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Contests Now Open!


Starting today, ten contests are open and seeking proposals until May 23, 2016!

Winners will be invited to MIT to present their proposal, be eligible to win a $10,000 Grand Prize, and be invited to join the Climate CoLab Winner’s Program. Proposals can also win cash awards for being included in national and global climate action plans, built on the site later this year.


To support the 2015 United Nations’ Paris agreement, all Climate CoLab contests this year will be a part of a larger effort to build detailed strategies for how countries and the world as a whole can deal with climate change. If the proposals you submit to these contests are included in the top global climate action plans built on the platform later this year, you will receive cash awards.


To support the global and national climate action planning, these contests seek proposals for:

  • Any type of high-impact action, be it a policy, technology, service, community project, educational program, public engagement campaign, or other action, to be taken in any part of the world.
  • New ideas as well as current best practices. Climate action plans include both innovative and tried-and-true ideas. High potential novel ideas and good descriptions of current best practices are all eligible for awards.
  • Summaries of good ideas developed by others.  Just like you can summarize other people’s ideas in Wikipedia, the Climate CoLab allows you to submit proposals about good ideas developed by others outside the Climate CoLab as long as you reference the original author or organization.

More details…

All proposals will be evaluated for their impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions or preparing for climate change, as well as their feasibility, novelty and presentation.


Work with our team of Impact Assessment Fellows to estimate your proposal’s impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


Later this year, your proposal can be included in national and global climate action plans, built by Climate CoLab community members around the world. If your proposal is part of a winning climate action plan, you win, too!


Top proposals in each contest will be awarded…

Judges’ Choice Winner – Strongest overall
Popular Choice Winner – Received the most votes during the voting period
Impact Award – Largest impact and highly feasible
Novelty Award – Most innovative

The Judges’ and Popular Choice Winners will be invited to MIT to present their proposal, enter the Climate CoLab Winners Program and be eligible for the $10,000 Grand Prize. All award winners will receive wide recognition and visibility by the MIT Climate CoLab. See last year’s conference.

If your proposal is included in a top global climate action plan, you will receive CoLab Points, which are redeemable for cash prizes.  Last year, we gave out $10,000 with individual awards of over $1,000!

Contests Now Open

Shifting Behavior for a Changing Climate
Energy Supply
Waste Management
Land Use: Agriculture, Forestry, Livestock
Materials Matter  (sponsored by Nike)
The Smart Zero Carbon Cities Challenge

Contest Schedule

Contest deadline: Monday, May 23, 8:00:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
Semifinalist Selection:               May 24 – June 5
Revision Period: June 7 – June 15
Finalist Selection: June 16 – June 30
Public Voting:   July 5 – July 31

Winners announced soon after voting ends.  Read more about each of these phases.

Details about eligible proposals

This applies to all open contests except Materials Matter and the Smart Zero Carbon Cities Challenge. 

Plans for what to do about climate change can include both innovative ideas that are brand new as well as other ideas that are already well-known. For example, a climate action plan for the United States could include a proposal that summarizes the U.S. government’s well-known Clean Power Plan, and a novel proposal created by Climate CoLab community members for how federal agencies can help scale renewable energy.

That is why this year’s Climate CoLab contests encourages innovations, best practices, and summaries of well-known ideas, all of which are eligible for awards.

For example, we welcome:

  • policies already enacted or currently under consideration
  • action plans proposed by organizations and governments
  • strategies being advocated by non-government organizations and think tanks
  • technologies employed or in development
  • best practices recognized locally, nationally or internationally
  • …and more.

Submitting a summary of someone else’s work

 Copyright law allows you to summarize and quote others’ works, but do not copy and paste anyone else’s copyrighted material. Any proposal that includes large-scale copying of someone else’s copyrighted material is subject to removal.

If your proposal is a summary of someone else’s ideas, the original authors may request ownership of the proposal. When this happens, the Climate CoLab will transfer proposal ownership from you to the original author. But you will be credited with having first introduced the idea in the Climate CoLab and you will receive a portion of any awards associated with that proposal.

If you would like to submit a proposal that summarizes a good idea developed by another person or organization, please include this format:

Title [Title of the report] by [Organization Name]
Team Name [Your Name]
Pitch This proposal is based on [title of report] by [organization name]
Summary Start the summary with “This proposal is a summary of [Organization Name]’s [Title of Report, with link]. [Organization name] has not reviewed or endorsed this summary.”
References [Full Organization Name], [Full Report Name] (with link), [Year of publication].

See example.

Questions?  Contact us!