OpenIDEO Climate Resiliency Challenge 2023 (Up to $200K USD)

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The Climate Resiliency Challenge is an invitation for organizations and teams across the globe to develop solutions that will empower frontline communities to be ready and resilient against disasters caused by climate change – in particular, wildfires, floods, and extreme weather.

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We are increasingly experiencing the effects of climate change and climate-related disasters on our lives, environments and ecosystems. Disruptive climate events such as wildfires, floods and extreme weather are often accompanied by loss of life, reduced quality of life, long recovery times and property loss and damage.* Climate-related disasters cause $120 billion in damages annually in the United States. That figure is five times greater than 50 years ago, and projections are $2 trillion by the end of the century.*

This Challenge is built around three themes that inspire our thinking about where innovation can most benefit frontline communities. Themes are not meant to be exclusionary of each other, and solution ideas can fit under any and all of the themes.

PREVENTION: Eliminating the risk of climate-related disasters and/or reducing the likelihood or severity of its impacts.

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PREPAREDNESS: Taking actions to prepare communities and individuals for climate-related disasters.

RECOVERY: Taking immediate and long-term actions to recover from the impacts of disasters.

SEE ALSO: Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering (£500,000 prize ) 2024

Eligibility Criteria

  • Open to individuals, teams of individuals, and legal entities. While the primary focus for solutions is on North America, we will accept scalable and transferable solutions from around the world. The primary participant submitting the proposal must be at least 18 years old.
  • We are looking for innovative thinkers – experts, community members, and designers – from all industries and sectors who are passionate about creating climate-resilient communities.
  • We especially invite participation from communities on the frontlines of climate change, and organizations or entities that work directly with those communities. We particularly encourage people of color, people who identify as women or non-binary, Native individuals, and members of the LGBTQ+ community to apply.

Benefits of OpenIDEO Climate Resiliency Challenge

Multiple awards will be given in each category listed below, making up to a total of $1 million. Winners will be announced on or around August 1, 2023. We are excited to support innovators across multiple stages of development:

Emerging Innovator Award: Early-stage concepts: Up to $50K USD

Mid-stage Innovator Award: Growth-stage concepts: Up to $100K USD

Advanced Solutions Award: Scaling-stage concepts: Up to $200K USD

Moreover, solutions submitted will receive:

  • Media Coverage and Visibility: Throughout the Challenge, participants will be promoted through a variety of media and channels, including an extensive partner media, social media, website, and email campaign.
  • Exposure to Networks: All submissions and participants will be visible to experts, investors, and funders across a wide range of industries, academia, policy organizations, and sponsor partners.
  • Connections to Like-minded Partners: All submissions and participants will benefit from engaging with the open innovation community and getting acquainted with like-minded individuals who can become future collaborators and/or partners in each others’ ideas.


The winning solutions will meet FIVE specific criteria: 

1. RELEVANT: Solutions that stay true to the How Might We question by centering frontline communities, and helping reduce and/or eliminate damage from climate-related disasters, or recover from them.

  • Does the solution answer the core How Might We question, address the Challenge goal, and target the theme(s) of the Challenge?
  • Does this solution reduce or eliminate damage from climate-related disasters, and/or contribute to recovering from them
  • Does this solution strike an appropriate tone for the people it serves?

2. NOVEL: Solutions that change the structures, technologies, and standards of today’s effects of climate-related disasters on our lives, environments and ecosystems. Solutions should launch us into a new reality of the climate era, make us anticipate what could go wrong , and show us how we can adapt accordingly.

  • Does this solution offer a new, fresh, and creative approach compared to existing ideas and initiatives?
  • Does this solution push the limits on how CSAA, Aon, and IDEO can think about their role in designing for climate resiliency?
  • Does this solution have “design potential” — to be further developed and refined through design methods and craft?

3. IMPACTFUL: Solutions that are actionable and scalable that can be initiated in the next 1-5 years. These solutions should be informed by quantitative and qualitative data; grounded in future trends, projections, and local/global insights; have traction; and describe a credible pathway for realization.

  • Does this solution have the potential to influence practical or systemic change?
  • Does this solution have the potential to inspire action within Challenge partner organizations, and frontline communities
  • Does this solution have the potential to scale across a broad range of communities, regions, and/or disasters?
  • Does this solution have measurable outcomes and/or metrics?

4. EQUITABLE: Solutions that contribute to building an equitable future frontline communities that are disproportionately impacted by climate related risks and disasters. The solutions also consider how to reduce harm and burden placed on individuals, communities, and the environment.

  • Does the solution consider for and aim to overcome the current inequities faced by frontline communities in responding to climate disasters?
  • Does this solution have potential to be accessible to a broad range of individuals and communities?
  • Does this solution center diverse perspectives, languages, and literacies?
SEE ALSO: 2022 UNIDO Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for Nigerian based innovators and cleantech startups

*Historically, populations affected include:

  • People of color
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Children and aging populations
  • People who identify as womxn or non-binary
  • People who identify as LGBTQ+
  • People who have lower incomes
  • People with disabilities
  • Children and aging populations
  • People who are physically exposed to climate risks due to the locations of their homes and businesses
  • People who have fewer resources, capacity or political power to respond to those climate risks

5. COMMUNITY-INFORMED: Solutions that have the needs and opinions of frontline communities at the heart of their operation; demonstrate understanding and consideration of unique challenges various community members face (eg: income, accessibility, living and working conditions, power in policy-making, etc.); and propose a hopeful future that addresses those challenges.

  • Does the solution directly address an established need of frontline community members?
  • Does the solution demonstrate involvement and/or engagement of frontline communities in its creation, future development and/or implementation?

How to Apply

Go to OpenIDEO on to apply

  • Open Submission Phase: After creating an account, feel free to start browsing the Resources tab to see what might nudge your thinking. You’re also invited to add content to inspire your peers and share knowledge. When you’re ready, click on Submit a New Solution to start drafting your submission. To submit your solution, you will need to complete the questions in the form and click Submit Solution.
  • Evaluation Phase (Selecting Finalists): After July 10, a panel of judges will begin reviewing all ideas to select finalists for the prizes. Finalists will be announced by July 18, 2023, they will receive feedback from the judges on how to improve and revise their submissions. Ideas that were not selected will no longer be considered for the prizes.

Visit the OFFICIAL PAGE for further information. DROP COMMENTS for questions/suggestions

⭐ Apply Next: GCSP Prize for Innovation in Global Security 2023

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