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Wege Prize: Will You Solve a Wicked Problem?

Posted November 1, 2013 in Public

The brightest collegiate minds in West Michigan are gathering to solve a truly wicked problem. Will you be one of them?

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) and The Wege Foundation announce a new, annual transdisciplinary design competition that gives teams of five students the chance to work collaboratively, use design thinking principles, and win the Wege Prize – $30,000 in total cash prizes –  to show the world what the future of problem solving will look like.

This year’s wicked problem: How can we create a circular economy? A circular economy is a tightly looped, restorative economic cycle where resources can be re-adapted for use without limiting the desirability of products or the loss of revenue. If we continue to rely on our current model of extract-manufacture-dispose, which is contingent upon vast reserves of expendable resources and an environment that can absorb the waste, we will never inhabit a sustainable planet. Your challenge is to design a product, service, or business model that can function within and help create a paradigm shift towards a circular economic model.  Teams will have until Feb. 16, 2014 to develop a solution.

To participate on a team and compete for the Wege Prize, you must be a full-time undergraduate student (12+ credits/semester). All teams must consist of five students from least two different educational institutions and represent three or more different academic disciplines. Find your teammates, create a team, and go to wegeprize.org to learn the details of the competition and to register. Registration begins Nov. 1, 2013, and teams must be registered in full by no later than Dec. 1, 2013.

Solutions will be judged on cogency, process, impact, and illustration. What have you designed? How did you arrive at your solution? Have you considered all the necessary factors of the wicked problem? Can your solution be realistically implemented on a large scale? Can you communicate your solution visually in a way that will convince others of its worth? These are the questions that should come up repeatedly as you work.

All submissions will be initially judged by a review panel, which will select the top five solutions to move on in the competition. These five entries will be displayed at Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts and online at wegeprize.org. The public will view the entries and cast their vote for the one that impresses them most. The finalists will present their solutions to a panel of guest judges who will examine the solutions and name the winners of the 1st and 2nd place awards. 

Wege Prize is the start of something big, something that will begin in West Michigan and ripple out across the globe. Don’t miss your chance to get involved with this monumental event on the ground floor – assemble your team and register today! wegeprize.org/registration

KCAD + The Wege Foundation = Wege Prize

It’s not a theory. It’s an equation for impact.

For complete details, rules, and registration information, visit wegeprize.org.

Stay up-to-date on all things Wege Prize by liking the official Facebook page: www.facebook.com/wegeprize

Having trouble getting your team together? Join the official Wege Prize Facebook group, a great way to to network with other individuals who are looking for teammates and stay connected once your team is assembled.