Unleashing Innovation & Deepening Democracy Through Prizes
Prizes have a long history of driving important breakthroughs: Napoleon's 1800 Food Preservation Prize resulted in the invention of canning; the 1927 Orteig Prize helped inspire Charles Lindbergh to make the first nonstop flight from New York to Paris. More recently, the 2011 Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge  spurred an Illinois company to create a cleanup method for oil slicks that is four times more effective than any previous one. It is with that powerful history in mind that today, in Washington, hundreds of leaders from the White House and Federal agencies joined their peers from some of the Nation's most recognizable companies and organizations to develop strategies to use prizes and competitions as a key method to spark innovation and deepen citizen engagement. You may ask: Are prizes still relevant? Absolutely. New social media tools have enabled smarter and more cost-effective approaches, and the public sector has begun to take advantage of prizes as a way of tackling some of the most perplexing challenges that affect us all – with promising results. read more
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