For complete details on the rules, requirements, and regulations that govern Wege Prize 2020, refer to the helpful links below:


Individual Participation Requirements

To be eligible to participate on a Wege Prize 2020 team, you must:

  • Attend a college, university, or equivalent institution of higher education anywhere in the world

  • Be a student enrolled in a full-time (or equivalent) undergraduate or graduate program*

*Both undergraduate and graduate level students are eligible to compete. Teams can be composed of both undergraduate and graduate students if they so choose. 

Team Participation Requirements

To be eligible to participate in Wege Prize 2020, teams must:

  • Have exactly five members

  • Represent at least three (3) different academic disciplines*

  • Represent at least two (2) different institutions of higher education, such as colleges, universities, or separate colleges/schools within a larger university. (For instance, a team member from Example University's School of Engineering and a team member from Example University's School of Earth Sciences would be considered as representing two different institutions.)*

*These are the minimum requirements. Teams with the greatest disciplinary and institutional diversity will likely have a higher probability of success.



The Challenge

For Wege Prize 2020 we will be revisiting the following wicked problem: How can we create a circular economy? 

Wege Prize teams must leverage their transdisciplinary makeup to collaboratively design and propose a solution to a wicked problem of their choosing that can, in turn, help solve the wicked problem of transitioning from a linear economic model to a circular economic model. Possible solutions include, but are not limited to:

  • Products

  • Services

  • Businesses/non-profit organizations

All teams must consider the economics and viability of their solution within natural, social, and financial systems.

Remember, in the words of architect Bill McDonough, doing less bad is not the same as doing more good.” Wege Prize teams work together to help us completely re-think and re-design the way our economy works and create positive, regenerative solutions that have a widespread and lasting impact.   

The Process

Judging Criteria

Through each phase of the competition, teams will be judged on the following criteria:

A.) Depth of research

  • Have you clearly identified the problem you’re trying to solve?

  • To what depth have you studied and analyzed the problem?

  • Have you researched existing solutions?

  • Have you consulted experts to refine your solution?

B.) Presentation

  • Is your presentation organized, and does it deliver a clear message?

  • Have you gotten creative and thought outside the box when developing your presentation?

  • Can you provide immediate and thoughtful answers to the judges’ questions?

C.) Innovation and Implementation

  • Does your solution help accelerate us into a circular economy?

  • Is your solution technologically, economically, and financially feasible?

  • Is there proven customer need for your solution?

  • Is there sufficient motivation for people to use your solution?

  • What system conditions need to exist to make your solution possible?

  • If your solution builds on an existing project or research you’re already involved in, to what extent have you built upon it?

  • Have you prototyped your solution

D.) Collaboration

  • Have you built a strong and balanced transdisciplinary team?

  • Have you engaged all of your teammates in the development of your solution?

  • Beyond dividing up different tasks, have you worked across disciplinary boundaries and brought your different perspectives together?

  • Have you effectively engaged mentors and/or subject matter experts in your design process?


The Fine Print

This competition is void where prohibited by law. There is no fee to enter the competition, however, you are responsible for any costs you may incur for creating and submitting the materials that comprise your solution.

Upon the date of submission, your solutions and any materials that comprise them will remain your intellectual property, which you are free to develop and promote at your own discretion. However, by submitting the materials that comprise your solution in this competition, you automatically grant Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) and The Wege Foundation the right to use said materials, as well as your personal profile information, including but not limited to, name, school, major, team name, image, and likeness, for any non-commercial purpose, including display, promotion, and assessment. Any non-commercial use of the materials that comprise your solution by the above parties will be accompanied by the appropriate attribution as to their creator and/or source.

To win, teams must have at least one member in attendance to present at the final presentation and awards event. All winners of cash prizes are solely responsible for any applicable U.S. income tax. Taxes will be withheld from any cash prize awarded to foreign citizens.

Any team or individual that fails to meet the eligibility requirements at any point in the competition will be disqualified. No exemptions to the individual and/or team eligibility requirements will be granted unless an Act of God is involved, including but not limited to, death or life-threatening injury of a team member, death or life-threatening injury in the immediate family of a team member, and extreme weather conditions.

Winners will be notified in person and will be required to complete an affidavit or declaration of eligibility/liability release, a publicity release, and such other documents as may be required by KCAD and The Wege Foundation. Required documents must be signed and received within 7 days of the date printed on the prize notification. Failure to comply or return of any prize notification as undeliverable may result in forfeiture of prize. A parent or guardian of a winner not of the age of majority in his or her state of residence will be required to ratify and sign required documents. Accepting prize money constitutes permission (except where prohibited by law) to use winners’ names, educational background (including name of institution and major of study) and/or likenesses for promotional purposes without further notice or monetary compensation.

Rules and regulations subject to change.