Knowledge@Wharton and HCT Launch Innovation Tournament for Green Ideas in the Middle East

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Knowledge@Wharton and the Higher Colleges of Technology are getting serious about green entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa. The Wharton School's business analysis journal and the Emirati university have teamed up to conduct Innovation Tournament 2021 to foster the creation of new and sustainable technologies and customer-centric work processes that will transform businesses and society, offering a total prize of AED100,000.

The goal of the tournament- which, although its name indicates a forward-looking vision, begins this year- is to serve as a catalyst for innovations that substantially benefit society and enhance environmental sustainability across the board. The challenge to potential entrepreneurs is to provide solutions, either bold new ideas or solutions with demonstrated results, that 1) mitigate the effects of greenhouse gases, or 2) limits the use of non-renewable energy sources to build a sustainable future.

The tournament organizers are accepting submissions from individuals and organizations, while special awards will be given to student innovators. All participants are encouraged to explore business model changes that can reduce capital requirements and other costs. They are also welcome to propose solutions based on so called reverse innovation- low-cost solutions from emerging economies that are relevant to the developed world.

Inspired by the book Innovation Tournaments, by Wharton professors Christian Terwiesch and Karl Ulrich, The Innovation Tournament is structured in three phases

First, participants will submit ideas to the tournament's official website for review by a panel of experts that include Wharton faculty, the Knowledge@Wharton team and faculty from the Higher Colleges of Technology. The deadline for submissions to the Innovation Tournament 2021 is 5pm April 5, 2012 (UAE time).

Second, semi-finalists will be invited to submit a web-based presentation, after which judges will select the finalists. 

Lastly, finalists will participate in a round table discussion on innovation, which will be filmed and made available as a web video after the event. They will also be interviewed for podcasts, which will be available on the Knowledge@Wharton and Higher Colleges of Technology websites. 

While the tournament doesn't offer cash prizes, it's a great opportunity for changemakers to form a community, promote transformative ideas, attract potential co-founders and prominent investors, and perhaps influence policymakers as well. 

Interested parties can learn more on the Innovation Tournament 2021 website.

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