Sprint and National Geographic announced "CHASING GENIUS: Unlimited Innovation," a challenge meant to prompt innovators to come up with new ways of improving the global connectivity. The two partners said they'll attempt to inspire anyone interested in participating in the challenge and will ultimately award $25,000 to the winner of the competition, with the money being meant to help them come closer to turning their vision into a reality. The initiative is part of the CHASING GENIUS platform National Geographic launched a year ago with the goal of encouraging innovative individuals to join its global community and help improve the overall state of the planet and mankind. The partnership with Sprint is specifically focused on wireless technologies, with innovators being challenged to imagine a world with no obstacles to being connected to the Internet, then explaining how they'd realize that goal or at least contribute to the process of achieving it.
National Geographic is accepting submission until March 5th and will be announcing the finalists on March 13th. Starting from the same date, everyone on the Internet will have a week to vote for their favorite idea, and all votes will be added together with those from members of the CHASING GENIUS Council. The winner of the challenge will be officially announced on March 21st. While the chances that the challenge ends up prompting a new connectivity revolution are slim, the organizers insist innovation must always be approached ambitiously as just a "single idea is enough to change the world." National Geographic said the challenge was greenlit after its initial contest yielded extremely positive results last fall, suggesting more similar initiatives may be introduced in the future, also as part of the same program.
Sprint CTO John Saw said the challenge is meant to lead to a global brainstorming session about how to ensure a future in which everyone is able to benefit from "high-speed, affordable connectivity." Challenge submissions are only accepted in video form, with the clips themselves not being allowed to be longer than one minute. Besides Dr. Saw, the CHASING GENIUS Council includes National Geographic's Exploration Technology Director Eric Berkenpas, EMOTIV founder and CEO Tan Le, and Albert Yu-Min Lin, a research scientist and one of National Geographic's recognized Emerging Explorers.