Adapting and prototyping the approach

Any incentivisation approach chosen will need to be adapted to the specific problem and community of solvers. The motivations of solvers, their available resources and the level of risk they’re willing to take should all shape the approach.

Designing such an approach can quickly become an overwhelming task. That’s why we start by designing a prototype of the approach. The aim of this prototype is to synthesize the main components of the approach and test them with domain experts and potential solvers.

While each incentivisation approach will have it’s own defining features, we try to include the following in each prototype:

  • Vision: What is the ambition of this approach? What will the world look like once this problem is solved?
  • Problem: What is the problem in need of a solution?
  • Goal: What is the desired outcome of this approach? What kind of solutions are being sought?
  • Criteria: What are some of the requirements of a solution to this problem? How are solutions going to be assessed?
  • Reward: What will people/teams get in return for solving the problem?
  • Logistics: Details about the structure and timeline of the approach.

The prototype often includes an illustration as a visual translation of the problem. Its aim is to complement the vision and present the problem and opportunity without sacrificing accuracy.

The advantages of using a prototype:

  • Allows us to test the main assumptions and hypotheses we have about a problem and incentivisation approach before developing them into fully-fledged programmes;
  • Helps focus conversations with experts on the specific problem identified and the approach chosen to address it;
  • Helps ensure that the technical vocabulary we are using to describe the problem and potential solutions is correct;
  • Makes it easier to understand the dynamics between the different moving parts of an approach and how a change in one aspect can affect the whole.

Looking for a good problem?

We are a close team of designers and researchers who are passionate about tackling ambitious and important problems. If you’re looking to grow your impact, we’d love to hear from you!