2011 contest rules
Contents of this page#
- What are the goals of the contest?
- Who can participate?
- What does an entry in the contest contain?
- How can I enter the contest?
- What is the contest’s schedule?
- How do teams work?
- How can people show their support for a proposal before the final round?
- How can users contribute new simulation models?
- How does the Climate CoLab community deal with different points of view?
- How will proposals be judged?
- What are the prizes?
- How will the results of the contest influence policy?
These are the rules for the 2011 Climate CoLab green economy contest. Please read these rules in full. You will be required to accept them when you enter.
The rules may be supplemented or revised by posting supplements or revisions to this page and by email notification to members of teams that are entered in the contest.
In Climate CoLab contests, people from all over the world are invited to work together in developing proposals for what humanity should do about global climate change.
What are the goals of the contest?#
The primary goals of the Climate CoLab contests are to:
- Harness the collective intelligence of large numbers of people around the world to create proposals for what humanity should do about global climate change. Rather than focusing on specific technologies or geographical regions, these contests address the macro-engineering challenge of designing global political, economic, social, and technological systems to deal with the possibilities of global climate change. By helping scientists, policy makers, business people, and concerned citizens to think constructively together about this problem, we believe it may be possible to create better solutions than would have been developed otherwise.
- Help to educate the general public about the real issues involved in global climate change. By giving large numbers of people an opportunity to work together themselves on proposals to address climate change, based on the best current scientific knowledge, we believe they will come to understand the issues better and be better able to participate in political decision-making in their countries and communities.
- Provide a large-scale test of new collective intelligence approaches. Examples like Wikipedia and Linux show that it’s now possible for large groups of people to work together on very complex problems in ways that would have been impossible even a decade ago. We believe the new approach to collaborative problem solving being used here may be useful for other large-scale problems in the future.
The goals of this contest are not to advocate any particular position or point of view about global climate change. Instead, we hope to provide a neutral forum where the best ideas and information can be shared.
Who can participate?#
The contest is open to anyone in the world, regardless of age, nationality, or political viewpoint.
This contest, however, is void where prohibited by law. It is your responsibility to check with your local laws to make sure that this contest does not violate any applicable law or ordinance, and to make sure that you are eligible to participate.
If you are under 18 years old, you will need your parent or legal guardian to register on the Climate CoLab website and submit your entry for you.
You may submit projects that you have previously published or exhibited so long as they conform to the entry guidelines and the rules of this contest.
What does an entry in the contest contain?#
Contest entries consist of proposals that are created and submitted online in the Climate CoLab https://www.climatecolab.org.
For the 2011 contest, the proposals will focus on the question:
How should the 21st century economy evolve, bearing in mind the risks of climate change?
Members of the Climate CoLab community are invited to submit two kinds of proposals:
- global proposals, which outline how the world economy should evolve,
- national proposals, which outline how the economy of individual countries, like the United States or China or Bangladesh, should evolve; proposals that address trans-national groups of countries, like the European Union, may also be included in this category.
Global proposals should include:
- Description tab Description of the key actions that could enable the transition to a green world economy or description of alternative vision of the future put forward in lieu of green economy. Among the issues teams may want to address are:
- overall economic and environmental framework and whether it is the result of global agreements, multi-lateral or bi-lateral arrangements, or individual countries pursuing independent approaches,
- mechanisms for financing transition and role (if any) of payments from industrial countries to developing nations,
- mechanisms for adoption of new technologies and technology transfer between nations, including trade agreements, intellectual property regime, and cooperative funding of research and development efforts,
- political, education or media interventions that can facilities new policies or practices.
- Positions tab Positions on key issues relevant to the 21st century evolution of the global economy (see tab for specific issues to be addressed).
- Actions & Impacts tab
- future greenhouse gas emission and deforestation/reforestation targets for 15 major trans-national groups and large individual countries (these are entered by moving sliders and/or typing numbers into the Actions section of the tab)
- predictions of environmental and economic impacts of proposed targets (these are generated automatically by simulation models in the Climate CoLab and appear in the Impacts section of the tab)
Global proposals may also include:
- Linkages with national proposals. Teams are encouraged to link their global proposals with national proposals that exhibit a complementary vision””the more a global proposal is able to connect to specific national proposals developed by other teams, the better (optional).
