GMO Risk or Rescue? Helping Consumers Decide

GMO Risk or Rescue? Helping Consumers Decide

Competition Information

Competition News

Congratulations to the grand prize winner, Stronger plants, stronger science, and stronger communication!

Their independent research blog received the most votes from our online community, earning a USD $1500 grant and a conversation with the best-selling author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan (www.michaelpollan.com).

Kudos also to two runners-up winners, Campaign for Healthier Eating in America and Non-GMO Project. These top three winning entries will each receive an enhanced social media training session and will be featured in a one-page ad in the Stanford Social Innovation Review magazine.

The Changemakers community voted for another 17 honorable-mention winners who have each won a social media training session with Ashoka. Click here to see the selected projects!

Congratulations to the most-voted Latin American winner Healthy Kids, Healthy Forests, who will receive a round-trip ticket to anywhere in South America, courtesy of Gol Airlines.

Welcome Letter

WHAT'S ON YOUR PLATE? Advances in food science and technology have changed dramatically in the last decades. Often food consumers’ voices are not heard in the debate. Yet, no one is more important in the business of food than consumers. How do we know what's really on our plate? And how do we demonstrate that we have the power to make and demand better choices? We invite our Changemakers community to speak up, challenge each other, and develop ideas and solutions that will have an impact on the world. This competition is about finding the best solutions that educate consumers about what they're eating, and the effect their food choices will have on the environment and society.


PERHAPS YOUR local gardening association is collecting and preserving seeds to ensure the integrity of our food supply. Or perhaps you've spearheaded an awareness campaign advocating GMOs as the answer to climate change and malnutrition. The future of our food supply is at stake, and your ideas could change the way we connect with what we eat.


JOIN US in the search by entering your ideas, rating the top innovations, and contributing to the vibrant discussion.

Eligibility and Criteria

I. Eligibility and Judging Criteria

A. Eligibility

The challenge is open to individuals, organizations, and companies. We will consider all entries that:

1)Reflect the theme of the challenge: We are searching for innovative solutions that help consumers become more aware of what they are eating, and discover how their choices will affect health, the environment and society.

2)Are at the idea or early implementation stage: We are looking for new ideas or early stage projects in development. These may be new initiatives from long-established or new organizations or companies.

3)Complete the entry form: Entries must be fully completed and submitted before the deadline of October 21, 2009.

4)Are submitted in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French.

B. Assessment Criteria

Innovation: Is this idea or project innovative? Does it introduce a unique way to help consumers become more aware of what they are eating? Or, does it suggest how we as consumers can be better informed about how our choices impact health, the environment and society? This is the knock-out test. The innovation should be distinct from existing projects or initiatives in the field. The best projects will demonstrate a unique model of change that empowers individuals and companies to create healthier and more sustainable communities that benefit their citizens and the environment. As this is a global challenge, we are looking for ideas that could be universally applicable.

Social Impact: What is the social impact of this idea or project? How does it educate people about what's on their plates? How does it help shed light on the ways genetically modified organisms in plants and animals can affect our health, the environment and society? Does it influence public policy? The best ideas will engage individual consumers as well as demonstrate a positive impact on the local community or society at large. We are looking for ideas that influence or lead to systemic change.

Sustainability: Could this idea be implemented and, ultimately, sustained? To achieve lasting impact, an innovation needs to be financially and environmentally sustainable. While entrants will not be expected to launch their ideas, we are looking for practical, concrete solutions that have potential to be implemented. The best ideas would also have potential to be replicated so that they could have far-reaching impact.

II.Prizes

The Top 20 Finalists, selected by the Changemakers community, will receive a social media training session with Ashoka.

The Top 3 Community Winners will receive an enhanced social media training session with Ashoka and will also be featured in a one-page ad in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR).

One Grand Prize Winner will receive a $1,500 grant as well as be invited to have a conversation with Michael Pollan, best-selling author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food. The grand prize winner will also receive an enhanced social media training session with Ashoka, and will be featured in a one-page ad in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR).

One Latin America Prize: One entrant will receive a free round-trip ticket to anywhere in South America, courtesy of Gol Airlines. This winner will fly to any Gol Airlines destination to meet and collaborate with a fellow GMO Challenge entrant in South America, and will have their winning innovation featured on Changemakers in four different languages.

III.Challenge Deadlines, Procedures, and Rules

Entries for the GMO Risk or Rescue? Helping Consumers Decide Challenge will be accepted until October 21, 2009, at 4:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time. The community will be able to rate entries as soon as they are posted so individuals and organizations are encouraged to submit ideas early. Early entrants may also receive more comments, questions, and insights from the Changemakers community, which can be used to improve (and resubmit) entries before the deadline.

Here’s how the Challenge will work:

1) Entry and Rating Stage, July 15 – October 21, 2009: Entries can be submitted until October 21, 2009 and community ratings will be counted until October 28, 2009, 4:00 p.m. US Eastern Standard Time. Entries may be submitted by individuals, organizations, or companies. Because the community will be able to rate entries as soon as they are posted, entrants are encouraged to submit ideas early and to mobilize their supporters to get involved. Everyone is also encouraged to nominate entrants, add comments, and participate in the online review discussion with the entrants.

2) Winners announced, November 4, 2009: The 20 entries receiving the highest overall rating from the community will be selected as the finalists. Of these, the top 3 entries receiving the highest overall rating will be our 3 community winners. The entry receiving the highest overall rating from the community will be selected as the grand prize winner.

3) Latin America Prize: The entry from Latin America receiving the highest rating from the community will be selected as the Latin America grand prize winner.

Everyone who enters the challenge will receive increased exposure to the Changemakers community as well as to others who are interested in the use of GMOs in our food supply. Participation in this challenge offers the opportunity to receive feedback on your idea from fellow consumers, organizations, Changemakers staff and community.

Ashoka’s Changemakers Disclaimer—Compliance with Legal Regulations

Ashoka complies fully with all U.S. laws and regulations, including the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s regulations, export control, and anti-money laundering laws. All grants will be awarded subject to compliance with such laws. Ashoka will not make any grant if it finds that to do so would be unlawful. This may prohibit awards in certain countries and/or to certain individuals or entities. All recipients will comply with these laws to the extent they are applicable to such recipients. No recipient will take any action that would cause Ashoka to violate any laws. Additionally, Ashoka will not make any grant to a company involved in the promotion of tobacco use.

Finalist & Winner Prizes

The winners will be selected by the Changemakers online community – meaning you!

The three tiers of prizes are:

· The top 20 entries with the most votes will win a social media training session with Ashoka.

· The top 3 entries with the most votes will receive an enhanced social media training session and will be featured in a one-page ad in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

· The grand prize winner will receive a $1,500 grant and win a conversation with the best-selling author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan (www.michaelpollan.com).

· The Latin American entry with the most votes will receive a round-trip ticket to anywhere in South America, courtesy of Gol Airlines.

All winners will be announced on November 4, 2009.

Finalists