Project: Climate CoLab
The Climate CoLab has launched a set of contests seeking high-impact proposals on how people, organizations and governments can tackle major climate change challenges. Entries can win prizes — including a $10,000 cash award and a chance to present at MIT — and also feed into larger climate action plans for countries and the whole world, which the community will build on the platform later this year.
“The mission of the Climate CoLab is to test how crowds and experts can work together to solve large, complex problems, like climate change,” says MIT Sloan Professor Thomas Malone, director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence and founder of the Climate CoLab.
In the first stage of the project, anyone can submit proposals for how to tackle ten major climate challenges. Each proposal will be evaluated for the impact the proposal would have on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Winners will be chosen in each contest.
In the second stage, opening later this year, people can package different proposals together to form national and global climate strategies that use simplified climate models to estimate the GHG reductions that would result.
The MIT lab ran a pilot contest on this approach in 2015, with Henry Paulson, former U.S. Secretary of Treasury and former CEO of Goldman Sachs; Andrew Steer, the president of the World Resources Institute (WRI); and Janos Pasztor, then-current United Nations Assistant Secretary-General on Climate Change, overseeing the global contest as advisors.
Last year, some of the winning proposals submitted to the platform included:
- the non-profit SunSaluter, a rotating solar panel that generates 30 percent more electricity than a standard panel and four liters of clean drinking water each day;
- a policy mechanism for internalizing marine emissions that combines charging a levy on emissions from international maritime shipping, with a fuel levy on fuel consumption by domestic shipping; and
- a national campaign on energy conservation and renewable energy in Indian schools that is working towards building a network of energy ambassadors.
Submissions are due before May 23, 2016, 8:00 PM Eastern Time. To submit a proposal, or read and comment on other proposals, see http://climatecolab.org.
Photo credit: NASA Scientific Visualization Studio via Wikimedia Commons. Story credit: MIT press release.