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The Nine Dots Prize

The Nine Dots Prize 2020

Country: USA
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Applications call for the Nine Dots Prize 2020. The aim of the Prize is to promote, encourage, and engage innovative thinking to address problems facing the modern world. Basically, the name of the Prize references the nine dots puzzle a lateral thinking puzzle that can only be solved by thinking outside the box.

The question for 2020/21 is: What does it mean to be young in an aging world?


The Nine Dots Prize is a prize for creative thinking that tackles contemporary societal issues. In addition to that, entrants must respond to a question in 3,000 words; with the winner receiving US$100,000 to write a short book expanding on their ideas.


  • 18 Jan 2021 (Submission Deadline): Entrants must submit their 3,000-word response, an outline structure for their proposed book, and also a justification statement of their ability to complete the book in seven months via an online submission form.
  • May 2021 (Winner Announcement): The winner will be anonymously chosen by a Board of 12 internationally recognised and distinguished academics, authors, journalists and thinkers, chaired by Professor Simon Goldhill from the University of Cambridge.
  • May 2022 (Winner’s Book Published): Cambridge University Press will provide support and editorial assistance to the Prize winner; whose book will be published by the Press in May 2022. The book will also be made available in an open-access format.


All those 18 years of age and over are welcome to enter but responses and the resulting book must be in English. The program looking for innovative thinking, whether this comes from new voices or from experienced authors. The Prize’s heartland is in the analysis of contemporary society and societal challenges; and it welcomes responses that draw on all disciplines and cross-discipline thinking. Joint entries will be considered, although proposals that put forward a number of authors all contributing single sections (such as an edited collection) will not be accepted.



Type of Opportunity Competitions and Awards
Deadline18 January,2021
Open toAll
OrganizerThe Nine Dots Prize



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