Background

As you consider registering to participate, please take time to understand the basic requirements of the Water Consciousness Challenge. You are invited to submit a proposal for raising the consciousness of water scarcity issues, targeting the Phoenix metropolitan area and surrounding communities (the Valley of the Sun). The winning proposal will receive $100,000 to implement a proposed strategy, and you are encouraged to offer your most ambitious plans for reaching the widest audience possible. Your strategy must include digital media, and your proposal should include sample content. However, we are looking for strategies that will activate your audience – so, you must show that you understand their interests and that you can compel them through creative and targeted outreach.

This website offers all of the details regarding your participation, including what’s required in the application, the scoring process for assessing each proposal, and the identities of the judges who will be responsible for scoring and commenting on your submission. We have designed this competition to ensure that every participant enjoys an open, transparent, and fair process. No matter where you place in the competition, you will receive scores and feedback from credible authorities who understand the issues of water scarcity across Arizona. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about this opportunity.

The Water Consciousness Challenge is one competition within The New Arizona Prize, a joint initiative of the Arizona Community Foundation, Republic Media and Morrison Institute for Public Policy. The New Arizona Prize is aimed at creating the Arizona of tomorrow: a state where innovation thrives, ingenuity is supported, and the best thinking is harnessed to solve persistent and complex problems. Under this banner, a series of Challenges will be offered, each with its own rules and rewards, to attract new thinking and innovative solutions.

In advance of launching this website, a briefing book was published, which explains the genesis of the Water Consciousness Challenge and how this specific competition is part of a larger portfolio of upcoming programs under The New Arizona Prize banner.

The Timeline

Over a total period of five months, the Water Consciousness Challenge will include many distinct phases to ensure that everyone is provided the opportunity to collaborate and compete. Each deadline depicted in this timeline has been set to ensure that the appropriate duration for the required amount of work is provided.

Please consider the timeline closely and plan your efforts accordingly.

Between September 26 and December 19, you must register on this website and begin forming your team. After the registration deadline, teams are provided an additional four weeks to complete their application. However, we strongly recommend that each team begin considering the requirements of the application as soon as possible. Completing the application should take approximately 1-2 (or more) months. It is recommended that teams begin the application process well before the registration deadline.

Between December 19 and January 16, prize administrators will begin communicating with you directly in an attempt to predict the total number of likely submissions. We will calculate the level of responses so that we can ensure that every qualifying application is reviewed by five judges. We will deliver five reviews for each completed application so that we can statistically normalize the review process to ensure a level playing field for every team. During the last month of the competition period, you can expect to receive more frequent communication-including the possible announcement of new judges-depending on the likely number of projected entrants.

Between September 26
and December 19
teams can Register

Register Now

Reviewing Submissions

Once all of the applications have been submitted (January 16), our team will conduct a review of each submission. This administrative review occurs over one week and is designed to ensure that every application complies with the minimum requirements and other basic standards. Any application that is not distributed to the judges will be tagged. Registered teams will receive detailed explanations if their applications do not move forward to the next phase of judging.

Once all completed applications are distributed to our judges (January 23), an evaluation panel will begin scoring and commenting on each assigned application, using the same scoring process. During those four weeks, each Evaluation Panel member will be provided specific instructions. We will work with the Evaluation Panel members to address any potential conflicts of interest so that the distribution of applications is a fair and diligent process.

After all of the Evaluation Panel members have submitted their scores and provided comments, the results will be posted on this website (February 20). Each team will receive detailed feedback and will be provided specific instruction for how to access scores and comments from each of the five judges assigned to your team.

Final Review

Once the rank order of the teams has been calculated, a group of finalists will be invited to attend a final "pitch" presentation to a second group of judges, the Selection Committee. Those judges will assess each finalist team in a more formal and direct setting to determine the winner. During the finalists’ presentations, you may be invited to offer additional information, but the Selection Committee will use the same scoring process as the earlier judges to select the winning strategy.

Shortly after the Selection Committee has determined the winner, we will announce the results on this website, and the winning team will enter into a separate agreement with the Arizona Community Foundation to implement their proposed strategy.

An initiative of the Arizona Community Foundation, Republic Media, and Morrison Institute for Public Policy to create the Arizona of tomorrow. Made possible through the support of the Tashman Fund and the Lodestar Foundation.