The Nine Dots Prize for Creative Thinking 2017

Publish Date: Jan 25, 2017

Deadline: Jan 31, 2017

Are digital technologies making politics impossible?


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

The aim of the Prize is to promote, encourage and engage innovative thinking to address problems facing the modern world. The name of the Prize references the nine dots puzzle – a lateral thinking puzzle which can only be solved by thinking outside the box.

The inaugural Nine Dots Prize question is: Are digital technologies making politics impossible?

Submission Deadline

Entrants must submit their 3,000-word response, an outline structure for their proposed book and a justification of their ability to complete the book in nine months via an online submission form. 31 Jan 2017

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, director of CRASSH at the University of Cambridge. May 2017

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 2018. The book will also be made available in an open access format. May 2018


All those 18 years of age and over are welcome to enter but responses and the resulting book must be in English. We are looking for innovative thinking, whether this comes from new voices or from experienced authors. The Prize’s heartland is in the social sciences, but we welcome responses that draw on all disciplines and cross-discipline thinking. Joint responses from multiple authors 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.


The Prize will be awarded anonymously. The Board will award the Prize to the entry that in their view best responds to the set question. Responses can critique, agree or disagree with, or reject the premise of the question, but they must engage with it fully and insightfully.

The Board will look for originality of the ideas and arguments put forward, the ways in which the ideas are communicated and the conclusions or recommendations that the author(s) reach. Responses may draw on research and evidence from a wide variety of sources and disciplines not restricted solely to the social sciences.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

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