- Depiction of the future that would be created by the proposal, conveyed by videos, pictures, or stories (optional).
- Teams may also include spreadsheets or alternative models that demonstrate that their proposals is feasible e.g. spreadsheets that show the evolution of the global energy mix over the course of the 21st century. To include spreadsheets or alternative models with a proposal, send them via email, along with an explanatory message, to email@example.com (optional).
National proposals should include:
- Country/Trans-national group of countries Teams are asked to specify which country (or trans-national group of countires) they are addressing, first by selecting the relevant item from a menu that breaks out the world into 15 large countries/trans-national groups. If teams would like to develop a proposal for a country within a trans-national, they can then simply type in name of the specific country in the text box below the pull down menu.
- Description tab: Emission target Teams are asked to provide an emission target (as compared to 2005 as the baseline year) for the country or trans-national group under consideration, consisting of:
- percentage increase/decrease in greenhouse gas emissions vs. 2005,
- start year that specifies when emissions first depart from the business as usual trajectory and begin to move toward the target,
- year when emissions will reach the specific target (emissions are assumed to remain stable in subsequent years through 2100).
- Description tab: Key enablers Teams are also asked to describe the key enablers of the transition to a green economy or of the move to an alternative vision put forward in lieu of the green economy, including:
- overall national policy framework and role, if any, for international policy,
- changes in social practices or individual behavior,
- political mobilization, public education, or changes in values that can lead the needed policies, social/behavioral changes, or other enablers to be adopted,
- financing mechanisms to fund the required investments,
- role of new energy technologies in the transition.
- Positions tab Positions on key issues relevant for the evolution of national economies during the 21st century (see tab for specific issues).
In addition, contestants are encouraged but not required to include the following kinds of information in national proposals:
- Spreadsheets or models that illustrate how national emission targets can be reached e.g. geographic split of emissions or evolution of national energy technology mix over the course of the century. To include spreadsheets or alternative models with a proposal, send them via email, along with an explanatory message, to firstname.lastname@example.org (optional).
- Artistic or other representations of the world that would be created by this proposal””images, videos, fictional narratives about daily life (optional).
- Any other relevant information about the proposal, including its goals, the history of its development, etc. (optional).
For more on the green economy theme that inspired the 2011 contest, see About the green economy.
How can I enter the contest?#
To enter, go to the Proposals tab and choose the kind of proposal you would like to create: global or national. Then select "Begin a new proposal."
To submit a proposal to the contest, you must select the button in the Admin tab of the proposal that says "The proposal is: An entry in the contest."
The individual who initiates a proposal will be listed as the owner of that proposal in the team tab and will receive all official communications about the 2011 Contest. Team members can decide among themselves who will receive any travel funds that may be designated for their team should they win the contest. In cases where team members cannot agree among themselves, any travel funds will be allocated to the Owner of the proposal.
If you do not list any Co-Authors of the work, you are representing that you are the sole author. If you do list Co-Authors of the work, you represent that you are not violating any Co-Author’s rights by entering the work, and that any Co-Authors have given you permission to submit the work.
What is the contest’s schedule?#
The contest will have four stages.
- Proposal creation (May 16-September 30) In this phase, teams are invited to create proposals on how the world economy as a whole, as well as the economies of individual countries or trans-national groups of countries, should evolve during the 21st century in light of environmental risks.
- Judging (October 1-10) Expert judges will review the completed proposals and select some as finalists. For more on the judging criteria, see “How will proposals be judged,”? below.
- Improvement of finalists (October 11-31) Teams selected to participate in the finals will be invited to improve their proposals by addressing a set of additional issues to be specified in October.
- Voting (November 1-15) The judges will review the finalists for feasibility November 1-4, and members of the Climate CoLab community will vote on the finalists November 4-15. In the final round, all registered users of the CoLab are invited to vote for the proposal they prefer. The judges will also select the proposals they believe are best. If there are enough entries for individual nations or trans-national groups (for example, China or European Union), voting for this class of proposals may be broken out into multiple categories.
How do teams work?#
Individuals may create proposals by themselves, but participants are encouraged to form teams. For instance, a team might include different people with expertise in quantitative modeling, political analysis, writing, and artistic creation.
