Choosing an incentivisation approach

An incentivisation approach is a way of trying to motivate and support people to come up with solutions to a problem. One of the prime incentives is likely to be money, but a fund can do much more than offer money.

All the information gathered so far – about the problem, the community of solvers and the role of the funding organisation – is incredibly useful because it gives us a starting point for thinking about appropriate incentivisation approaches. For example:

  • If a funder is looking to build a community of solvers, then workshops, hackathons, or crowdsourcing platforms can be relevant approaches. Although different in form and structure, these approaches are useful at drawing attention to little known problems or significant emerging ones, encouraging conversations around them and motivating people to work on solutions.

  • If the aim is to expand a community of solvers, funders can explore the possibility of setting up challenge prizes, sandpits, workshops, or make use of crowdsourcing platforms. Core to these approaches is encouraging collaborations between people or teams with different backgrounds and skills. Their aim is to bring on board new perspectives or domains of expertise that can challenge held expectations and provoke new ways of thinking.

  • If a funder is looking to support a community of solvers, approaches like funding calls, innovation labs, incubators or accelerators can help them achieve this goal. These approaches focus on offering wide ranging support to problem-solvers such as funding, mentorship, access to facilities, users and investors, as well as partnerships or contracts.

We found this to be a really simple first step to roughly understand what kind of approach might be useful. We say this is only a first step, because each incentivisation approach will have to be adapted to the problem and solvers’ needs.

In the end, an incentivisation approach is not just a way of flagging up a problem that needs to be solved. It’s about creating an engaged and adequately resourced community around that problem.

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