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May 18, 2018
10:00am–2:30pm EDT


Kendall College of Art and Design
of Ferris State University
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.


The event will begin streaming live on wegeprize.org at 10:00am EDT.

Wege Prize ignites game-changing solutions for the future by inspiring college students around the world to collaborate across institutional, disciplinary, and cultural boundaries and redesign the way economies work.

On May 18, the five finalist teams in the 2018 competition will present and defend their bold ideas in front of expert judges and live/online audiences at the Wege Prize 2018 Final Presentation and Awards Event, where over $30,000 (USD) in total cash prizes will be awarded to the teams whose ideas inspire the greatest hope for real-world success


Doors open: 9:30am
Finalist presentations: 10:00am–12:30pm
Lunch/recess: 12:30–2:00 pm
Awards announcement: 2:00pm


The event is free and open to the public.

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2018 Finalist Teams:

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As a unit, we’re a team of champions for wellbeing. Whether it’s personal health and wellness, economic and financial wellbeing, or the wellbeing of the planet, we’re here for it. This year’s theme of the circular economy resonated with each of us because of its potential to impact all levels of wellbeing. Beyond environmental sustainability (which in turn results in a healthier world with cleaner air and water), the circular economy offers opportunities for increased financial wellbeing for people who’ve been ignored by the existing economic models.


Booming Babies is proposing an online secondhand children’s clothing subscription service that builds a community of dedicated users while scaling adoption with mobile technology and RFID tagging. The team’s solution also plans to upcycle clothing that has reached the end of its life cycle through aggregation and remanufacturing by partnering with fabric dissolving/melting firms to create new fabric durable enough for extended use and soft enough for babies to wear comfortably.


Despite the fact that mostly our team members have different backgrounds and specializations, we all have something in common. We realize the importance of solving wicked environmental problems in such a period when global human population rapidly grows, non-renewable resources year by year become less and less, and, at the same time, the amount of waste increases. People like blaming each other instead of accepting their important role in finding the solutions to these problems. So, we decided to start the change from us following the rule of Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change that you want to see in the world."


CarpeJur is proposing a closed-loop aquaculture system wherein freshwater fish are raised for human consumption while the system’s natural byproducts are upcycled to create additional value. Algae raised alongside the fish act as a biofilter, cleaning the water so that it can be recirculated into the system. Oil extracted from the algae is used in the production of biodiesel fuel, while the algae are used to create animal feed and the organic “sludge” left over becomes natural fertilizer.

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Our transdisciplinary makeup was carefully crafted to allow synergies to form. We share our motivation and our concern to the model to which Mexican rural communities are developing, we all believe that there are sustainable alternatives available, and that our generation has the creativity and opportunity to propose solutions based in radical new ideas. We know that Mexico has massive potential for solving complex problems by developing circular economies, we believe this contest is the perfect opportunity for us to accelerate our ideas. 

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Circular Tourism Mexico is proposing Rutopia, an online platform that facilitates the transition to a fair, sustainable, and circular tourism system for indigenous communities in Mexico. The platform connects indigenous-run community tourism initiatives directly to their target audiences and offers them the tools they need to overcome obstacles that prevent them from competing in the ecotourism marketplace. At the same time, it ensures travelers will be able to seek genuine experiences while benefitting both indigenous communities and the environment.

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We are a team of five women with diverse backgrounds in city planning, engineering, economic development, architecture, public policy, and environmental science. We share the common goal of designing, financing, and constructing beautiful, cost-effective, sustainable built environments. We are excited to join Wege Prize 2018 as a platform for collaborating with each other and with our local New Haven community to resolve urban energy use and housing challenges. Through our project, we aim to rethink the existing value chains that determine the sourcing, use, and waste of the construction materials that shape our society and economy.

Greener Haven solution excerpt (image courtesy of Wege Prize).png


Greener Haven is proposing to resolve the information asymmetries of the residential housing construction market to connect those who need building materials with those who have materials to sell. The team has developed a mobile/web platform combining geolocation and image hosting services to enable crowd-sourced aggregation and sharing of data on materials newly harvested from demolished structures. The platform also provides educational tools to guide users on how to harvest these materials from the waste stream and unlock their potential for reuse.

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We are a diverse group with different interests and backgrounds who all share a common drive to push ourselves to make an impact in our society. As a unit, we believe in giving back, in relation to our communities and the neglected in our society. We recognize the privileged position we find ourselves in, studying at one of the best universities in Africa, and want to maximize our opportunities and the resources afforded to us by creating solutions that care for both the people we want to reach out to, and the environment we want to preserve and sustain for future generations of Africans to come.

Sabon Sake solution excerpt (image courtesy of Wege Prize).png


Sabon Sake is proposing the use of biotechnology and web-based technology to transform bagasse, the main waste byproduct of sugarcane farming, into bio-compost fertilizer, increasing accessibility to the larger sugarcane market for rural farmers in Ghana’s Volta Region and helping them achieve greater yields, reduce crop losses and ultimately, overcome poverty. The team has designed a composting system that uses liquid bio-inoculants and vermicomposting to extract maximum value from the bagasse while negating the harmful environmental impacts of burning it, the method by which it is currently disposed.