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What is a good challenge?

Old wine on new bottles

The challenge method has been used to create development and innovation for centuries and is used in many different ways today. A challenge can be global or local, consist of a long list of activities or just a simple idea generation. There are many possibilities and you can tailor a challenge to suit most purposes.

The challenge method is a part of the trend crowdsourcing, where a broad target group is involved in solving challenges and create innovation.

Why choose

On we work with challenges related to the society and the common good. In other words, we don’t work with challenges that have a commercial scope. There are several great platforms that serve commercial purposes. Thus, the challenges on are often organized by public, educational or philanthropic organizations.


Five characteristics of a good challenge

  1. Be specific
    The core of a challenge is a specific problem. The challenge has to be fairly easy to grasp and represent valuable aspects for the organizer as well as the participants. For the organizer, this might be an ambition of making existing procedures or products better, cheaper or more effective, of stimulating a new market or of highlighting a certain topic.

  2. Key selling points
    Motivating participants often involves one or more of the four G’s: Guts, Gold, Goods or Glory. It might be the dream of being the absolute best, a prize, money, satisfaction in making a change, publicity, network and so much more that motivates your participants. A good challenge is aware and explicit about the key selling points for participating.

  3. Clear criteria
    Regardless of which topic your challenge concerns, it is important to have very clear criteria for the selection of the best ideas. Do you expect the participants to submit a mere idea or a complete concept? Making sure you have a number of clear criteria, is time well spent – for your own sake as well as the jury’s (if you have one), and certainly for the participants!

  4. Communication is key
    To ensure the success of your challenge, you have to consider your communication strategy at the very beginning. In some case, it can be very useful to partner up with other organizations or hiring a communication agency.

  5. Legal issues
    There are several legal aspects that can be relevant to consider. If the organizer is a public organization, there are often strict rules they have to pertain to. Furthermore, it is often relevant to create a separate set of Terms and Conditions for the specific challenge.


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When you are ready to start working on your challenge, we can provide you with templates and guidance.

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