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Challenge N Square Challenge: Increasing Civil Society’s Influence on Nuclear Weapons Policy
N Square Challenge: Increasing Civil Society’s Influence on Nuclear Weapons Policy
STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 146
Posted: Mar 15 2016
Challenge ID: 9933707
Team Project Rooms are available on this Challenge Team Share Challenge Share

Nuclear weapons are among the greatest threats facing civilization today and yet are still widely regarded as national assets—at least among those who think about nuclear weapons at all, because to a great extent they have been forgotten about in civil society. Almost 70 years after Hiroshima, the world has managed to avoid nuclear war, but we are far from being out of danger of a nuclear explosion. In fact, the nuclear threat is now greater than it was during the Cold War. Increasing geopolitical instability and the rise of global terrorism are amplifying the risk of both accidental and intentional nuclear disaster. N Square is seeking ideas in the form of a coherent plan to get civil society to understand that nuclear weapons are both a present threat and a net liability so nuclear weapons policies must change.

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


Nuclear weapons are not on the radar of civil society and yet the nuclear threat is perhaps greater now that it was during the Cold War. Increasing geopolitical instability and the rise of global terrorism are amplifying the risk of both accidental and intentional nuclear disaster. Meanwhile, most nuclear weapons are aging and degrading, creating a new set of dangers. Experts across the globe, including four former statesmen of the US, agree that nuclear weapons have become a net liability. Yet rather than committing to dismantling these arsenals, the United States and other countries are contemplating building next-generation nuclear weapons to replace them. 

Despite this mounting urgency, public awareness and activism around the need to eradicate these weapons is at an all-time low – and even those searching for a way to eliminate the nuclear threat have not found a clear path forward. Movement of society by concerted effort has been demonstrated before in diverse areas such as cigarette use and marriage equality, and it is the aim of this Challenge to uncover ways to influence civil society’s attitude and involvement toward eliminating worldwide threat of nuclear weapons.

The Seeker, N Square, would like plans that address how to get civil society to understand the threat of nuclear weapons and take action that will lead to policy change.

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The awards will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $10,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000.
  • Submission forwarding occurs during the Challenge.  Since submissions will be forwarded to the Seeker throughout the Challenge, please make sure you upload only a finished proposal. You can submit an updated version of your proposal only as a new submission. If you submit an updated version of your proposal, please clearly indicate the new items and/or edits compared to your previous submission. This will allow the Seeker to quickly find the new information and determine how it improves your submission.
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solver grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal, including for promotional purposes.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on April 14, 2016. 

Late submissions will not be considered.

After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.



N Square is a hybrid innovation lab designed to foster collaboration, ignite the public imagination and spark new ideas about how to eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons. N Square is a collaborative effort between five of the largest peace and security funders in the United States: The Carnegie Corporation of New York, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ploughshares Fund, and the Skoll Global Threats Fund.

N Square is based on the idea that new forms of cross-sector collaboration—combined with the sheer ingenuity of an engaged public—will enable us to innovate our way to a world free from the risks associated with nuclear weapons and fissile materials.

For more information about N Square visit

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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