If you have in mind an innovative consumer-friendly product or a service "that contribute to an eco-friendly lifestyle, directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and score highly on convenience, quality and design", get ready to jot down detailed descriptions, prepare blueprints and fill in participation forms: there is a half a million euros award for you (plus some coaching and other freebies thrown in).
That's the scope and the reward of the Picnic Green Challenge, which will be launched June 8 by Picnic, the Amsterdam annual conference and weeklong idea festival (it will take place this year 22-29 September -- I'm a member of their advisory board). The best idea will win 500,000 euros in capital to execute the winning plan -- prize money provided by the Postcode Lottery, the largest Dutch charitable (half of the price of the tickets goes to non-profit organizations) lottery.
The PGC brings together two powerful concurrent logics: the social-change catalyzing award (à la TEDprize) and the competition-fuels-innovation idea (à la X-Prize). The organizers say that the inspiration for the Challenge came from a speech given by Bill Clinton in Amsterdam in November, where he pointed out that the responses to climate change will come from creative brains unbound by traditional ideas.
The website for the Challenge will go live on June 8. Keep an eye on the Picnic main site. A jury will choose the best entry in August and the winner will be announced in Amsterdam on 29 September at Picnic07.