Want $5000 For Your Great System-Changing Rural Agriculture Idea? Check Out Ashoka's Changemakers New Online Competition


photo: Jonathan Talbot / World Resources Institute

Last time we mentioned Ashoka's Changemakers it was in the context of the Global Water Challenge. Now comes word that they are launching a new online competition to search of "system-changing innovations in agriculture and rural development." It's called "Cultivating Innovation: Solutions for Rural Communities" and this is a bit of what it's about:

Over the next two months, people from around the world will be nominating those who are making a difference in farming and rural communities, or submitting their own innovative projects. The Changemakers community will be continually commenting on the initiatives entered in the competition.  Entrants and nominators will be able to network with media, academics, and thought leaders.

A panel of judges—Roy Steiner, Senior Program Officer for Agricultural Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Gene Kahn, Global Sustainability Officer for General Mills; Beatrice Gakuba, CEO of Rwanda Flora; Suzana Padua, Founder of the Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas (Institute of Ecological Research); and Raj Patel, activist and author, Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power and the Hidden Battle for the World Food System—will narrow the entry pool to 10 to 15 finalists.

The global Changemakers community will then vote for three winners, who will each receive a USD $5000 award from Changemakers to fund their initiatives. The finalists and winners will receive media attention and are showcased on the Changemakers website. All entrants will gain increased access to a global network of innovators, supporters, and investors with the means to help them fund and/or scale their projects.

Nominations and submissions are open until May 13; voting begins June 24; winners will be announced on July 13, 2009.

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Tags: Agriculture | Contests | Developing Nations | Farming