Tips for the 2016 Healthy Public Challenge

With the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Civic Hall Labs is introducing a new way to think about health through a civic lens. We want you to tackle problems that face our society as a whole, problems like inequitable access to public resources, poor engagement between groups within society, and limited participation in political processes due to inadequate information. How can technology be used to address these issues? And how can addressing these issues improve the health of our public?

For your ideas, we’ll award you $10,000 and connect you with our Health Experts with decades of experience building stronger communities. They will work with you over the course of 6 months to develop your solution and help you adopt a systemic approach to health. This isn’t a one-off contest. This challenge is an ongoing process that supports you throughout the journey of bringing you innovation to life, learning, and evolving over time.

For that reason, we’re accepting ideas in all stages of development, whether that’s a seed of an idea, a late-stage prototype, or a brand new feature of an existing technology or program. In all applications, we’re looking for a strong understanding of the problem your technological solution is attempting to solve and a realistic commitment by your team to a potential solution. That said, we realize that there are points that may be unclear at this stage. We ask you to put forward your best idea of what you think your solution will be.

Finally, we want you to remember that the technology itself is not the goal. The end goal of the Healthy Public Challenge is not to produce the next fully-fledged, profit-making app used by millions. Rather, we are interested in how existing technologies can be used in an innovative way to address issues like community discourse and participation, or how a new feature can improve the civic work an organization, business, or agency is already doing. We hope that the resources we offer you to explore this question will inspire you and others to consider how a societal perspective on health can shape future policy and how technology can be used as a tool to cultivate community engagement.

Learn more about the Healthy Public Challenge and apply here. Applications are due by 11:59PM ET September 16, 2016. Reach out with questions to or on Twitter @CivicHallLabs. Good luck!