The power of challenges
We will use the power of open innovation to identify new solvers and new solutions for the Grand Challenges of Conservation. Our philosophy of open innovation is (A) to harness prestige and intellectual curiosity to develop challenges, prizes, and crowdsourcing that will inspire individuals and teams push past conventional limits and thinking, (B) to encourage the development of new breakthrough innovations and solutions for conservation, and (C) to entice new innovators from outside of conservation to bring their ideas to bear on critical environmental challenges. The language, construction, and insights to define the problem are critical to the success of this effort. We will harness the Conservation X Lab’s considerable expertise in challenges, prizes, open innovation, and crowdsourcing (from founding open innovation at USAID to running ecosystem prizes at X Prize Foundation) to best understand how to structure the challenges, and gain insights through expert consultation into the challenges’ core constraints.
Prizes and challenges are an extraordinarily effective use of resources due to the leveraging of additional funds by the innovators themselves, low monitoring costs of fund disbursement, a relatively simple application process (compared to grant funding), quicker feedback cycles, and streamlined review based on simple solutions-based criteria. Rather than searching for the best possible ideas, you bring those ideas to you.