you can utilize to get up to speed on the ideas, practices, and terminology behind the big idea of the circular economy.
The video 'Re-Thinking Progress' from The Ellen MacArthur Foundation explores how through a change in perspective we can re-design the way our economy works.
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.
As an integral component of design thinking, collaborative design empowers the pursuit of innovation by immersing a diversity of transdisciplinary perspectives in the processes of analysis, experimentation, development, and implementation.