Criteria and Questions for the Challenge

While putting together your application, it would be helpful to keep in mind the following criteria for the Challenge, as well as the questions for this year’s cycle, as listed below. All narrative and supplemental application components must be submitted by April 11 at 5pm EDT.


  • Visionary – put forth an original idea or synthesize existing ideas into a new strategy that creatively addresses a critical need
  • Comprehensive – apply a whole-systems approach to the design and implementation process and aim to address multiple goals, requirements and conditions in a holistic way
  • Anticipatory – factor in critical future trends and needs as well as the projected impacts of implementation in the short and long term
  • Ecologically Responsible – enhance the ability of natural systems to regenerate
  • Feasible – rely on current technology, existing resources and a solid team capable of implementing the project
  • Verifiable – able to demonstrate authentic claims backed by empirical data
  • Replicable – able to be adapted to similar conditions elsewhere


  • What is your solution or strategy? – Provide a 50-word summary of your initiative.
  • What is the context? (200 words) – Describe the critical need(s) or specific systemic problem(s) your initiative seeks to address on the local and/or global levels.
  • What/Where/How? (200 words) – Provide a detailed explanation of your initiative. What is it? Where is it based? How does it work?
  • Impact (200 words) – Who or what is impacted directly and indirectly by your initiative? Explain in detail how you measure and calculate impact.
  • Long-Term Effect (200 words) – What long-term systemic effects do you anticipate when your initiative is fully implemented?
  • History and Vision (200 words) – What inspired your solution and how has the initiative evolved from inception to its current stage of development? How does your initiative creatively and comprehensively integrate the key social, cultural, economic, ecological, and technological factors required to transform “business as usual” in your chosen area of impact?
  • Planning and Operations (200 words) – Outline your implementation plan. What operational milestones do you intend to achieve in the next one to three years? What are the biggest risk factors or potential barriers facing the development and deployment of your initiative and how do you plan to mitigate them? How has your initiative been funded to date and how do you plan to ensure its financial viability?
  • Compare and Contrast (200 words) – Compare and contrast your initiative with at least two other current projects or groups working to address the same critical need. Why is your proposal more likely to effect change and make a distinguishing impact compared to similar efforts?
  • The Team (200 words) – Provide details regarding your current team and any plans to expand it in the future. You may include details about organizational/institutional partners committed to the success of your initiative and describe your team members’ experience and qualifications as they relate to their ability to implement your initiative. If applicable, include information about any significant external validation, support, or funding your initiative has received to date.

When you’re ready to submit your proposal (including uploading any supplemental materials such as video, images, and articles), click the button below to go through to the application site.