Monday, October 15, 2007

These are (just two) of my favorite things

(Chart is of odds of Al Gore winning 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, for 7 days prior to announcement)

What two things? Prediction markets and prizes. By now, Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize win is old news. What you may not know is that he was the hands down favorite prior to the announcement from Oslo on Friday. But - you can still check the prediction markets (and bet) on the Nobel in economics or on the likely winner of the Google Lunar X Prize.

If betting on the winner of prizes isn't enough action for you, you can also bet2give - at the site of the same name.

The preponderance of prediction markets that now include information such as philanthropic prize winners, or conquering certain social challenges, is an interesting thing to note in consideration of the "marketization" of giving and innovation. Prize economies offer an alternative to traditional philanthropic grant economies. They raise some similar issues to efforts such as creative commons and other intellectual property regimes regarding the role of innovation in markets.

Markets, wisdom of crowds, prizes, philanthropy and the chaotic and unpredictable ways that things we know intersect with each other as well as with things we don't know or expect. Apologies to Julie Andrews, this is a post about many more than just "a few of my favorite things."

Preview: Given the interest in prizes that my posts have generated since early 2007, I'll continue exploring the intersections between philanthropy, markets and prizes in more depth - and in video - as the October theme over on the Giving Channel. New content will be posted by October 21 - and we'll remind you here.

1 comment:

The Green Skeptic said...

I'm curious about this whole prize business. Ashoka, the social venture capital organization I joined over a month ago, has an initiative called, which is a combination global competition and online community for social purpose ideas.

I've thought about this in the context of addressing climate change or clentech solutions. What would it take to spur the kind of innovation we need in that arena?

Could be very powerful.