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Why these contests?

To tackle complex problems...

The goal of Climate CoLab is to harness the collective intelligence of thousands of people from all around the world to address complex societal problems, starting with global climate change.

...break the problem into puzzle pieces...

To do this, we broke down the large, complex problem of climate change into a series of more manageable sub-problems, defined by a combination of What-Where-Who-How:

  • What action is being taken to address climate change
  • Where the actions are focused (geographically)
  • Who is taking the action (what organizations and/or individuals)
  • How the action will be taken


Visit Climate CoLab's What-Where-Who-How taxonomy to see all of the possible elements along each of these four dimensions.


...find solutions to the pieces...

Each year, Climate CoLab invites people to submit proposals for how to address these climate change subproblems, in a set of interrelated online contests that we call "contest webs".  The sub-problems that Climate CoLab contests tackle are chosen to:

  • achieve coverage along the What dimension so that any possible action has a contest to call home -- such as our contests on broad economic sectors: transportation, buildings, etc.;
  • address key leverage areas that are important to climate change -- such as engaging the public and carbon pricing; and
  • address topics that are of interest or importance to an outside organization -- such as Anticipating Climate Hazards with the UN Secretary-General's Climate Resilience Initiative or Sustainable Materials with Nike. 


...then put the pieces back together.

Once proposals have been submitted to tackle sub-problems, the community is invited to assemble combinations of these point solutions into broad, integrated proposals to meet global goals.