Interview: Peter Diamandis Talks Prizes

Philanthropy News Digest has five questions for X PRIZE Foundation CEO Peter Diamandis. An excerpted answer follows:

One of the most critical things a prize can do is change the public perception of what is possible via a physical demonstration. The world is filled with great technology that has never been applied to a concrete goal. Prize philanthropy — and incentive prizes in particular — are a mechanism for driving breakthroughs both in technology and in public perception. What we’re doing at the X PRIZE Foundation is providing structure and a methodology that helps foundations and philanthropists to achieve their goals.

With respect to approach, there are three key attributes of a really effective incentive prize. First, the prize should be highly leveraged. If the prize is properly designed — and not all prizes are — you can drive ten to fifty times the amount of the prize purse to the achievement of your objective. Second, the prize should be efficient.

Read the full interview.