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Wege Prize 2019 (expired)

The Wege Foundation
This challenge has expired.
Tags: Pollution, Toxicity, Climate change, Circular ecnomics, Economic analysis, Goods and services, Product management, Design thinking, Biomimicry, Business model development, Materials and technology, IoT, Manufacturing, Renewable energy
Audience: Students
Anticipated Funding: A$30,000
Team application due: November 18, 2018
Last Updated: November 19, 2018 12:52 AM
Challenge image

The Challenge

For Wege Prize 2019 we will be revisiting the following wicked problem: How can we create a circular economy?


Wege Prize teams must leverage their transdisciplinary makeup to collaboratively design and propose a solution to a wicked problem of their choosing that can, in turn, help solve the wicked problem of transitioning from a linear economic model to a circular economic model. Possible solutions include, but are not limited to:

  • Products
  • Services
  • Businesses/non-profit organizations


Over the course of nine months and four distinct phases, Wege Prize teams will grow their ideas from an informal research plan into a fully-developed solution that can be prototyped and tested in the real world. Guided by direct feedback from competition judges, teams will work to rethink and redesign the way economies work by creating regenerative solutions that have a widespread and lasting positive impact.

Wege Prize judges are looking for solutions that address the shortcomings of a linear economic model on a systemic level. The most successful solutions will:

Think in systems by demonstrating an understanding of how parts influence one another within a whole, as well as the relationship of the whole to the parts.

  • Consider the economics and viability of the solution within natural, social, and financial systems.
  • Preserve and enhance natural capital by controlling finite resource stocks and balancing renewable resource flows.
  • Optimize resource yields by circulating products, components, and materials at their highest utility at all times in both technical and biological cycles.
  • Foster system effectiveness by designing out waste and negative externalities such as pollution, toxicity, and climate change.

Eligibility Criteria

Individual Participation Requirements

To be eligible to participate on a Wege Prize 2019 team, you must:

  • Attend a college, university, or equivalent institution of higher education anywhere in the world
  • Be a student enrolled in a full-time (or equivalent) undergraduate or graduate program for the duration of the competition*

*Both undergraduate and graduate level students are eligible to compete. Teams can be composed of both undergraduate and graduate students if they so choose.

Team Participation Requirements

To be eligible to participate in Wege Prize 2019, teams must:

  • Have exactly five members
  • Represent at least three (3) different academic disciplines*
  • Represent at least two (2) different institutions of higher education, such as colleges, universities, or separate colleges/schools within a larger university. (For instance, a team member from Example University's School of Engineering and a team member from Example University's School of Earth Sciences would be considered as representing two different institutions.)*

*These are the minimum requirements. Teams with the greatest disciplinary and institutional diversity will likely have a higher probability of success.


HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT INDIVIDUAL OR TEAM ELIGIBILITY? EMAIL THEM TO WICKED@WEGEPRIZE.ORG.

Open to undergraduate and graduate students worldwide.

Terms and conditions

For complete details on the rules, requirements, and regulations that govern Wege Prize 2019 please refer to the website.

How to apply

To apply, please refer to website.