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Challenge The Economist-InnoCentive Smart Systems Challenge
The Economist-InnoCentive Smart Systems Challenge
STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 800
Posted: Feb 03 2012
Challenge ID: 9932803
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Find an open data set available from a local government and design a utility (or improve upon an existing utility) that would make the city/town/neighborhood a better place.  Then, using a compelling visualization of the data, tell the story of how it would improve. 

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.



The Economist is looking for clever data-driven visualizations that show how improvements to a public utility or infrastructure would improve the health, happiness, safety, aesthetics, etc. of a community.  The best submissions will present a compelling analysis of public data and an elegant evidence-based solution. 

The overall winner will be given a unique opportunity to present their idea to high-profile leaders in the business of big data and information technology at the upcoming Economist Ideas Economy: Information event in San Francisco, California, USA on June 5-6, 2012.  In addition, the winning Solver will receive: an honorarium of $1000, compensation for travel expenses, admission for themselves and a guest, an interview with an Economist editor live on-stage at the event, video promotion of the event recording on and through social media channels, publicity for the winning solution in the post-event wrap report to all delegates/speakers, and an official meeting with members of the Ideas Economy programming team to discuss ideas for venture capital or public policy. 

For this Challenge, The Economist is not interested in intellectual property rights to any of the materials submitted, except for promotional purposes.  By submitting a proposal, Solvers grant to The Economist a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in the proposal, for promotional purposes. Solvers who submit a proposal will be notified of the status of their submissions after the Challenge deadline, however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided. 

Solvers from any background are invited to contribute!


The referral award for this Challenge is $500. Use the referral module to generate a referral link for this Challenge. Learn more

What is InnoCentive?
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?

An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.

In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.

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