Deadline: May 24, 2017 | Register here
Eligibility: the prize competition is open to anyone – individuals, groups of individuals, universities, companies or associations – anywhere in the world
 total USD 5 million in prizes
Location: online submission, the finals will be held in Stockholm, Sweden

The Global Challenges Prize 2017

Calling big thinkers, from all disciplines, everywhere. The world needs your brainpower and your best ideas as never before.

The Global Challenges Prize 2017: A New Shape is a quest to find new models of global cooperation capable of handling global risks. It will award US$5 million in prizes for the best ideas that re-envision global governance for the 21st century.

Be part of the effort to safeguard our world for future generations. Be part of the global conversation. Help to change the shape of things to come.

A New Shape
Remodelling Global Cooperation

The aim of The Global Challenges Prize is to find models or frameworks for international cooperation, capable of addressing the interlinked risks and problems of climate change, other large-scale environmental damage, violent conflict (including nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction), extreme poverty, and expected continuing rapid population growth.

The Task

The competition is not looking for blueprints for solving the individual issues in question, or to avert specific risks. The participant shall design a governance model able to effectively address the most pressing threats and risks to humanity.

The governance model must also be such that it can be implemented within the foreseeable future. This requires for it to be acceptable to major states and the wider international community. A significant measure of civic acceptance is also required.

The contributions must consist of the following three parts:

1. Abstract (no more than 1000 words)

The abstract must summarize the design of the model, including the institutions, regulations, decision-making paths and control mechanisms it involves, as well as how key individuals and other decision-making bodies are to be appointed.

You must clearly define the functions of the various components, their areas of responsibility and the extent of their decision-making mandate. Also, describe how the model is meant to manage both current and emerging challenges and risks.

2. Description of the Model (no more than 5500 words)

The document must be divided into subsections with clear and descriptive headings.

3. Argumentation demonstrating how the model meets the assessment criteria (no more than 2750 words)

For each of the criteria listed below, you must provide convincing arguments as to how the proposed model meets the criterion.

Assessment criteria

Contributions will be assessed based on how well they can be expected to meet the criteria listed below. In some cases, ensuring that certain criteria are met may make it harder to realize others. In such cases, trade-offs must be made. How well participants manage such trade-offs will be an important factor in the assessment. Good ideas on how to establish the governance model in reality will also be considered in the assessment.

1. Core Values.

Decisions within the governance model must be guided by the good of all humankind and by respect for the equal value of all human beings.

2. Decision-Making Capacity.

Decision-making within the governance model must generally be possible without crippling delays that prevent the challenges from being adequately addressed.

3. Effectiveness.

In order to effectively address the global challenges and risks, the governance model must include means to ensure implementation of decisions.

4. Resources and Financing.

The proposed governance model must have sufficient human and material resources at its disposal, and these resources must be financed in an equitable manner.

5. General Security.

The governance model must guarantee international security and prevent disputes from escalating into war or other large-scale armed violence. Nations and ethnic groups must be guaranteed protection from external attack and must receive assistance in handling internal disputes fairly.

6. Flexibility.

A successful governance model must allow revisions and improvements of its structure and components.

7. Accountability and Transparency.

It is a fundamental requirement of a successful governance model that it performs the tasks it has been charged with, and that decision-makers can be held accountable for their actions.

This includes mechanisms against abuse of power, which can invalidate decisions and actions that exceed the mandate of the governance model, and which can step in when it is clear that decision-makers and relevant institutions are not doing their job correctly. This requires transparency and extensive insight into power structures and decision-making processes.


The total sum of the prize fund, which will be distributed in its entirety, is US$5 million. The prize fund will be distributed amongst the short-listed contributions at the Foundation’s discretion. At least US$1 million will be awarded for the most distinguished entry or entries.

The prize allocation may also include smaller awards for particularly innovative entries that do not amount to an entire global framework but contain novel partial solutions, such as the composition of a specific decision-making body.

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