Our friends at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation have recently released some key pieces of research and thought-leadership that are movingthe circular economy discussion forward!
Wege Prize has a new look for 2016 - not only is this year’s competition opened up to an international level, but we’ve made some big changes to the format as well that will make Wege Prize 2016 a truly immersive and engaging experience!
When teams register for Wege Prize 2016, they’ll also be required to submit a 500-1000 word research plan that outlines the problem or opportunity they’re interest in addressing. We’re not expecting teams to identity and defend a specific solution in their research plans, but rather tell us where their interest lie and build a framework of research that will ultimately help them develop their solution.
REFINING THE PROCESS
Rather than a single submission deadline, this year’s competition will feature multiple submission deadlines, with the required deliverables increasing in scope and complexity at each deadline. To help teams adapt, we’ve built a feedback loop into each stage of the competition. After each submission deadline, teams will received constructive feedback on their work directly from the Wege Prize judges that will help them refine their solution as the competition progresses.
This built-in support system will help teams engage in a design thinking process to identify and addresses flaws in their solution, empowering them to maximize their collaborative potential.
Check out the design brief to learn more about the process.
TIME IS ON YOUR SIDE
The timeline of Wege Prize 2016 has been drastically expanded from previous competitions in order to help participants build stronger teams and to facilitate more effective collaboration. With more time to network, research, ideate, test, experiment, and refine, teams will be more likely to develop effective and well-considered solutions.
Check out the competition timeline for complete details.
Remember team registration opens August 1, 2015 – head to the Wege Prize Community Forum, create a profile, and start building your team today!
Wege Prize 2016 was recently featured in a great article from Inc. Magazine that explores the competition's big ideas and takes a look at the winning solution from Western Sustainers!
Check it out here: http://www.inc.com/maureen-kline/how-to-create-a-circular-economy.html
Assembling in-person for the first time since forming teams in January, undergraduate competitors from the three transdisciplinary finalist teams in Wege Prize 2015 presented their solutions to the wicked problem of creating a circular economy. The winners were named on March 28 at the second annual Wege Prize Awards, where the teams presented their innovative solutions to five internationally-known judges, as well as public and online audiences.
This year’s competition again challenged teams of five to revolutionize the world’s linear economic models into ones which are regenerative by designing a product, service, or business model that could function within and help create a circular economy – a model in which resources can be re-adapted for use without limiting the desirability of products or the flow of revenue. Now in its second year, Wege Prize was held on a national level, and teams were again required to represent at least two different academic institutions and at least three different academic disciplines.
1st place - $15,000
Team name: Western Sustainers
Cara Givens, Biomedical Sciences, Western Michigan University College of Arts and Sciences
Elijah Lowry, Geography, Western Michigan University College of Arts and Sciences
Kelsey Pitschel, Mechanical Engineering, Western Michigan University College of Engineering
Max Hornick, Public Relations, Western Michigan University College of Arts and Sciences
Ramon Roberts-Perazza, Civil Engineering, Western Michigan University College of Engineering
Solution: Local Loop Farm – This agricultural system is designed to act in symbiosis with its surrounding community, utilizing hot composting, hydroponics, and other innovative technologies to produce fresh, healthy, local, and affordable fish and vegetables while upcycling waste and eliminating many of the negative impacts associated with existing food production and consumption.
“Impressive research and analysis by this team, and in speaking with them afterward we were excited to hear that plans are underway to implement their project.” – Judge Ellen Satterlee
2nd place - $10,000
Team name: Pixelation
Alexandra Vasquez Dheming, Production Design, Savannah College of Art and Design
Karla Ronaszegi, Industrial Design, Savannah College of Art and Design
Lynae Brooks, Architecture, Savannah College of Art and Design
Ryan Parrish, Industrial Design, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University
Taina Fuzaro Bercho, Industrial Design, Savannah College of Art and Design
Solution: No Waste Delivery (NOW) – this food delivery service is designed to change the food consumption and purchasing norms of the urban office worker by reducing packaging waste, food waste, and delivery service fuel emissions.
"We really appreciated the research that Pixelation did in terms of what solutions already exist, both in the US and abroad, and that they attempted to establish circular flows of resources where existing food delivery services hadn't." – Judge Gretchen Hooker
3rd place - $5,000
Team name: The Originals
Christa Iscoa, Architecture, Savannah College of Art and Design
John Worthley, Energy Engineering, Penn State University
Laryssa Tertuliano, Industrial Design, Savannah College of Art and Design
Marina Busato, Industrial Design, Savannah College of Art and Design
Philip Han, Collaborative Design, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University
Solution: Organikos – this service, which combines an energy efficient in-home composting appliance with a user experience-driven web platform, is designed to remove the barriers that make composting difficult and inaccessible.
“What impressed us the most about The Original's solution was that it didn't attempt to do everything on it's own, but rather identified possible collaborations with existing services that could help it succeed. That kind of systemic thinking is exactly what students should be engaging in.” – Judge Nathan Shedroff
Evaluating each team on factors such as research, innovation, and feasibility, judge Colin Webster remarked, “We were all impressed by the enormous amount of time, energy, and research the teams put into their projects, but Western Sustainers’ depth of research and systemic understanding of the solution they’d designed was what ultimately set them apart,” said Colin Webster, Wege Prize judge and Education Programme Manager with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a UK-based organization that’s a global leader in circular economic thought, education, and development. “In all the teams, there was a real willingness to collaborate and engage with very complex concepts and ideas, and most importantly, each showed a desire to improve their solutions beyond this competition and to continue to refine their understanding of the circular economy.”
Colin Webster – Education Programme Manager, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Michael Werner – Green Chemistry and Restricted Substances Manager, Apple Inc.
Gretchen Hooker – Biomimicry Specialist, Biomimicry Institute
Nathan Shedroff – Program Chair, MBA in Design Strategy, California College of the Arts
Ellen Satterlee - CEO, Wege Foundation
Wege Prize 2016 Goes International, Starts Now
All five judges will return for Wege Prize 2016, which is moving to an international level. Next year’s competition will be open to undergraduate students anywhere in the world. Those interested in participating are encouraged to begin networking and connecting with possible mentors and teammates now. More information about Wege Prize 2016 will be revealed in the coming weeks on wegeprize.org.
“We want to thank our esteemed judges and all of the brave, bold, and passionate students who rose to this year’s challenge, and we look forward to the new connections, collaborations, and ideas that will emerge as we transition to an international level,” said Wege Prize organizer Gayle DeBruyn. “The sooner students begin making connections, finding mentors, and brainstorming possible solutions, the better, because Wege Prize 2016 starts right now.”
Wege Prize – a uniquely transdisciplinary design competition focused on the circular economy – has selected three teams to move on to final stage of the second annual competition based on overviews of their solutions to a “wicked” problem. Now, those solutions will be critiqued by five leading practitioners and advocates of design thinking and sustainability.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation will stage the first Disruptive Innovation Festival (DIF) from 20 October – 14 November 2014, bringing together thought-leaders, entrepreneurs, businesses, makers, learners and doers to catalyse system-level change for a future economy. Over four weeks using a mix of online and face to face events participants have an abundance of opportunities to explore the economy through a different lens.
Check it out at http://www.thinkdif.co/me.