Wege Prize 2020 opens applications for undergraduate and graduate students who want to work together to re-think and re-design the way the economies work by creating regenerative solutions that have a widespread and lasting impact.

For Wege Prize 2020 they will be revisiting the following wicked problem: How can we create a circular economy?

Wege Prize teams must leverage their transdisciplinary makeup to collaboratively design and propose a solution to a wicked problem of their choosing that can, in turn, help solve the wicked problem of transitioning from a linear economic model to a circular economic model. Possible solutions include, but are not limited to:

  • Products
  • Services
  • Businesses/non-profit organizations

Over the course of nine months and four distinct phases, Wege Prize teams will grow their ideas from an informal research plan into a fully-developed solution that can be prototyped and tested in the real world. Guided by direct feedback from competition judges, teams will work to rethink and redesign the way economies work by creating regenerative solutions that have a widespread and lasting positive impact.

Worth of Award

Winning teams will split the following awards evenly between their five members:

  • First Place: $15,000 (USD)
  • Second Place: $10,000 (USD)
  • Third Place: $5,000 (USD)


Individual Participation Requirements

To be eligible to participate in a Wege Prize 2020 team, you must:

  • Attend a college, university, or equivalent institution of higher education anywhere in the world
  • Be a student enrolled in a full-time (or equivalent) undergraduate or graduate program for the duration of the competition*

*Both undergraduate and graduate-level students are eligible to compete. Teams can be composed of both undergraduate and graduate students if they so choose. 

Team Participation Requirements

To be eligible to participate in Wege Prize 2020, teams must:

  • Have exactly five members
  • Represent at least three (3) different academic disciplines*
  • Represent at least two (2) different institutions of higher education, such as colleges, universities, or separate colleges/schools within a larger university. (For instance, a team member from Example University’s School of Engineering and a team member from Example University’s School of Earth Sciences would be considered as representing two different institutions.)*

*These are the minimum requirements. Teams with the greatest disciplinary and institutional diversity will likely have a higher probability of success.

How to Apply


  • Why is your team interested in participating in Wege Prize 2020?
  • How and why did you choose your team members?
  • How will your transdisciplinary makeup enable you to succeed?
  • What steps has your team taken to understand the basics of the circular economy?
  • What do you find most exciting/inspiring about the circular economy and the possibilities it creates?


  • What problem or opportunity are you interested in addressing?
  • How could addressing that problem or opportunity support the development of a circular economy?
  • What basic research have you done to understand the human, technological, and ecological factors involved in your approach?
  • How do you plan to involve mentors and/or subject matter experts in your design process?
  • What are your next steps?

Deadline: application closes November 10, 2019.


Click here for more details and to apply

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