Contests and Workspaces

The Climate CoLab seeks to harness collective intelligence through online contests and workspaces. Anyone in the world can contribute, and experts play an important role, too.

Activities on Climate CoLab are divided into contests and workspaces: 

  • Workspaces are open spaces where people can work on proposals between main contest cycles. Workspaces contain one phase which is open indefinitely.
  • Contests contain contain several phases, including evaluations, as outlined below. Proposals entered into active contests will be evaluated by expert judges following the deadline, and are eligible for awards.


Contest Phases

Contests involve five main phases:

Proposal creation

In contests, members of the Climate CoLab community create proposals. Proposals:

  • describe future actions to be taken,
  • outline how those actions can be accomplished,
  • explain why the actions are desirable, 
  • quantify the impact the actions will have.

See winning proposals from previous contests


Community members can support proposals they like, add comments, and contribute to proposals created by others. 

Impact Assessment Fellows helps authors estimate the impact their proposal will have on greenhouse has emissions. Some proposals also include a model run.

People with expertise in areas related to climate change, serving as Climate CoLab Advisors and Fellows, provide overall guidance for the contests. 


Semi-Finalist selection

For each contest, the Advisors recruit expert Judges to evaluate entries. After the submittal deadline, the Judges select semi-finalists based on:

  • novelty
  • feasibility
  • impact
  • presentation


Proposal revisions

The Semi-Finalists will have an opportunity to refine their proposals prior to the second round of judging. They can also add new team members (called Contributors) to their proposals.

Finalist selection

Proposals are again evaluated by expert Judges, who review their work to assess if authors sufficiently addressed the feedback previously provided. Finalists are then selected. 



In this phase, members of the Climate CoLab community vote on the Finalists.
The top vote-getters receive Popular Choice Awards.

The Judges also select Judges' Choice winners.


Winners Announced

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 2016 conference.

These meetings will bring together the Climate CoLab winners, community, and potential implementers: policymakers, business executives and investors, officials at non-profits and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and citizen groups.

Why these contests?