Monday, September 15, 2008

What's Your Crazy Green Idea Contest? Taking Off!

I've been amazed and pleased at the response the "What's Your Crazy Green Idea?" Contest has been getting. Not only are our numbers great (more than 17,000 people have watched the video), but we've gotten our first 10 submissions already! You can check them all out at

We've also been receiving a great deal of support from the eco-blog community, which has been great. One, Celsias, wrote an article this morning about the competition, and has helped us get set up with company and project profiles on their website to help us reach out to the community!


Anonymous said...

To help lower our dependence on foreign oil we need to sponsor a competition to build an electricity
based car that costs less than $20,000 and can be refueled in
less than five minutes. The prize could be stepped - rewards for
various milestones along the way to this goal. If we sponsor a
competition with large prizes for progress we stand to gain a
great deal since a popular and affordable electric car would save
tremendous amounts of power.
A quickly refuelable electric car must be built. Electric cars
that cannot be refueled quickly will never be popular. Please
don't say it can't be done. I know such a car cannot be made.
But let's do it anyway.

Jean Levasseur said...

Thanks for your comment! I'd like to point out that we already have a prize very similar to this in the works: the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE. Now, we're not looking specifically for electricic cars; we're looking for highly efficient cars, no matter what fuel they're using. A number of our competitors, including Tesla and Zap, are creating electric cars to be entered. And while we don't have a specific dollar amount, we do state the the vehicle has to be viable in units of at least 10,000, which will either keep costs down, or keep quality and options up.

Anonymous said...

anonymous: In addition to the official X PRIZE Foundation resources on the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE, you might be interested in checking out the X PRIZE Cars blog:

In my opinion that blog has been doing a great job covering the X PRIZE competition and related developments in highly fuel-efficient vehicles, including electric cars.


Anonymous said...

Here's an idea for a green X PRIZE:

... a prize for a "self-sustaining artificial biosphere". This idea of course brings up the failed Biosphere 2 effort. The X PRIZE might be similar to that, but of course the rules could vary considerably. The rules might allow some material to be brought in (simulating human effort in the case of an "operational" artificial biosphere on Earth or another planet). They might vary in how small or large the structure could be, how many people would be contained, etc.

We already know the Biosphere 2 project brought a considerable amount of media attention. It stands to reason that a similar X PRIZE would be able to get media attention, too ... and media attention is a big factor in the success of such prizes (for sponsorship, getting teams, etc).

In this day of Reality TV, you might imagine a sponsor having an actual Reality TV show of long-term competitor efforts in Biospheres, undoubtably crewed by an attractive and incompatible bunch of misfits.

A Biosphere prize could be structured to emphasize a number of environment and energy areas:

- study of the Earth's biosphere "in the small"
- isolated studies of individual component ecosystems in the biosphere
- recycling
- improved, sustainable agriculture
- efficient renewable energy systems to power the human artifacts in the Biosphere
- perhaps some sort of simulation of global climate change could be part of the effort

A Biosphere X PRIZE could touch on many of the current X PRIZE areas:

energy/environment - as described above

space and ocean exploration - these often require closed or near-closed biospheres

life sciences - biological systems would be key to the effort

education - there are lots of opportunities for science and engineering education, related student competitions, and more with a Biosphere prize

global development - in addition to the energy/environment aspects of global development, the prize would probably feature agricultural improvements that could apply to global development. If the history of Biosphere 2 is any indication, it would also feature serious efforts in "getting along" at the crew level that might apply at the international level.


Jean Levasseur said...


First, thanks for pointing out X PRIZE Cars! It is a great resource about the teams. I was able to spend some time with Eric at the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE Launch in New York City back in March, and he really is passionate about the teams.

And thanks for your Prize idea. Just so you know, we do have a form on our website for people to submit their own ideas (separate from the YouTube Contest).