In 1995, inspired by reading a copy of Charles Lindbergh's The Spirit of St. Louis, Dr. Peter H. Diamandis founded the X PRIZE Foundation with the idea that pursuit of a little fame and fortune can launch innovative thinking into high-gear and produce world-changing breakthroughs in short order, as it did when Lindbergh won the $25,000 Orteig Prize for his groundbreaking flight.
Diamandis proved his theory when the foundation's first Ansari X PRIZE competition saw the successful launch of Mojave Aerospace Ventures' SpaceShipOne in 2004 -- the first spacecraft developed and built for private flight. The foundation has since developed several other incentive-based prizes that grant multiple millions for advancements in medicine and automotive design, and they plan to create others for social, environmental and poverty-related work.
These are serious sums of cash and they call for radical innovation and unprecedented thinking, which means that the process of coming up with and defining new prize criteria must be both creative and meticulous. In order to keep a high level of both, the X PRIZE Foundation now calls for the public to contribute new ideas for prizes that can address humanity's greatest challenges and incite real change in public perception and expectation about what we're capable of achieving.
In collaboration with mobile entertainment and content sharing network, Zannel, X PRIZE asks us (you!) to submit 2-minute videos about the most important issues and challenges facing humankind. After the submissions close, there will be an open voting period, and a committee from the foundation will review those that receive the most votes. Based on their assessment, they will develop the next round of prizes, and the winners of the video contest will be flown to the Wirefly X PRIZE Cup in New Mexico to see the next advancements in private spacecraft design in action.
If you've got an idea of a problem that requires a few sparks of genius to get solved, this is the place to send it (if you have some video skills or know someone with a little). Nothing like the spirit of competition and the temptation of a generous prize to bring out creativity, focus and rapid action towards radical change.
These prizes are great news!