So you've seen the Project Summary mentioned in the Wege Prize 2019 Design Brief, and you're not quite sure what to make of it. FEAR NOT! You can find answers to all of your questions in the handy guide below:

What is the project summary?

Your challenge for Phases 2-4 of the competition is to develop your research plan into a concrete solution you’ll communicate through your Project Summary, an informative and visually compelling multi-page document that balances text and graphics (charts, graphs, design renderings, logos, infographics, etc.).

Think of the Project Summary as telling the story of your team's solution. It needs to be an engaging narrative that draws readers in and helps them understand the value of the work you're doing and the ideas you want to make a reality.



What are the design guidelines for the Project Summary?

Your Project Summary must follow the design and style guidelines listed below:

  • Format: Multi-page PDF
  • Length: 6 pages for 1st draft (submitted in Phase II); 8 pages for 2nd draft and final draft (submitted in Phase III and Phase IV, respectively)
  • Page Dimensions: ALL pages must have exact dimensions of 8.5" x 11."
  • Font Size: DO NOT use any font size smaller than 11pt. This is, however, no limit to how large of a font you can use.
  • Font Recommendations: Helvetica, Arial, Verdana
  • Text to Graphics Ratio: Ideally you should aim for anywhere between a mix of 50% text and 50% graphics and a mix of 70% text and 30% graphics per page. 
  • Image resolution: Any and all images used should be have a resolution of at least 300dpi.
  • Wege Prize logo: If you wish to use the Wege Prize logo in your Project Summary, you can download a .png logo file here. The logo must not be resized or distorted. 

Feeling overwhelmed? Check out these helpful design links:

What software should be used to create the Project Summary?


For best results, we recommend using the Adobe Creative Suite, specifically these two programs:

  • Adobe InDesign - desktop publishing software
  • Adobe Photoshop - image editing software


For those who don't already have the Adobe Creative Suite and don't wish to purchase it, we recommend:

  • Microsoft Publisher - desktop publishing software, part of the Microsoft Office software suite
  • Scribus - free open-source desktop publishing software (download here)
  • GIMP - free open-source image editing software (download here)
  • Lucid Press - free cloud-based open-source desktop publishing software (access here)*
  • Pixlr - free clould-based open-source image editing software (access here)*

*When using cloud-based software, be sure to frequently save physical copies of your work to your computer's hard drive! That way, if the cloud-based software malfunctions, your work is still saved. 



What content should the Project Summary contain?


The 1st draft of the Project Summary (submitted in Phase II) must contain the following content:


The Solution Summary section (2-3 sentences) should explain your solution as succinctly as possible to help others quickly and easily understand its unique value. 


The Context section should provide information and insight that helps the judges understand the conditions­—economic, geographic, social, technological, etc.—surrounding the wicked problem you’re proposing to solve. Questions to address in this section include:

  • History — What is the history behind your wicked problem? 
  • Scope — What is the scope of your wicked problem? Is it far-reaching, or more localized? 
  • Location — Where in the world does this wicked problem occur? 
  • Stakeholders/influencers — Who does this wicked problem affect, and how do economic/geographic/social/technological factors shape its effects?


The Solution Overview section should describe in specific detail how the solution you are proposing will work, explain how it aligns with the principles of the circular economy, and illustrate the feasibility of your business model. Questions to address in this section include:

  • Detailed summary — What are you designing and how does it address your wicked problem? 
  • Customer/user validation — How does your solution fill a need, and for whom?
  • Incentive — How will people be motivated to use whatever it is you’re designing? 
  • Creating effective flows — If your solution utilizes materials or nutrients, how are you helping them flow? If your solution connects “needs” to “haves,” how does it work? 
  • Economic feasibility — Is your solution financially viable and can it be profitable in both the short and long term? 
  • Innovation — How does your solution help accelerate the transition into a circular economy?


The Impact Assessment section should explain how your solution differs from existing solutions and describe its potential for social/cultural/other impact. Questions to address in this section include:

  • Unique value — What ideas, concepts, and/or fields of knowledge inspired your solution? How does your solution go beyond this inspiration to provide unique value?
  • Outcomes — In what ways can your solution have a positive impact, both for those immediately affected by your wicked problems and for the world at-large? 


The Prototyping section should detail any steps you’ve taken to begin prototyping your solution and testing it in a real-world context. Questions to address in this section include:

  • Progress — How have you attempted to prototype your solution and test it in a real-world setting? 
  • Perspective — Have you worked with others (beyond your team members) in prototyping your solution? If so, what has that outside perspective influence your process? 
  • Learning — What have you learned from the prototyping you've done thus far, and how will you carry that learning forward into the next phase of the competition? 


The Barrier Acknowledgement section should identify the challenges and barriers preventing your solution from succeeding and communicate your plan to address them. Questions to address in this section include:

  • What are the challenges your solution faces (as it currently stands)? How do you plan to address them? 
  • What are the most formidable barriers to implementing your solution (as it currently stands) in the real world? How do you plan to overcome them? 

Project Summary 2nd Draft and Final Draft

The 2nd draft and final drafts of the Project Summary (submitted in Phase III and Phase IV, respectively) must contain revised versions of all of the content included in the 1st draft as well as the additional content detailed below:


The Detailed Material Analysis section should address the following questions:

  • What technological and/or biological materials are incorporated in your solution? 
  • Why have you chosen these specific materials (cost, functional properties, availability, green chemistry, alignment with circular economy principles, etc.)?
  • Where will you source these materials from?
  • How does your solution attempt to keep materials at their highest utility and value at all times?
  • How can the materials incorporated in your solution be recovered for reuse and/or upcycled into a different process or cycle?
  • How have you considered social equity in the sourcing/production/manufacturing of materials and/or your use of human capital?


The Detailed Economic Analysis section should address the following questions:

A. Business Model Canvas

  • Who are the key partners involved in your business model?
  • What are the key activities that will take place in your business model? 
  • What are the key resources that power your business model?
  • What are the value propositions your business model will create?
  • What will the relationship between you and your users/consumer look like? 
  • What kinds of inflow and outflow channels are incorporated?
  • What is the cost structure of your business model (startup cost, operating cost, calculated return on investment)? 
  • What revenue streams are involved in your business model? 

B. SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats)

  • What are the strengths of your business model, both from your perspective and from the perspective of your user/customer?
  • What are the weaknesses of your business model, both from your perspective and from the perspective of your user/customer?
  • What will the relationship between you and your users/consumer look like? 
  • What threats does your business model pose, both to you and to your user/customer?

C. Risk Analysis

  • What risks are inherent in your business model, and what are your strategies for mitigating those risks?



How should teams revise and refine their project summary over the course of the competition?

You'll begin by creating an initial draft of your Project Summary in Phase II. After submitting for Phase II, you'll receive direct feedback from the judges. In Phase III, you'll consider that feedback as you refine the content in your Project Summary, while also developing new content focused on the material and economic elements of your solution to complete a second draft. After submitting for Phase III, you'll again receive direct feedback from the judges if your team is chosen as a finalist. Finalist teams will consider this feedback as they further refine their Project Summary into a final draft.



What are some examples of past Project Summary documents that have been successful?

Click on the images below to view examples of past Project Summary Documents. Remember though, the content requirements for the Project Summary have changed for Wege Prize 2019, so be sure to use these examples as a reference only. Do not copy the formatting or contents exactly!