Awards for Change: How Prizes Can Help Us Achieve Energy Goals
What will it take to foster and spread the ideas and practices needed for sustainable development? One thing that has stirred innovative thinking are the positive results of recent prize competitions.
Perhaps the most notable of these–so far–has been the Ansari X Prize. The Ansari X Prize was a space competition in which the X Prize Foundation offered a US$10 million reward for the first non-government organization to launch the same reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks. It was modeled after early 20th-century aviation prizes, and aimed to spur development of low-cost spaceflight. There is real brilliance in this idea, but in the specific terms of the prize, which prompted other competitors – each of whom