We are looking for proposals that will make the Internet more secure, more accessible, more open, or just plain better — ideas that recognize the interactions of law, policy, business, and code and expand on the notion that the Internet is a global information network. Proposals might address problems in data security, Internet infrastructure, digital literacy, or anything else, so long as they address the ultimate goal of making the Internet a better place for everyone. We also believe that the Internet can be a force for positive social change; to that end, we are interested in proposals that use the Internet's power to solve problems offline.
Over the next eight months, technology-focused Harvard and Stanford students will select and help implement several of the submitted proposals. We will collaborate with high-profile Internet entrepreneurs, policy-makers, and other interested parties to bring the best ideas to fruition. This is an unprecedented opportunity for developers, designers, innovators, hackers, social engineers, and anyone else committed to improving the Internet to connect with a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary group of stakeholders who will, over the course of a yearlong seminar, implement and launch an idea that will help change the Internet for the better.
This initiative is not a standard technology venture contest focused just around raising capital and generating publicity. We hope, rather, to guide the selected proposal through a holistic process that seeks to connect projects with advisors, funders and collaborators who can make them happen from a legal, logistical, conceptual, and technological perspective.
WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?
Does the solution meaningfully contribute to building a better Internet?
Does it enhance openness, accessibility, security, or something else of value to the public?
Does the solution effectively respond to a particular problem or need?
What, realistically, will the project change about the Internet? How significant will the change be?
Does the proposal account for realistic challenges and constraints?
This call for proposals is open to any person or group with an idea for a better Internet and the willingness to work through a project if it is selected by the seminar.
All proposals must be submitted by 12:00 PM PT on Friday, April 15, 2011.
Finalists will be promptly notified following a panel review of submissions. Winning proposals will be selected by May 1. The implementation process will continue through 2011, and will culminate in a public demonstration of the project before leading scholars, policy-makers, and entrepreneurs in early 2012.
The idea behind this solicitation is to get ideas out there; this is not a competition in the usual sense, and we are all looking to contribute to the common good — we aim, with appropriate curation, to make publicly available what you submit if your idea is selected, and also anything we build upon it as a class. We hope that people on the Internet at large will use the ideas you submit as springboards towards building a better Internet.
HOW TO SUBMIT
If you have any further questions or would like to submit your proposal via email, contact us at info <at> i4bi.org