Rochelle Beck

TED’s City 2.0 Prize – A Collective Wish ’Big Enough to Change the World’

Something strange is going on.

December, a month of reflecting upon the year soon to close, usually is a time of bonuses and awards for individual achievement. Magazine covers announce the 100 richest, or the 20 most influential, or the 30 most innovative, or the 10 sexiest, or THE person of the year. December is also a time for seeding the coming year: new initiatives to launch, emerging trends to jump ahead of the curve, big competitions to announce, setting up 2012’s best and brightest to come forward so that next December, one of them could be named in these lists.

Only this year, things are a bit different. TIME magazine today announced its “PERSON OF THE YEAR” – and it is not a person, but the embodiment of a movement of individuals. TIME’s Person of the Year is: “The Protester,” representing all the movements in the middle east, Occupy Wall Street, now Greece, Spain and most recently Russia – honored for the seismic changes inspired during 2011 and which TIME sees continuing in 2012.

And TED just recently broke its pattern of picking a topic, announcing a competition for individuals to air in their ideas, and picking one winner to get $100,000. The 2012 competition’s winner was announced a week ago, and for the first time ever, the winner is not a person, but a concept: “THE CITY 2.0.” The TED Prize has basically extended an invitation to the general public to “craft a wish . . . capable of igniting a massive collaborative project among the members of the global TED community, and indeed all who care about our planet’s future.” It is a call to dream up “a wish big enough to change the world.”

Given the NextBillion/Ashoka ongoing series affordable housing and the numbers showing city life will be the dominant human habitat on our planet by 2050 – I thought you might like to learn more about how TED frames its 2012 competition, the amazing documentary video summary that inspired it called “Urbanized,” and suggest the best collaborative ideas for great city housing – and all that is included in that definition – to become a reality.

Want to enter your wish or influence the discussion? Click HERE to find out how. To follow all the wishes entered thus far and to join the discussion to fomulate the finalized wish, click here, HERE. NextBillion will post the winning wish soon after it’s announced on Feb. 29, 2012 – AKA: Leap Year when, as TED notes, “we have a chance, collectively, to take a giant leap forward.”