Why

submit your idea?

There is increasing concern that anti-democratic attitudes, support for partisan violence, and partisan animosity threaten the health of American democracy. Many people have ideas for how to address these problems, but there hasn't been an opportunity to gather and rigorously test many of these ideas at the same time until now. We need the ideas of the crowd and the rigor of massive experimentation to address this large issue.

By contributing your idea, you will help to address some of the most crucial issues facing the United States today. If selected, you will be able to learn whether your idea works, and you may qualify to receive authorship and a cash reward.

Stack of Notebooks

Qualifiers

Everyone whose intervention is selected for testing by the Strengthening Democracy Challenge ...

  •  will be offered authorship (listed as “Qualifiers”) on the primary publication resulting from the challenge,

  • will be honored at a virtual conference organized by Stanford’s Polarization and Social Change Lab, in which the results of the Depolarization Challenge will be presented to the public.

Image by Micheile Henderson

Prizes

We will award a series of cash prizes*:

  • Reducing Anti-Democratic Attitudes: A $15,000** prize will be divided between those teams submitting interventions that significantly reduce anti-democratic attitudes.

  • Reducing Support for Partisan Violence: A $15,000** prize will be divided between those teams submitting interventions that significantly reduce support for partisan violence.

  • Reducing Partisan Animosity: A $15,000** prize will be divided between those teams submitting interventions that significantly reduce partisan animosity.

 

*If none of the interventions reduce an outcome (according to a significance test), no award will be given out for that outcome. If an intervention reduces multiple outcomes (e.g., partisan animosity and anti-democratic attitudes) it is eligible for prizes for each outcome.

** If we receive fewer than 15 viable submissions that qualify for testing, the cash prize will be $5,000.

Winners

In addition, those teams submitting interventions that most reduce anti-democratic attitudes, support for partisan violence, and/or partisan animosity...

  • will be given awards as the “overall winning intervention” for each outcome,  

  • will be offered authorship (listed as “Winners”) on the primary publication resulting from the challenge,

  • will be invited to give talks at a virtual conference organized by Stanford’s Polarization and Social Change Lab, in which the results of the Depolarization Challenge will be presented to the public.

High Fives

Awards

We will also give special awards to those teams led by (1) graduate students and (2) practitioners* whose interventions most reduce (a) anti-democratic attitudes, (b) support for partisan violence, and (c) partisan animosity (resulting in six additional awards). Finally, awards will be given for the interventions rated as most novel by the advisory board in three categories: submitted by a graduate student-led team, submitted by a practitioner-led team, and overall.

*Here we define a "practitioner" as any submitter who does not do research for an academic institution."