XPrize: Facilitator of Exponential Change

Posted on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017 by

XPrize hosts prize competitions intended to change the world.

Literal and Figurative Moon Shots

I first learned of XPrize when the company hosted Seat 14c, a previous weekly fave. Seat 14c is a science fiction writing competition asking authors to imagine a future world. It’s probably one of the most accessible challenges that’s ever been hosted on XPrize, which specializes in having people build things that will change our future world for the better. An example of an XPrize is the Google Lunar XPrize, which challenges engineers to develop “low-cost methods of robotic space travel.” There are also challenges to increase global adult literacy, to explore the bottom of the ocean, and many more large ideas.

“Bold, Audacious Goals”

There are several criteria for what an XPrize has to be. It must have a “bold and audacious goal,” “target market failure” (a problem the market is not addressing), incentivize people to find a solution to a problem, and be an “audacious, but achievable” goal of solving that problem with a small team in a reasonable time frame. XPrizes challenge people to think big for the greater good of humanity (as well as for the monetary prizes involved for the winning teams). It’s an inspiring site, and worth exploring even if you don’t have the skills or resources required to actually participate in one of the competitions.

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