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Rewarding Disobedience

The Noun Project / MIT Media Lab

by Jessica Sousa

March 7, 2017

In July, 2016 we announced the creation of a $250K cash prize award for responsible disobedience. This idea came after a realization that there’s a widespread frustration from people trying to figure out how can we effectively harness responsible, ethical disobedience aimed at challenging our norms, rules, or laws to benefit society. In July 2017, we awarded our first-ever award for disobedience.

Learn more

Information about the 2018 nomination process will be available soon. Sign up here to receive information and updates about the 2018 MIT Media Lab Disobedience Award as they become available.

The Media Lab Disobedience Award seeks to highlight effective, responsible, ethical disobedience across disciplines (scientific research, civil rights, freedom of speech, human rights, and the freedom to innovate, for example). Disobedience Award objectives are to build awareness and support of disobedience-robust work being done around the world, and to promote role models for younger people. With this award, we will honor work that impacts society in positive ways, and is consistent with a set of key principles, including non-violence, creativity, courage, and responsibility for one’s actions. The award will go to a living person or group engaged in what we believe is extraordinary disobedience for the benefit of society. We’re seeking both expected and unexpected nominees. 

Nomination and Selection Process

A screening committee composed of a small and diverse group of individuals in the MIT Media Lab network of activists, scientists, designers, and engineers will review the nominations and select the award recipient.

Deadline for submissions was May 1, 2017. Award recipient will be announced live on July 21, 2017. We will announce a shortlist of nominees prior to the event.