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WRI and InnoCentive Issue Challenge Seeking Communication Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation

April 15, 2011

The World Resources Institute (WRI), a global environmental think tank, and InnoCentive, the world leader in Challenge Driven Innovation, announced a new Challenge and $10,000 prize for solutions to help local communities communicate what they need to adapt to changing climate conditions. The Challenge seeks ideas for communication solutions and technologies that can create local “market intelligence” to engage public and private sector partners. The Challenge will be open to submissions for 60 days and is available at InnoCentive and the Economist’s Ideas Economy webpage.

“This Challenge is an opportunity to encourage a lot of smart people, with a wide range of expertise, to develop innovative ways of highlighting emerging needs in communities vulnerable to climate change,” said Eliot Metzger, a project manager at WRI. “It’s about finding ways to connect communities with climate-resilient products, services, and investments.”

Many communities are facing threats from rising sea levels, increasing water scarcity, floods, heat waves, and more extreme weather, among other impacts related to climate change. These threats are particularly high in many developing countries.

In India, for example, changing rain patterns are disrupting agricultural production, placing a strain on farming communities and local food markets. In Vietnam, just one meter of sea level rise can displace 10 percent of the population and flood the country’s primary rice-growing lands.

An effective communication platform could enable local communities to raise awareness about their needs to solution providers in the private sector as well as public policymakers. The goal is to create better two-way communication between citizens, businesses, governments, and support organizations.

Active communication would help enhance ongoing adaptation initiatives. Many national governments and non-governmental organizations, including WRI, are developing strategies to help communities assess needs and address climate risks. WRI and InnoCentive are seeking ideas for an effective communication platform that can build on these initiatives, databases, and information resources.

“We are delighted to be working with WRI to help communities deal with the effects of climate change,” said InnoCentive CEO Dwayne Spradlin. “Our Solvers have always been motivated to work on Challenges that make a difference in the lives of vulnerable populations. I’m excited to see the solutions that will emerge for this very important problem.”

More information about the Challenge can be found here.

[Source: WRI press release]

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