In an effort to attract the best ideas from around the globe for the 2014 contests, the Climate CoLab team encouraged its members to spread the word with the $2,000 Climate CoLab Social Network Prize.
Inspired by the MIT Red Balloon Challenge Team, our researchers structured the prize with the hope that it would motivate members to spread the word not only to friends who might have ideas themselves, but also to friends who might know other people with ideas, too.
Here’s how it worked: we offered $1,000 to anyone who referred the winner of the $10,000 Grand Prize, $500 to anyone who referred the referrer of the winner, $250 to anyone who referred the referrer of the referrer, and so on. In this way, a person could win prize money for spreading word of the contest even if they were 6 degrees of separation from the Grand Prize Winner.
This year, the prize helped motivate Shane Easter to take an active part in recruiting his friends and close colleagues to get involved in the Climate CoLab. Among these friends was Danielle Dahan, an old classmate of Shane’s from Brown University, who happened to have an idea herself.
“Danielle had innovative solutions to climate change in the past, including creating a sustainable engineering major at Brown, so I figured it would be worth engaging her and her network in this cross-disciplinary effort,” wrote Shane.
In this case, it certainly was worth it. Danielle’s proposal “Improve Building Energy Performance: Green Job Skills Training” went on to win the $10,000 Grand Prize, which was awarded at the recent Crowds and Climate Conference.
As a result, Shane will be awarded $1,000 as our first ever winner of the Climate CoLab Social Network Prize.
For questions or more information about the Social Network Prize, please contact Erik Duhaime, PhD candidate at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence.