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Question: What can be done to prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change?Submit Proposals:
Rules: All entrants must agree to the Contest rules and Terms of Use
Deadline: Sunday, Sep 10, 2017 at 18:00:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Judging Criteria & Prizes: See below.


We know that there are significant potential impacts of climate change globally, and that the effects of climate change are already being experienced at the local level in communities around the world. Responding to these impacts in the short and long term presents a multitude of challenges and opportunities across various sectors, and requires critical attention from all stakeholders including government agencies, the private sector, civil society organizations, and individuals, in order to address these challenges and harness potential opportunities.

Every sector of society will face challenges related to climate change and can adopt measures to enhance its resilience to climate stressors, including high temperatures, variable precipitation and extreme weather events. Those responses that are most innovative will provide multi-sectoral benefits and can include infrastructure, new technologies, programs, and services. We encourage the development of not only sector-specific adaptation solutions, but also those that provide whole community resilience and provide wider local or regional benefits. Moreover, we welcome original approaches to more effectively disseminate information to and engage affected communities, and empower them to adjust their livelihoods and practices to be more resilient. Considering that some of the most affected locations are in developing countries, sustainable and cost effective solutions can have greater chances of being implemented and thus generate greater impact.

The inherent interconnected nature of human and natural systems implies that the effects of climate change in one area, or on one system, are likely to have cascading effects into other systems and geographies. As such, a multi-sectoral, systems approach is often needed to address climate impacts and adaptation strategies. This can sometimes feel overwhelming, but having a point of entry may help in identifying specific problems and solutions. In fact, there are many opportunities for specific points of entry to climate change adaptation, for example, using water or heat stress as a focal point in the adaptation discussion. This could offer a more tangible and relatable issue for local decision-makers and community-based planning efforts to address, while opening the door to a wider conversation about the breadth of climate change impacts and the multifaceted needs for adaptation.

The synergistic effects within climate change solutions warrant attention. One example is the food-energy-water nexus approach, which recognizes the interdependencies of water, energy, and food production in the context of climate change. It offers directions to systemize the interconnections to provide a framework for assessing the use of all resources and to manage trade-offs and synergies during adaptation process.

Recognizing the wide spectrum of impacts, sectors, and actors, this year we welcome proposals on all potential activities that address climate change adaptation. We encourage creative, systems-thinking approaches that build innovative and inclusive solutions for adapting to climate change.

Key Issues

‘Adaptation’ covers a wide array of issues beyond just developing practical and effective strategies for a particular context, such as planning, community engagement, financing, collaboration, mobilization, capacity building, and knowledge sharing.

Some of the key issues we’d like to highlight for the 2017 contest include the following:

Judging Criteria

Judges will be asked to evaluate proposals on the following criteria:

Winning proposals will be especially strong in at least one of the first three dimensions, and also well presented.

Judges will evaluate proposals, and deliberate as a group to select the Semi-Finalists, Finalists, Winners, and possibly other awardee(s) at their discretion.  Judgments of desirability are also made 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 winner(s).


Top proposals in each contest will be awarded...

Judges’ Choice Award -- Two proposals* will be selected by the Judges to receive the Judges' Choice-- one project, and one practice.

Popular Choice Award – Received the most votes during the public voting period.

The Judges’ Choice Award and Popular Choice Award Winners will be invited to MIT (see prior Climate CoLab Conferences), join the Climate CoLab winners’ alumni, and be eligible for the $10,000 Grand Prize—to be selected from among the winners across contests.

All award Winners and Finalists will receive wide recognition and platform visibility from MIT Climate CoLab. Climate CoLab or its collaborators may offer additional awards or recognition at their discretion.

* Judges’ Choice Award(s) are allocated at the Judging panel’s discretion. In rare cases, the Judges may choose not to select awardees.

Resources for Proposal Authors


Science/ Hazards



Finance & Economics





Social Issues


National Security