Anyone who wants to join the team creating a specific proposal can request to join that team. Then the current team members decide whether they want that person to join.
If they wish, a team can restrict the right to edit its proposal to team members only. Alternatively, a team may also let anyone who is interested edit its proposals. If anyone can edit, teams can get input from lots of people without the overhead of requiring everyone to join the team. Team members can easily undo any changes they don't like.
How can people show their support for a proposal before the final round?#
At any time during the preliminary round, a member of the CoLab can become a supporter of as many proposals as they want. This makes it easy for judges and other viewers to see which proposals are most popular at each stage of the contest.
How can users contribute new simulation models?#All global proposals use the models currently included in the Climate CoLab; however, users are also encouraged to submit extensions to or alternatives for these models. To submit a new model, email it to email@example.com.
Models submitted by users will be reviewed by the Climate CoLab staff and expert advisors and, if appropriate, added to the site where all users can use them.
While it is technically possible to add many different kinds of models, the CoLab is designed to make it especially easy to add new models that are represented in spreadsheets.
Users are especially encouraged to submit new spreadsheet models to calculate the inputs to the current model using more basic inputs such as emission reductions by country and/or emission reductions resulting from changes in technology mix (such as coal, solar, wind, and nuclear). For more on this, see Models help.
How does the Climate CoLab community deal with different points of view?#The Climate CoLab is an open forum where all points of view are welcome. At the same time, the community expects members to respect facts, evidence, and rational argument.
The community also expects its members to engage with each other respectfully and courteously. Failure to do this may, at the discretion of the contest organizers, result in individuals or teams being disqualified.
How will proposals be judged?#
Judges will be asked to evaluate proposals on the following criteria:
- Feasibility of the actions proposed in the proposal. Judges with different kinds of expertise will evaluate the technical, economic, social, and political feasibility of the proposals.
- Novelty of the proposal's ideas. Innovative thinking and originality in a proposal will be valued more than encyclopedic knowledge. In addtion, instead of selecting a roster of finalists that are very similar, judges will try to select a group of proposals that represent a diverse range of approaches.
- Presentation quality. Proposals that are well-presented will be favored over those that aren't. Presentation quality includes how well written a proposal is, how well it uses graphics or other visual elements, and how compelling are its artistic representations of possible future worlds (if any).
There are no explicit weightings for these three criteria, but judges will be asked to use all three to select proposals that are most likely to lead to useful outcomes of the contest overall. As a tie- breaker, judges may also use the popularity of a proposal, as indicated by the number of people who support it. For example, in cases where a number of proposals are similar, judges will try to pick one or two proposals to represent the whole group. In selecting these representative proposals, judges will take into account the quality of the proposal presentations and the number of people who support the proposals. To increase the diversity of ideas considered, judges may accept slightly lower levels of feasibility for proposals that include highly novel and interesting ideas.
In selecting proposals to move on to the voting round, judges will also be explicitly asked not to choose proposals based on their own personal preferences. In other words, judges are asked to use their expertise to judge the feasibility, novelty, and presentation quality of proposals, but not based on their perspective on what is desirable. For example, a judge should not reject a proposal that is technically, economically, and politically feasible, just because the judge feels that the proposal would lead to socially undesirable consequences.
In the final round, the judges will be asked to select the proposals they believe are most desirable. Thus, judgments of desirability are made only in the final stage of the contest, by the Climate CoLab community through popular vote and by the judges through their selection of the Judges’ Choice winners.
What are the prizes?#
At the conclusion of the contest, the winning teams and their plans will be featured on the home page of the Climate CoLab and in a press release from MIT.
The Climate CoLab team will support travel by at least one representative from each winning team to one or more of the briefings planned with policy makers. For instance, last year's contest included briefings at the United Nations and the United States Congress. If needed, translation services will also be provided.
The contest winners will also be featured on TreeHugger, the online sustainability site.
How will the results of the contest influence policy?#
The Climate CoLab team is arranging briefings for relevant policy-makers about the results of the contest, including the winning teams and plans, such as on Capitol Hill and at the United Nations. Events confirmed include:
- A briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss winning Climate CoLab Proposals