Eligibility Criteria

  1. The applicant must be a registered 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar or Presenter.
  2. Applications for the 2015 Aspen Ideas Award may be submitted by an individual Scholar or Presenter only. If a project represents the efforts of several individuals or of an organization, only the Scholar or Presenter registered for the Festival is eligible to represent the group and sign the application form.
  3. Should an application submitted on behalf of an organization be selected as a finalist, only the Scholar or Presenter that is attending the Festival is eligible to present on stage.
  4. Each Scholar or Presenter may submit only one project.
  5. Applications cannot be submitted by employees of the Aspen Institute, The Atlantic, or Booz Allen Hamilton, or any agencies working with or for any of these organizations. Additionally, employees of companies that are Underwriter judges of the Aspen Ideas Award are not eligible. These companies include Consumer Reports, HCReit, US Trust, Pearson, and Southern Company.
  6. The 2015 Aspen Ideas Award invites applications for ideas or projects in the following areas:
    • Spotlight Health
      • Delivering quality and affordable healthcare to underserved communities and populations
      • Applying technology and innovation to improve people's health
      • Creating incentives to encourage healthy lifestyle choices
    • Festival 1 and Festival 2
      • Addressing global sustainability
      • Promoting tolerance
      • Making post-secondary education accessible to the masses
      • Advancing the economic development of underserved communities
      • Enhancing the democratic process
  7. Applicants must submit a project to the section of the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival—Spotlight Health, Festival 1, or Festival 2—in which they will participate. 
  8. Projects must be designed to execute ideas and innovations that have the potential to positively impact the community it seeks to address.
  9. Five (5) finalists will be chosen from the pool of applications for each of the three sections of the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival. The finalists will be contacted no later than June 8, 2015, and will be invited to pitch their project to a live audience and a panel of judges during their respective section of the Festival.
  10. Projects must either be new ideas not currently being executed or projects in their infancy that need funding to take them to the next level.  Past work or completed projects will not be considered.
  11. The winner(s) will be chosen by a panel of judges selected with the sole discretion of the Aspen Institute.  Live audience voting will also be considered in the final judging process. The panel of judges reserves the right to decide the allocation of the $25,000 for the winner(s) of each pitch competition.
  12. All prize money must be used to further the implementation of the applicant's project. Applicants must indicate in their submission whether the prize money will be contributed to a project within an organization or to a personal project of the applicant's own design and execution. Prize money will be presented to the organization or the individual applicant.
  13. The winners of each Aspen Ideas Award will be invited back to the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival to present the progress of their project to a live audience.
  14. Submissions and edits close May 7. Voting closes June 1. Commenting closes July 3.